Pre-Proto-Germanic

Variously described and much-debated since its first "discovery" more than a century ago, Pre-Proto-Germanic is a headache or a thrill to study - depending on your disposition. Germanic has long been characterized as having strong non-Indo-European influences, first by Jakob Grimm and later formalized by Sigmund Feist. Feist's arguments were made in 1932 and are well outdated, but his idea that Germanic absorbed lexical information from extinct, unattested languages has won many converts.

More conservative scholars tended to downplay the role of non-IE substrata in Germanic. Just because a word has unclear origins does not mean that it came from a substratum. The word may have been an internal innovation or a native IE word that no longer has cognates in other tongues. Scholarly opinion is divergent, but what can be safely said is that all scholars agree that there are some Pre-Proto-Germanic words that crept into Germanic languages. The difficulty is to discern which etyma are non-IE and understand what it can it tell us.

The strongest candidates for stratum are words that have cognates in other language families that point to non-IE morphophonology. That multiple families have the lexeme excludes the possibility that the item arose from internal innovation and gives us two options: either the item came from PIE and underwent idiosyncratic developments or it came from a third party source. 


*ag-r ["tree (?)," "plant (?)"] North European Substratum or European Substratum. Kroonen calls this one an obvious substratum loan. [Kroonen doesn't go nearly far enough and he misses his own underhand pitches when he could've hit a homerun; see *akr- here and *akr- in Tree Names]. This may all come from PIE *h2eug- "grow" as Tocharian B oko "fruit" portends an IE origin. Kroonen 2014.

*akrana(n.) "tree fruit," "acorn." Proto-Germanic. Reveals suffix *-ana- "fruit."

akran "fruit" Gothic.

akarn "acorn" Old Norse.

acorn "acorn" English.

akeran "beechnut," "acorn" Old High Germanic.

*agr-on-a: "berries," "fruits." Proto-Celtic.

aeron "id." Welsh.

*agrn-io- "sloes," "berries," "plums" Proto-Celtic.

agoda "fruit" Old Church Slavonic.

jágoda "berry" Russian.

*h2og-eh2- "berry" Proto-Baltic.


*a ~ *æ ~ *o: Archaic Proto-Germanic ablauting pattern. According to Boutkan (1999), Proto-Germanic has retained an archaic, non-IE ablaut pattern. See 'Was there a non-IE ablaut in Proto-Germanic?' for an outline of the  full argument. Criticized for having better explanations in PIE in Kroonen (2011).


*Hóito- "oath." Possibly PIE but could also be a substratum based on the limited range of the word and the semantic closeness. Kroonen notes this is probably part of a regional legal tradition and that many Germanic words have peculiar deriviations of 'oath' (e.g. Swedish ed-gång- "oath-walk"). Boutkan & Siebinga 2013; Kroonen 2014.

*aiþa- (m.) "oath." Proto-Germanic.

óeth "oath." Old Irish.


AKR? "maple tree." Substratum. Unreconstructed source to lemmata in Greek, Proto-Italic, and Proto-Germanic. Likely if we assume that Latin and Germanic forms are related and are also related to Greek. For alternate proposal, see *akr-no-. [Kroonen's theory of syllabic *-r- < *-Vr- is extremely parsimonius, even here. Even under de Vaan's thesis, we are almost inexorably led to accept *akr-].

ἄκαστος "maple tree" Greek. From *ἄκαρ-στος?. de Vaan 2014; Leschber 2012.

*ak-er- "maple tree." Proto-Italic. Proto-Italic borrowing via unknown source.

acer, -eris (n. r.) "maple tree." Latin. The only Latin tree-name of unclear etymology that is masculine and not feminine. [Germanic cognates seem more likely than the Greek proposals]. de Vaan 2014; Leschber 2012.

*aχurna- "maple tree." Proto-Germanic; Substratum. From ahorn "maple tree." Old High Germanic. de Vaan 2014.

*aχira- "maple tree." Proto-Germanic; Substratum. Reflexes in Old Danish, New High German. de Vaan 2014.


*akr-no- "maple tree." Pre-Proto-Germanic; Substratum. Note: syllabic *r. Proposal linking Germanic forms with Latin but not to Greek. For alternative explanation see AKR?. Kroonen 2014.

*ahra- "maple tree." Proto-Germanic. Non-nasalized whence Swedish ära and Danish ære-træ. Kroonen 2014.

*ahurna- "maple tree." Proto-Germanic. Main form. Reflex also in Old Church Slavonic borrowing avor-ovъ "made of maple." Kroonen 2014.

*ak-r- "maple tree." Pre-Proto-Italic; Substratum. 

