Re: [tied] Green

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 18194
Date: 2003-01-27

----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick C. Ryan" <proto-language@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 8:06 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Green

> In my opinion, all IE color words have direct or indirect reference to objects which were characterized by the color. In the case of Latin viridis, the most closely related IE root is *w(e)ra:d-, which has the primary meaning of 'young leaf' or 'shoot'; a root which I also believe is closely related to *werdh-, 'grow'.

The modern version of Pokorny's old reconstruction *w(e)ra:d- (it should really be written *wra:d-, as there's no real evidence for the *e) is *wrah2d- (= {*wreh2d-}). The most common meaning seems to be 'root', but 'plant, branch' etc. can also be encountered (OE wyrt meant both 'root' and 'plant'), so all right, it could perhaps refer to green parts of plants as well in PIE. Whether it's historically related to *werdH- is hard to say. If one could make a convincing case for a primitive proto-root (no pun intended) like **wer- 'grow' (?) with various extensions (say, *wr-ah2-d-, *wer-dH-), that would be more productive than merely stating one's beliefs. Anyway, the real question is if _any_ of these words means 'green' in any IE langauge.

The Latin form that closely corresponds to Germanic *wurtiz < *wr.h2d-i-s is <ra:dix> (<ra:di:c->) < *wr.h2d-ih2-. <ra:mus> is another related Latin word, but <viridis> _cannot_ belong here (or with *werdH-). It is a derivative of the verb <vireo:> 'green over, grow green', in which the /wir-/ part cannot derive either from *[wer] or from *[wr.]. It must contain an original *i, and the most likely connection is therefore with the root *weis- (Pokorny's 'sprout, grow'), with Balto-Slavic and Germanic cognates.