E 0675 PEAR

The word " pear " is of uncertain, but Indo European origin .

H 0727 י ר פ

Concept of root : fruit

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

י ר פ

pěri

fruit

Related English words

pear, Old English peru, pere

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

י ר פ

pěri

fruit

p . r . y

Latin

pirum;

pirus

pirum;

pirus

pear;

pear tree

p . r

English

pear

pear

p . r

Old English

peru, pere

pear

p . r

Italian

pera;

pero

pera;

pero

pear;

pear tree

p . r

Old High German

bira

bira

pear

b . r

German

Birne

birne

pear

b . r n

 

 

Hebrew PERI < Proto-Semitic *PERÀ --- *PĒR- Indo-European

 

 

There are several roots in Hebrew that begin with the two consonants P and R and are connected with the concept of fertility and fruits of nature. Obviously such concepts in Hebrew like in other languages are also used figuratively.

 

The peculiarity of this case of similarity is that the same root that in Hebrew carries a message of fruit in general, in Latin has been concentrated on one specific be it in old times very important type of fruit, the pear.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. The word "peri" is certainly related top the verb "פ ר ה, P R H (accentuated vowel)", present in entry E 0332 (Hebrew 0711). We find thus a two consonant root "*P.R", which confirms the similarities with Indo European tongues. It is used in Phoenician for "fruit". Aramaic has "פ י ר א , peir= fruit" and Syriac "פ א ר א , per' = fruit". Interesting, Akkadian "piru = posterity". Proto-Semitic probably had "פ ר , P . R ." and perhaps also "*פ י ר , P Y R". In the comparison we present a vowel " E " as seen in Aramaic and Syriac and an accentuated second vowel after the " R ".

 

Note:
  • Latin often uses one root for a specific tree and its fruit, as in this example. Sometimes one gender indicates the tree ( here masculine ), another one ( here neutrum ) the fruit. Italy has a comparable system, but as it has only male and female gender, the tree is a "pero" and the fruit a "pera".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The words for pear are considered to have been derived from Latin, in a very complicated way. Italian "pera", French "poire" and English" pear" from Latin "pirum", but German "Birne" in a later phase , from a plural "biren" that became (how come ?) singular and than added an unexplainable final short E. All this to demonstrate that the original Germanic word for "pear" either never existed, or has disappeared and remains unknown.

     

    We agree that there must have been a Germanic word for "pear", because the tree is indigenous to an important part of Europe and must have been known to speaers of Germanic long before their contact with the Romans. But we believe it will have been related to the other ones. It is still possible, but not too probable that it had an initial B, while Latin and Hebrew had P. It is important to note that Old English, with peru = pear, in composed words used the vowel " I " : "pirie = pear-tree" and "pirgrāf = pear-orchard".

     

    There are two hypothesizes : "*P Ē R" and "P I R-", with a less probable third one : "*B I R-". If the vowel "I" was used in Proto-Germanic, a metathesis with the "R" seems to have been there between the phases of Germanic and Hebrew, unless the Hebrew " I " is originally due to an adjective.

 

Note:
  • Greek had two different words for "pear" : "akhras" was a wild pear or peartree and "apios" or "apion" meant the pear tree as well as its fruit. It has been tried to link "apios" to Latin "piros", seemingly with the hope to link the pear to a flame. Yes, the reasoning is that a pear has the form of a flame, and fire in Greek is "pr". Therefore a "pirum = pear" must be related to "pr = fire". One should just go and have a look at a pear tree full of fruit and see if one gets fire and flames in one’s mind !

     

    Greek has also the word "φ ε ρ μ α, pherma = fruit". This is often considered related to the important verb "phero = to carry", perhaps because it is also used to indicate the " fruit of the womb ", but it may rather be related to "fruit" as such. We see the same for the Latin words "ferax" and "fertilis".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. Armenian has the word "ber = fruit".

     

    We refer to entry E 0332 (Hebrew 0711) with a two consonant root that may in Indo-European have the same predecessor as the actual entry . Further we recall number E 0367 (Hebrew 0712) with a lengthened root in both Semitic and Indo-European.

     

    On the basis of Germanic, Latin and Greek a two consonant "*P . R" is probable. The initial " B " in German, as in Armenian, is due to a local change. The vowel may have been " E " or " I " . We opt for a long " Ē " : "*P Ē R-", though there is no way to be certain about the vowel.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 20/11/2012 at 12.22.17