*ak-er- "maple tree." Proto-Italic. Syllabic *-r- receives vowel.

acer, -eris (n. r.) "maple tree." Latin. The only Latin tree-name of unclear etymology that is masculine and not feminine. [Germanic cognates seem more likely than the Greek proposals]. de Vaan 2014; Leschber 2012.


(A)LAU? "lark." An initial a-vocalism like *arut- points to a substratal borrowing of unknown value. Schrijver 1997b; Kroonen 2014.

*alauz- "lark." Pre-form in Proto-Celtic.

*laiwaz- [type of bird?] Pre-form in Proto-Germanic.

*laiwaz/s- Proto-Germanic.

*laiwizako:n- (m.) "lark." Diminutive suffix *-iko:n-


*alk- ["holy place". Western European.] Kroonen 2014.

*alh- (m.) "temple." Proto-Germanic.

alkas (m.) "sacred hill grove." Lithuanian


*alsnos "alder" Substratum. Mallory & Adams (1997) note that this hinges upon not accepting Hittite alanza(n) as indicative of a Proto-Anatolian *h2elsnos via metathesis. If we buy that Hittite is related, this is probably from PIE *h2éliso/eh2-. That being said, underlying form in non-Anatolian reflexes suggests *a-li-so, a distinctly non-IE pattern. Balto-Slavic and Discovered suffixes *ß-s-/-is. de Vaan 2014.

*alsno- Proto-Italic. [Matches closely PBS *a/el(i)snio-].

alnus (f. o.) "alder" Latin. Note: no Greek cognates. de Vaan 2014.

*a/elisaH "alder," "spruce." Proto-Balto-Slavic. de Vaan 2014.

*a/el(i)snio- "alder thicket," "marsh," "dale." Proto-Balto-Slavic. de Vaan 2014.

*alis/zo "alder." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old High Germanic, Modern Dutch and Spanish (via unattested Gothic). de Vaan 2014.

*al-s- "alder." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old Icelandic, Old English. de Vaan 2014.


*a-msl- "blackbird." Northern European. First noticed by Schrijver (1997b) for its bizarre vowel-grading. See MESAL? in Pre-Proto-Celtic for alternative proposal. Kroonen 2014.

*amslo:n- (f.) "blackbird." Proto-Germanic. 

amsala (f.) Old High Germanic.

Amsel (f.) German.

o:sle (f.) Old English.

*mesal-eh2- "blackbird." Proto-Italic.

merula (f.) Latin.

*mesal-k-eh2- Proto-Celtic.

moelh (f.) Old Cornish.

moualc (f.) Breton.

mwyalch (f.) Welsh.


*-ana- "fruit" North European or European Substratum. Kroonen 2014.

*akrana- (n.) "tree fruit," "acorn." Proto-Germanic.

*agr-on-a: "berries," "fruits." Proto-Celtic.

*aldana- "tree fruit," "mast" Proto-Germanic. 

-on berry suffix. Old Swedish. 

hiupon "rose hips." Old Swedish.


*arud- "ore lump." Northern European; [Metallurgical Substratum]. A very ancient substratum item if indeed one. Kroonen 2014.

*arut- "ore lump" ?. Proto-Germanic. 

arut (m.) Old Dutch.

*arut-taugo:- (f.) monetary unit. 

ørtog Old Norse.

ertog Old Norse.

aruz (m.) Old High Germanic.

*arutja- (n.) "ore." Proto-Germanic.

aruzi (n.) Old High Germanic.

Erz (n.) German.

*raud- "ore lump." Pre-form.

raudus / ru:dus "ore lump." Latin.

urud(u) "copper." Sumerian. Connection unclear, Kroonen admits. 


ASET? a great sea creature. A bizarre example because of a relict ablauting pattern that's clearly non-IE unless there was an idiosyncratic post-PIE chesterization. [Base pair must have been *a-s-e-tr- (a-prefix + infix) ~ *str- (affixless)]. Schrijver 1997b; Kroonen 2014.

*asetr- "whale," "sturgeon." Proto-Balto-Slavic.

*osetrъ "sturgeon." Proto-Slavic.

*sturja/o:n- (m./f.) "sturgeon." Proto-Germanic.


BAGG? "mud." Substratum. Original a coastal term, the word was borrowed into German. Slawski (1952) supposes Proto-Germanic *bagra-, with a relationship with Proto-Slavic *bagno- as relicts of an r/n-stem. Polome 1993.

baggher "mud," "sludge." Middle Dutch.

baggaert Middle Dutch.

baggelje Frisian.

baggeln Groningen (dialectical).


*bhardha: "beard." Indo-European Substratum. Pokorny suggests this word was a dialect innovation among the IE speakers that would later become the Germanic and Balto-Slavic branches. The a-vocalism may imply a substratum word. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

barba Latvian.

brada Old Church Slavonic.

*bard- "beard" with metaphorical extension to "axe" in some languages. Proto-Germanic.

barzdà Lithuanian.


