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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
Date: 18-Apr-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Germanic 'Jörð' vs. Turkic 'yer/yurt'    Herbert Frederic Stahlke     (18-Apr-2013)
  2. Re: Germanic 'Jörð' vs. Turkic 'yer/yurt'    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (19-Apr-2013)

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