the origin of "out"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by yakor, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. yakor Senior Member

    Could you tell me what common the Greek hysteros "the latter" has with origin of "out"?
    Also, I can't get what the Russian vy means and how it is connected with "out"?
    Old English ut "out, without, outside," common Germanic (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Gothic ut, Middle Dutch uut, Dutch uit, Old High German uz, Germanaus), from PIE root *ud- "up, out, up away" (cf. Sanskrit ut "up, out," uttarah "higher, upper, later, northern;" Avestan uz- "up, out," Old Irish ud- "out," Latin usque"all the way to, without interruption," Greek hysteros "the latter," Russian vy- "out").
    (the text in red is taken from the Etymology Dictionary)
  2. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    It's thought to be from *ud- + the comparative suffix *-teros. In Greek, when a stem ending in an alveolar consonant (such as -d-) combined with a stem beginning in the same kind of consonant (such as -t-), the result was historically -st-: another example of this is stha "you know", from *woid- + *-tHa.

    If vy (and related Slavic words) are connected to *ud, then it seems that the *-d in *ud must somehow have been lost. I can't (so far) find an explanation of how this happened, but prepositions sometimes lose their final consonant in certain phonetic environments -- compare Latin ex "out of", which becomes e before a consonant -- and the form without the consonant may then be generalized to all other environments.

    Note, however, that not every source seems to agree that Russian vy is related to *ud to begin with.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  3. Dan2

    Dan2 Senior Member

    English (US)
    Hi yakor... It's not clear to me what you, as a Russian speaker, are asking here. Surely when the etymological dictionary says "Russian vy- "out", it's referring to the verb prefix вы-:
    ходить "go" .... выходить "go out"
    бежать "run" .... выбежать "run out"

    Can you clarify what you have in mind with this part of your question? Thanks! -Dan
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    vi- ‘apart’ and ud- ‘upwards, out’ are two distinct particles in Indo-European. They exist side by side in Sanskrit, Avestan etc.
  5. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Also about "hysteros" being from *ud-teros, it helps that the same construction also exists in Sanskrit in the same meaning: uttara (later).
    How is the initial h- in hysteros explained though? From an s-mobile?
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Every ancient Greek word beginning in upsilon ("u") has initial aspiration (which is reflected as "h-" in our writing system): hupó "under", húdor "water", húphos "web", etc.

    (This may not have applied to all ancient Greek dialects, but it was true of Attic.)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  7. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Ok. Thanks a lot!
  8. ahvalj Senior Member

    Slavic vy- does indeed come from the IE *ud-. First, the vowel was lengthened before the (pre)glottalized stop according to Winter's law ('s_law): this happened long ago. Then, the final consonant was lost, as it occurred with almost all the IE final consonants in Slavic — the indirect evidence (e. g. different fate of vowels before final -n and -nt) suggests that it happened in the first centuries of the 1st millennium. Finally, in the 7–8th centuries the vowel ū shifted to y (the earliest borrowings from Slavic to Finnish, Greek and Romanian still show u), developing at the same time a glide w. This wy- existed at the time of the first Slavic texts in the 9-12 centuries, then w- universally shifted to v-, while the vowel y preserved in some languages but merged with i in the others.
  9. ahvalj Senior Member

    By the way, this situation has a beautiful parallel with the word "otter":
    IE word *wodr "water" with a derivative IE *udreH2 or later IE *udrā "the water one > water animal > otter"
    Greek hydra (u>y, initial h before u)
    Lithuanian ūdra (u lengthened but preserved)
    Slavic vydra (u lengthened, modified to y and developed a glide w>v).
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    What about ud- and vi- in Indo-Iranian?
  11. ahvalj Senior Member

    Ud- of course is related in all the above languages. The similarity of vy- and vi- is pure coincidence. The Slavic has preserved *wi- in its word for "second" — vьtorъ from IE *witoros, related to Skt. and Avestan "vitaram", "further" from *witerom (Derksen · 2008 · Etymological dictionary of the Slavic inherited lexicon, p. 532 — ; see also vy- on p. 533).

    Also, before the discovery of Winter's law, Slavic *ū in vy- was considered related to the Germanic ū in ūt/ut, which now turns out redundant. The variant long vowel in the Germanic adverb is likely a local development (thou/du), cp. modern German ein- from īn, with a long vowel secondarily created after the etymological in (from IE *en(i)).
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Fine, but Derksen (if I understand him correctly) does not derive these words from *wi- ‘out’, but from *dwi- ‘two’.
  13. ahvalj Senior Member

    I would say this Derksen's deeper etymology is pure speculation. Not that it is impossible, but this would be an ad hoc explanation, since it is not a regular development in IE. A brief Google search finds e. g. and this etymology has an advantage of being morphologically and phonetically regular.
  14. sotos Senior Member

    Hysteron is also the womb. Thus, there is a field for some freudian explanations, if you believe this stuff.

Share This Page