*bhenH- ["tall grass"]. Substratum. Kroonen 2014.

*benuta- (m.) "bentgrass." Proto-Germanic.

*bunuta- (m.) "tufted grass." Proto-Germanic.


*besm-an- (m.) "rod," "birch." Proto-West Germanic Substratum. Boutkan & Siebinga cite Pfiefer (1989) [without further information of the citation] who compares Germanic forms to Latin fiscus "basket" but given the limited attestation to West Germanic, Boutkan & Siebinga (2013) prefer non-IE origins.


BEU? An after-note Kroonen makes in *benuta- in the Dictionary. Kroonen 2014.

*beuso:- (f.) "bulrush." Proto-Germanic.


*blo:þaN "blood." Proto-Germanic. Traditionally assumed to come from PIE *bhleH- "swell," "bubble up" (de Vries 1992) but rejected by Boutkan & Siebinga (2013), presumably for semantic reasons. Kroonen (2014) draws a derivational pathway from Proto-Germanic *ble:an- "blow" ( < PIE *bhléh1-e-) or *blo:an- (v.) "flower" ( < PIE *bhléh3-e-)in the sense of 'redness' gushing or blooming forth.


EEL? "eel." Substratum. Identified by Polome (1993) as a pre-IE word from along the coast. Eel was once an important dietary staple during the Mesolithic era in the land the Germanic language would come to be spoken. De Vries (1971) links this with Norwegiian (dialectical) ulka "sticky slime" and Old Indic a:lam "spawn."

aal Dutch.

Aal German.

ål Swedish.

eel English.


EPR? "(wild) boar." Substratum. Initial vowels disagree in each proto-language, leading one to conclude they were borrowed. [Implying *VVpr?]. Kroonen 2014.

*epr- Pre-Proto-Germanic.

*ebura- (m.) "boar." Proto-Germanic.

*apro- Pre-Proto-Italic.

aper (m.) "wild boar," "type of fish." Latin.

abrons (acc. pl.) Umbrian.

*uepri- (m.) "boar." Pre-Proto-Balto-Slavic.

vepris "castrated boar." Latvian.

veprь "wild boar." Old Church Slavonic.


(E)LM? "elm tree," "elm." Substratum. Much has been written about this problem. Some linkages to PIE yield *h1elmo- / *h1olmo- / *h1lmo- which de Vaan (2014) describes as "hardly credible." [There is a clear ablaut at work here and writing this off as non-IE seems too easy]. Germanic reflexes do not point to a single Proto-Germanic form and they were not borrowed from Latin (and there were Germanic languages that did borrow from Latin/Old French). Other elm lemmata can be retraced to PIE (see de Vaan 2014 for a list). Schrijver (1997) argues Celtic vs. Germanic and Italic demonstrates an Old European *Vlm- / *lVm- alternation. Schrijver 1997; Leschber 2012; de Vaan 2014. [Someone should find the historical range for elm trees in Eurasia]. Counter proposals include *elmo- (Watkins) and *h1élem ~ *h1(e)lmos which Mallory & Adams (1997) opine may be the remnant of an old root noun. [Mallory & Adams have the most convincing explanation, see *ui(n)ǵ- in their Encylopedia].

*lVm-

*limo- "elm" Proto-Celtic. 

lem "elm" Old Irish.

*Vlm-

*elmos "elm" Early Proto-Italic.

*olmos "elm" Proto-Italic.

ulmus (f. o.) "elm," "elm tree." Latin.

ëlmboum "elm" Old High Germanic. 

elm "elm" English.

almr "elm" Old Icelandic. 


*fraisanaN (f.) "danger." Proto-Germanic. Different verbal and nominal formations may indicate non-IE origin. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.


*fre:/i:sa "Frisian." Proto-Frisian. Demonym of unclear origins. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.


GAPR? "goat." European. Differences between *k- and *g- cannot be resolved into a sole proto-form, which Kroonen (2014) probably takes as evidence of differences in the substratum language.

*kap-ro- "billy goat." Pre-form in Proto-Germanic, Greek, and Latin.

caper (m.) "billy goat." Latin.

*hafra- (m.) Proto-Germanic.

κάπρος "wild boar." Greek. [Evidently believes a pre-form *kap-ro- with syncope]. 

*habran- (m.) "oats." Faroese havur can mean "goat" and "unthreshed corn," which Kroonen takes as evidence that this etymon was derived from *kap-ro-.

*gabro- "billy goat." Proto-Celtic. Only attested in Insular forms.


*gis-nó- "pine tree." Substratum. Kroonen 2014.

*kizna- "pine tree" Proto-Germanic. 

*ké:zna- "pine tree" Proto-West Germanic.

cen "pine tree" Old English.

Kien "pine tree" German.

