The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.
Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Germanic 'Jörð' vs. Turkic 'yer/yurt'|
|Question:||Hello everyone. I am preparing a presentation of compared mythology and I reached an interesting point. The word Jörð in Old Norse is etymologically related to ''earth'' as you know. In Turkic, there is two words: ''yer'', which directly means ''earth'' and ''yurt'' (t/d change is observed in Old Turkic), which means ''homeland''. These two words are also used in today's Turkish. I see a phonological and semantical similarity here. I need to know if these words are originally related or not. Thank you!|
|Reply:||It depends on what you mean by "related". Conventional linguistic wisdom is that Germanic languages are in a separate language family from Turkic. As it happens the Oxford English Dictionary indicates that earth/jörd come from an Indo-European root *er- with reflexes in Greek (i.e. a native word). There is a possibility that there is a root borrowed into both languages or between languages, but I don't know enough about Turkic to be sure. You'd want to know more about the phonological developments in each family to be sure. It is known that unrelated words can have words that happen to look alike but not have a history. Sorry I can't give you more information.|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|