LINGUIST List 10.655

Tue May 4 1999

Sum: English Roots/English Words

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Jack Williams, English Roots within English Words/Completion Summary

Message 1: English Roots within English Words/Completion Summary

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 18:25:14 -0400
From: Jack Williams <>
Subject: English Roots within English Words/Completion Summary

I am doing research on English roots and sememes. I was aware of books on
Latin roots of English words; Greek roots; IDE roots, etc. But I had not
seen any books listing English roots within its own language.

Three recommendations were provided in the survey. One of which was
directly relevant.

Norman Bird, 1990, A first handbook of the roots in English, St. Helier
(Jersey): Lapine Education & Language Services, pp.11-107 'The Germanic
 Recommended by Max Wheeler,

Calvert Watkins, 1985. The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European
Roots. Houghton Mifflin: Boston.
 Recommended by Terry Potter,

"English index in Grandsaignes d'Hauterives,_Les racines des languages
indo-europeenes_, Larousse, circa 1950.
 Recommended by Geoffrey Sampson

The first book contained a list of English roots. Norman Bird also wrote:
2) The Distribution of Indo-European Root Morphemes (A checklist for
Philologists), 1982, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
In this book he reviewed Pokorny's IDE roots and numbered them.

In his 1992 book, beside each English root, he wrote the corresponding IDE

3) The Roots and Non-Roots of Indo-European (A Lexicostatisical Survey),
1993, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden. The IDE roots are listed along with
his number and for each word indicates usage in each applicable IDE

I appreciate the assistance of the responders in identifying these elusive

Thanks to the Linguist for having a system that can locate books worldwide.

 Jack Williams
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