*gis-usto- "pine tree" Proto-Celtic. 

crand-gíus "pine tree" Old Irish.

giumhas "resin" Irish. Difficult to trace to *gis-usto-, perhaps representative of alternative Proto-Celtic etymon.

giuthas "fir" Gaelic. Same difficulty as giumhas

*kuse, *kose type of tree Proto-Uralic. Variously reconstructed.

kuusi "fir," "spruce" Finnish.

guossâ "spruce" North Saami.


*ǵis-o "gravel." Northern European. Probably ultimately from the Caucasus. Kroonen 2014.

*kisa- (m.) "gravel." Proto-Germanic.

*kisila- (m.) "gravel." Proto-Germanic. Diminutive.

*ǵ(e)is-ro/eh2- (f.) "gravel," "sand." Proto-Baltic. 


*ǵogh-on- "shrub," "stem of a (small) tree" North European Substratum. Perhaps related to *ko:ko:n- (see *ko:kko:n-) and *kagila-. Kroonen 2014.

*kagan- (m.) "stem of a (small) tree" Proto-Germanic. 

kagi (m.) "shrub," "young tree." Old Norse.

cag "trunk." English.

*ǵogh-oro- [(m.) "part of a tree," "shrubbery"] Proto-Baltic.

žãgaras (m.) "twig," (pl.) "shrubs" Lithuanian.

žagari (pl.) "shrubs" Latvian.


GRVS? "gristle." Substratum to Proto-West Germanic. [A late date loan to Proto-West Germanic or an internal innovation?] Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

*gris- Northern West Germanic languages (Frisian, English, Low Germanic)

*gris-t-l- Proto-West Germanic. Reflexes in Old English and Old Frisian. Reflex in Middle Low Germanic probably imported from Frisian.

*gru/os- Southern West Germanic languages (High Germanic and Saxon).

*gros-il- Proto-West Germanic. Reflex in Old High Germanic and Old Saxon.

*gru/os-p-il- Proto-West Germanic. Reflex in Old High Germanic.

*gru/os-t-il/ul/l- Proto-West Germanic. Reflex in Old High Germanic.

*gros-t Proto-West Germanic. Reflex in Old English that seems to bizarrely conforms to the Southern *gru/os- form. [Possibly contamination from Saxon invaders to the British Isles?].


*gVg- "jaw." Pre-Proto-Germanic. A non-IE ablaut pattern and the Germanic words points to an impossible *gVg- in Pre-Germanic. [Problem also occurs elsewhere, see *ǵVgh-]. Boutkan & Siebinga. 

*keuk- "jaw" Proto-Germanic.

*kauko:n- "cheek." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old English.

*ke:kan- "jaw." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old Frisian, Middle Low Germanic, and Middle Duthc.

*keko:n- "jaw." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Middle Low Germanic and Norwegian.

*ko:ko: "mouth." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old Norse.


[*ǵVgh- "wood," "tree segment" Indo-European Substratum. Disclosure: my own hypothesis, not found in peer-reviewed literature. An Indo-European daughter language that arrived in Europe prior to surviving families that retained palatal *ǵ from PIE. Reflexes betray larger IE ablauting pattern as well as tree suffix *-on- found in Italic. 

*ǵogh-on- "shrub," "small part of tree" North European. Suffix *-on- is not NFS PIE *-on- but related to arboreal suffixes Italic *-n- (cf. fraxinus) and Celtic *-Vn- and possibly Greek. See *ὀξύα -η in Tree Names.

*kagan- "part of (small) tree" Proto-Germanic. Kroonen 2014.

*ǵogh-oro- "id." Proto-Baltic. Kroonen 2014.

*kagila- "cone," "wedge," "pin." Probably "wooden cone/wedge/slice" from *kag-ila with unknown *-ila suffix.

*ke:kka(n)"wooden henge for punishment" Pre-Proto-Germanic. Vowel extension from ablaut, stress shift or proterodynamite. More research needed. < *ke:gh-ka(n)-.

*ko:kko:n- "skid," "sledge runner." Skids were made of wood. Vowel extension either from ablaut, *o:-mutation, stress shift, reduplication (?) or proterodynamite. More research needed. < *ko:gh-ko:n-.

*ko:ko:n- (m.) "skid" Proto-Germanic.


*ho:d- ~ *hatt- "hat." Substratum. Proto-Germanic. Form points to an impossible structure in PIE. Compared with Latin cassis "helmet," which was identified in Isidore's encyclopedia Etymologiae (8.14.1) as an Etruscan loan. Other problems an include unusual ablaut, alternate consonant length. Connection with Proto-Germanic *heđ-en-az "clothing" is dismissed. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.


