Etymology of Row

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by dani_, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. dani_ New Member

    Hi there!

    I recenty found out that arreu (Catalan) could mean "in a row" and, since they are alike, I inquired into their etymology to figure out if they are related but had no success. The Catalan dictionary says arreu comes from Germanic at red and the English dictionary says "row" comes from Old English ræw but my linguistic skills are limited to handling dictionaries. So my question is: are they related? Or it is a coincidence that they are similar in form, origin language and meaning?

    Thanks in advance
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    English row also has a variant form rew that looks even more like arreu, but according to the dictionaries, there is no common root. The Germanic root of arreu is the one found in German Rathaus, Vorrat or English rede. It means "counsel, provision" and the semantic evolution in Romance may have been something like "advice, decision" → "order, sequence".

    The etymology of row is uncertain, but it seems likely to be related to German Reihe, Dutch rij.
  3. dani_ New Member

    That's what I thought. Thank you anyway
  4. Treaty Senior Member

    I was just thinking if there is a similar root for a large number of words that are related to a straight (right) followable (observable) pattern. This is (r-l) + vowel + (h,g-k,y,w-v). Some times it is ended with (t,d). The examples are:
    reg-ul-ate, rect-angle, leg-al, law, loy-al, row, right, raj (P*: row, category), rag (P: vessel), raah (P: path), raast (P: right)
    There are also similar found here:
    road, river, rio, route, rood (P:river),
    rise, raise, af-raaz
    (P: rise up)I think there should be some proto-Indo-European root for this. However, I am not sure about root of individual examples. (some of them may be root of another). I assumed that the concept of "linear rectitude" is related to truth, good, law, right path, spiritual ascending.
    * P stands for Persian
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I agree. OE has distinct cognates for Reihe (ræw) and for Rat (ræd) and I don't think they are related. Rat is more likely related to the noun Reich, OE rîce. and the adjective reich (=rich).
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013

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