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Subject: Why did some PIE people start using different words for 'give'?
Question: In English and many other languages, we use the word ''to give''. However, many other European languages use a form of ''dar'' for ''give'', like Russian and the Romance languages. Latin: dō Italian: dare Portuguese: dar Romanian: da Spanish: dar French: donner Old Church Slavonic: ''dan''' Russian: ''dat''' I see that the origin of the Latinate ''dare'' (to give) is *deh₃- ''to give'' in PIE. I see the Proto-Indo-European etymology of ''give'' is gʰab(ʰ) (“to grab, to take). The Latinate/Romance descendant of gʰab(ʰ)is ''habere'' This seems to indicate that at some point the word ''to grab/take'' became ''to give''! How the heck did this happen to us Germanic PIE people? If the Slavic/Romance PIE tribes maintained ''*deh₃- to give'', why did Germanic PIE people lose *deh₃- and start using gʰab(ʰ) differently?
Reply: There's a LOT we don't know about the history of Indo-European and daughter languages so it's hard to know exactly why and how some changes happen. However, confusions in meeting is not uncommon. For instance "guard(ian)" and "ward" also happen to come from the same root, but with a semantic shift for "ward" as someone who needed to be guarded.
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
Date: 15-Jan-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Why did some PIE people start using different words for 'give'?    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (16-Jan-2013)

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