HNAI? ? European Substratum. *gw / *k alternation cannot be explained from PIE, and if *hneipa- is a cognate, then the *gw / *k / *p is most definitely inexplicable. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

co:ni:veo: "eyes closed." Latin.

*hnaigw-a- "bent down," "humble." Proto-Germanic.

*hnaigw-eja- "incline," "bend." Proto-Germanic.

*hneigwanaN (v.) "bend," "bow," "subject to." Proto-Germanic.

*hneip- "to be downcast," "lose heart," "droop." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old Norse. Note the *p.

*hnigw-æ- "bend down." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old English.

*hnigw-no- "sink." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old Norse.

*hnik(k)-ja- "bend," "nod." Proto-Germanic.


*Hóito- "oath." Possibly PIE but could also be a substratum based on the limited range of the word and the semantic closeness. Kroonen notes this is probably part of a regional legal tradition and that many Germanic words have peculiar deriviations of 'oath' (e.g. Swedish ed-gång- "oath-walk"). Boutkan & Siebinga 2013; Kroonen 2014.

*aiþa- (m.) "oath." Proto-Germanic.

óeth "oath." Old Irish.


*Holdh-eh2- "tree hollow," (metaphorical) "boat" North European Substratum. [A relationship with Proto-Kartvelian *ḳod- "hollows," *ḳod- "vessel made from one piece of wood" ( > *ḳod-i "Holzgefäß," "Specht" in Fahnrich 2007) and *ḳod-al- "woodpecker" (second element unclear) is impossible to ignore (Klimov 1998; Fahnrich 2007). A common loanword would imply the boat metaphor is very ancient, and that the boat is for river navigation through Eurasia. Most likely this is a loan into PIE from a very early time, possibly as old as middle PIE]. Kroonen 2014.

*aldo:(n)- "hollow (of a tree)" Proto-Germanic.

*Holdh-ih2-, (gen.) *-ieh2-s "boat," "hollow (of a tree)," "canoe" Proto-Balto-Slavic.


IL? "footsole," "callus." Refers to a broad selection of Proto-Germanic words that resist etymology. Occaisionally compared to Latin and Greek lemmata (Pokorny 1959) and possibly linked to PIE *h1ei- but semantically problematic. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

*ileþ- "callus." Reflexes in Middle Low Germanic, Old Dutch and possibly Old Norse.

*ili (m.) "footsole." Reflexes in Old English, Old Frisian, and Middle Low Germanic.

ília "female sex organs." Greek. A semantic stretch.

i:lia "belly." Latin. Boutkan & Siebinga (2013) note that the word points to a long *i.

*ilja- "callus." Reflex in Old English.

*iljen- "bump," "bruise." In minor High German dialects.

*iljō "footsole." Reflex in Old Norse.


*kagila- ["pin," "cone," "wedge"] North European Substratum. [See note under *kVg-]. Kroonen 2014.


*ke:kka(n)- ["wooden pole or henge for punishment"]. Hypothetical geminate origins mirror *ko:ko:n- (see *ko:kko:n-). [It is possible that *ke:kka(n) and *ko:kko:n- are related with double-ablaut (< *kVk/g-kVn- < *kVg- "branch") with first part related to *ǵogh-on- "shrub" but entering the language after *ǵ > *k shift and *-on- representing different suffix; see note on *ǵVgh-] Kroonen 2014.

cake (f.); caek (m.) "scaffold" Middle Dutch.

ka:k (m.) "pillory" Middle Low Germanic.


*klun-i- "maple tree" Substratum. Possible European loanword but perhaps from PIE *kléu-un (nom.); *klu-én-s (gen.) as a proterodynamic noun satisfies vowel disagreement in various reflexes. [Probably barking up the wrong tree here on this one.] Kroonen 2014.

*hluni- Proto-Germanic. 

*kleu-o- Proto-Baltic.

*klen-o- Proto-Slavic.


*ko:kko:n- "skid," ["sledge runner."] If related to *kagan- (see *gogh-on-) then we can reconstruct a Pre-Proto-Germanic geminate. Kroonen 2014.

*ko:ko:n- (m.) "skid" Proto-Germanic.


*kark-ú- ["rocky mound?"] Pre-Proto-Germanic. [While no one doubts this is a substratum word, I find this reconstruction less convincing than alternative proposals: see *kar(r)- in Paleo Iberian Languages. While the word has a generous supply of possible cognates in Western Europe, Proto-Kartvelian *xarg- "heap of stones,"*kwa- "stone" and even *ḳurḳa- "fruit pit" should not be discounted as plausible cousins of the same Eurasian Wanderwort (Klimov 1998). If the Germanic form is related to Kartvelian, then we should no longer connect it with Celtic forms, which may be related to a different Wanderwort.] Kroonen 2014.

*hargú- "sacrifical mound?" Proto-Germanic. Kroonen argues previous reconstruction *haruga- does not account for Finnish form. [Contrast Proto-Kartvelian *xarg- "heap of stones."]

hǫrgr "pile of stones" "sanctuary." Old Norse. 

hearg "pagan temple," "idol." Old English.

harug "grove," "place of sacrifice." Old High Germanic.

karkko, -u "pile," "stone wall," "cliff." Finnish. Borrowing from Proto-Germanic.

*krakia:- "rock." Proto-Celtic. See entry in Pre-Proto-Celtic..

*krakka:- "small hill." Proto-Celtic. See entry in Pre-Proto-Celtic.

*krn- "heap of stones." Proto-Celtic. See entry in Pre-Proto-Celtic.

*krs-Vk-ā:- "stone," "rock." Proto-Celtic. [I find this reconstruction hard to believe]. See entry in Pre-Proto-Celtic.


*knu-C- "nut." Western European. A classic substratum term. [Note the incompatible suffixes. This needs work]. Kroonen 2014.

*knud- "nut." Pre-form in Proto-Germanic.

*hnut-z, (pl.) *hnut-iz (f.) "nut." Proto-Germanic.

*knuk- "nut." Pre-form in Latin.

*knuH- "nut." Pre-form in Proto-Celtic.


KROD? "toad." Substratum. Only in Germanic languages in the south. A relationship with Greek bátrakhos can be discounted (De Vries 1971). The geographic isolation to southern Germanic languages makes this an interesting candidate. Polome 1993.

[O/A-form Ablaut.]

cra/ode Middle Dutch.

krade Middle Low German.

krota Old High German.

[E-form Ablaut.]

krede Middle Low German.

kreta Old High German.


*kumar "lobster." Substratum; [Mediterranean?]. Greek variations point to a non-IE pre-form. Kroonen 2014.

*humara- (m.) "lobster." Proto-Germanic.

κάραβος (m.) "lobster." Greek.


*lent-eh2- "lime tree." Substratum. A Germanic and Balto-Slavic Wanderwort. Kroonen 2014.

*lindo:- (f.) "lime tree" Proto-Germanic.

*lont-o- "lime tree bark" Proto-Slavic.

*lont-io- "lime tree bark," "willow twig(?)." Proto-Slavic.

*lent-eh2- "lime tree bark," "board." Proto-Baltic


*maldo:- "saltbrush." Substratum. This reconstruction is assumed if the word is not IE and not related to Greek forms. If one attempts a reconstruction into PIE, Kroonen (2014) offers *molt-ieh2, and if one accepts the Greek lemmata as cognates then we would see *mlit- (among other possible reconstructions not listed here, see Kroonen (2014)).

*maldjo- (f.) "saltbrush." Proto-Germanic. The *-a- is affirmed by Old Saxon.

*maldo:- Proto-Germanic.

molla Swedish.

malda Cimbrian.

*malćća "chickweed." Proto-Finnic. May not be related, see note in Kroonen (2014).


*mli:uo- "lead" (metal). Wanderwort. Kroonen's pre-IE reconstruction for a very hotly contested subject. Kroonen has paired the Proto-Germanic form with Greek words that alternate between /m/ and /b/ (see *molu(m)bd- in Pre-Italic). While *m/*b variation is admittedly characteristic of substrata, Beekes (2014) notes that the alternation occurs in Greek at a very late date and most linguists link the Greek forms to Anatolian borrowings and independent of the Germanic. While the Germanic lemma is a reflex of unknown origin, its ties to Greece are tenuous at best. Kroonen 2014.

*bli:wa- (n.) "lead" (metal). Proto-Germanic.


*mok-on- "stomach," "bag." Northern European; European. Kroonen (2014) notes that plain *k points to a possible substratum word.

*magan- (m.) "stomach." Proto-Germanic.

*mak-o- (m.) "stomach," "gums" (?). Proto-Baltic.

*moki:-na:- (f.) "bellows." Proto-Celtic.

*mok-in-eh2- (f.) "small bag," "pouch." Proto-Slavic.


*mrk- / *brk- "wild carrot." European. Kroonen (2014) speculates it was a term for an edible root plant that entered haphazardly (semantically speaking) into incoming IE languages. Connection of Greek lemma to deviant βάκανον "cabbage seeds" suggests a substratum (Furnée 1972). [If it weren't for the Slavic twain, I would have dismissed the *m/*b alterations much like *molu(m)bd- in Pre-Proto-Celtic].

*murho:n- (f.) "wild carrot." Proto-Germanic.

*mrk-/*brk- "wild vegetables." Pre-form of Greek.

βράκανα (n.pl.). Greek.

*brk- Pre-form of Slavic.

borkan "wild carrot." Russian.

bur̃kãns Latvian. Loanword.

porkkana Finnish. Loanword from Slavic source, probably Russian.

*mrk-uH- Proto-Slavic.


RAP? "turnip." Western European. An agricultural substratum term. Note the dual a-prefix with zero-grade versus zero-prefix with full grade that is so common among substratum terms. A full reconstruction, however, is not offered. Schrijver 1997b; Kroonen 2014.

*arp- Pre-form of Welsh erfin.

*ra:p- Pre-form of Lithuanian and Latvian (Kroonen scoffs at putative *reh2p-.

*ră:p-(h)- Pre-form of Proto-Germanic.

*ro:bjo:n- (f.) Proto-Germanic.

*răp(h)- Pre-form of Greek ῥάπυς, ῥάφυς (f.).

*re:p- Pre-form of Slavic forms.


SAKS? "sedge." Substratum. Classic dissagreement with a-prefix and zero-grade versus prefixless grades which implies a non-IE source. Kroonen 2014.

*asak-eh2- Pre-form of Slavic (cf. Belorussian osaka).

*sagja- Pre-form of Old Saxon.

*sákas-o- (m.) Pre-form of Proto-Germanic.

*sahaza- (m.) Proto-Germanic.

*seha- Pre-form of Old Saxon.

*sek-s(k)-i- Pre-form of Celtic forms through metathesis.


*salik-/*selik- "sallow," "willow." European; [Wanderwort]. Widely attested but understudied. Counter-proposal is PIE *saləḱ/k- "willow." [The a-vocalism is clearly a divisive point here; one must make a value judgment: accept the a-vowel as IE or not, but with the homogeneity of gender as well as quadra-familial attestation, this looks at least like a borrowing from a late stage in narrow PIE rather than during Proto-Germanic]. If one rejects the Mycenaean form as unrelated then we are left with just the first, *salik-. Kroonen 2014.

*saliho:n- (f.) "sallow," "willow." Proto-Germanic.

*salik-(f.) "willow." Pre-form to Italic and Celtic. 

sail, (gen.) sailech "willow." Proto-Celtic.

salix (f.) "willow." Latin.

*selik- "willow." Pre-form to Greek dialects.

e-ri-ka "willow." Mycenaean.

ἑλίκη "willow." Arcadian Greek.


*sle:pa:- (n.) "sleep." Proto-Germanic. Pokorny has linked this with a root meaning "become weak." Even if there is a connection, the root is still probably non-IE. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

*sle:1panaN (v.) "sleep." Proto-Germanic.


*skalka- (m.) "servant." Proto-Germanic. Intriguingly proposed to be from the name of a subjugated people. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013; Kroonen 2014.


*sme:r- "clover." Western European. We see a stress patter in the pre-forms that led to uneven vowel patterns in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Celtic. Schrijver 1997b; Kroonen 2014.

*semmar- "clover." Proto-Celtic.

*simmar- "clover." Proto-Celtic.

*sme:ran- (f.) "clover." Proto-Germanic.

*smairan- (f.) "clover." Proto-Germanic.

*sme:rjo:n- (f.) "clover." Proto-Germanic. 

uisumaris "clover." Gaulish. Only a single attestation in the 4th/5th centuries. [Probably < ui-sumaris, but of unknown significance]. 


SIL? "silver" Wanderwort. Most metallurgical names are travelers of the European continent yet with unknown origins. The traditional European name for silver was *h2erģ-nt-o "the white (metal)." No one has been able to make heads or tails of a reconstruction, however. Note that silver was mined first in the Caucasus and then traded westward. Neolithic silver mines in western Europe were not begun till much later, which implies that the name for silver should have traveled from west to east -- yet it doesn't (Fortson 2011) Beekes (2014) attempts to rectify this problem by proposing Greek and Caucasian names for iron are connected with SIL? and underwent some sort of semantic shift. Polome 1989; Trask 2004; Kroonen 2014.

[śalir unknown meaning. Iberian. Occurs in pecuniary formula iltiŕta-śalir-ban. Laminal /s/ is shared with Basque zilar as /śVlVr/ and otherwise unique to Europe. While Iberian and Basque languages are unlikely to be related, they shared a numeration system, the product of years of close contac. Ending -ban evidently mirrors Basque ban "one," "a," "single," yielding something like "one śalir (silver coin?)." Other European words could be re-interpreted as unwittingly internalizing *sila-/*salir- "silver" + *bar "one" as a single word.]

*silabur- Proto-Germanic. 

silubr Gothic.

silfr Old Norse. [Was *-ur- re-analyzed as nom. case -r in Old Norse and later eliminated due to analogy?]

silofr Old English.

seolubr Old English.

siolfor Old English.

siluƀar Old Saxon.

sil(a)bar Old High Germanic

silver Middle Dutch.

silab/Pur Celtiberian. Competed with native Proto-Celtic *arganto-. Other Celtic tongues did not pick up the word.

σῐ́δηρος "iron" Greek. Usually not included by linguists, but Beekes (2014) notes the phonological similarities are too great to ignore. [If there is a connection, root *sil- may have been akin to "the white" or "the bright."]

*sirabras Proto-Baltic. Not immediately connected to alternate Baltic form found in Old Prussian.

sidãbras Lithuanian.

siraplis Old Prussian.

*su/irebro- Proto-Slavic. 

zido "iron" Udian. Most metals were first mined in the Caucasus and the mountains were a chief source of metal (Mallory & Adams 1997). The similarities with Greek σῐ́δηρος has not escaped the notice of Beekes (2014), who links the words to European words for silver. 

*zirar "silver" Proto-Basque. 

zilar "ibid." Basque, standardized.

zirar Old Bizkaian.

zidar Basque, various dialects.

zildar Gizpuzkoan. Cannot be reconstructed further. Evidently related to *zirar somehow. Trask 2004.


*skuldra- (m.) "shoulder." Proto-Germanic. As it is limited to West Germanic languages, it likely was a substratum borrowing or an innovation during the Proto-West Germanic stage and not earlier. This etymon, along with Proto-Germanic *ha:rdi- which was in North and West Germanic families, replaced the earlier Indo-European root for shoulder *amsa-, which survived piecemeal in Germanic languages. Kroonen 2014.


*sperh1- (?) ["wood"?]. Proto-Indo-European or Substratum. The range of this word is limited to Europe and may represent a substratum word. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

sparri "beam." Old Norse.

*spero:- ~ *sparro:- "spear." Proto-Germanic. *rr-geminate through influence of the laryngeal?

sparus Latin.

spharr "oak." Albanian.


*swVl(l)- "swell," "rise." Substratum. The variation between single and double l is curiously not mentioned in Boutkan (1999). Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

i:nsole:sco: "swell," "become unusual." Latin.

*swallejanaN (v.) "make swell." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old High Germanic and Old Norse.

*swellanaN (v.) "swell," "rise." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old Frisian and Old Norse.

*swe/il-k-o:n- "vesicle." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old English.

*swil- "bump." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old Saxon and Old High Germanic.

*swulla- "swelling." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in Old Frisian and Old Norse.

*swuli- "swelling." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old English.


*ß-s-/-is (suffixes) Substratum. Balto-Slavic and Germanic variations reveal twin suffixes of unknown meaning; appears in *alsnos. Derksen 2008.


TAUT? "people." Substratum. Pokorny's idea that the word is IE is dismissed by Boutkan & Siebinga (2013). Also dismissed is a connection to Hittite tuzzi. [What's unusual about this term, if it is indeed from a substratum, is that it his clearly a word of political and national significance (see Oscan lemma for example). Substrata in Europe are rarely of a political nature, excepting, to a limited extent, from Etruscan and Pre-Greek]. Beekes 1998.

tautà "people." Old Lithuanian.

táuta "people." Latvian.

tauto "land." Old Prussian.

*þeudo:- "people." Proto-Germanic. 

*to (gi)thiudo:i "in vernacular." Proto-Germanic. Reflexes in High and Low Germanic.

*to thiode "in vernacular." Proto-Germanic. Reflex in Old Frisian.

touto "citizenship," "the state." Oscan.

túath "people." Old Irish.


*þeuba- "thief." Proto-Germanic Substratum. Supposed to have originally referred to a specific type of theft which required borrowing from a substratum language. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

*þeubido: "theft." Proto-Germanic. Derivation.

*þeubio: "theft." Proto-Germanic. Derivation.


*trappo:(n)- (f.) "step." Proto-Germanic Substratum. Possible non-IE *i ~ *a ~ *u ablaut. [This is a waste of time to type out and probably PIE. See the corresponding reference in Boutkan & Siebinga 2013 if you want the full details.]


*wadh- "pledge." European Substratum. Boutkan & Siebinga 2013.

vãdas "surety," "guarantee." Lithuanian.

vadis "bail," "security." Latin.

vas Latin.

*wadja (n.) "pledge." Proto-Germanic.

*wadjo:naN (v.) "pledge." Proto-Germanic. Classic io-stem derivational verb.


WIK? "struggle," "battle." Substratum. Usually considered native to IE but dismissed by Boutkan & Siebinga (2013). Note that the Irish lemma points to a non-IE ablaut pattern.

fichid "struggle." Old Irish.

*ui:k- "fued," "anger," "resentment." Proto-Celtic. Reflex in Old Irish.

*uikk- "fierce." Proto-Celtic. Reflex in Welsh.

vinco: "vanquish." Latin.

vincter "conquers," "wins." Oscan.

*weig- "struggle," "battle." Proto-Germanic.


Bibliography.

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