E 0782 (TO) SEE , (TO) SHOW

The verbs " to see " and " to show " are of Germanic origin .

H 0886 ה ע ש

Concept of root : see and look

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ה ע ש

sha‛,

*shi‛

to look, look at, observe

Related English words

to see, show

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ה ע ש

sha‘,
*shi‘

-

to look, look at, observe

sh (a) ‛ .

Old English

sēon ;

sceawian

-

to see;

to look, observe

s (e) ;

sc (ea) w;

-

English

to see ;

to show

to see ;

to show

s (e) ;

sh (ow)

Swedish

se ;

skda

beskda

s ;

skoda,

beskoda

-

to see;

to see, observe

s (e) ;

sk (o )d

German

sehen , schauen , beschauen

seyen;

sh (au) wen

to see ;

to look ;

to observe

s (e) h;

sh (au)

Middle Dutch

sien ;

schouwen

-

sn;

sgh(ou)wen

-

to see;

to see,look, observe

s (i);

sch (ou)

-

 

 

Proto-Semitic *SHA‛À --- *SĒ-, *SĀG-, *SKŌW- Proto-Germanic

 

 

English "to see" is a verb that makes use of more than one root for its various forms. It shares this with other Germanic tongues. Between "see", "saw" and "sight" the briefest root is that of "see", just an S with a vowel E for pronunciation . We want to point out that , as shown in entry number E 0759 (Hebrew 0849), "to see" has not been derived from Latin "sequor" that says "to follow".

 

Also Hebrew has various older roots carrying messages in the field of viewing and seeing, as we see when comparing " ש ע ה = sha‛ " with " ס כ ה , sakh and ש ג ח , shagagh ". But the most important root in Hebrew is quite different : " ר א ה , ra’ = to see", related to Greek, as seen in entry E 0064 (Hebrew 0796).

 

The difference between Hebrew SH and English S is not significant. We will hear SH in dialectal European pronunciations of this root as well.

 

 

Note:
  • Hebrew. A combination "ש ע ה , SH Ayin + accentuated vowel, sha‛ " appears as root in the words of this entry E 0788 (Hebrew 0886), "to look, observe" and entry E 0769 (Hebrew 0887). "to turn, to happen, moment". The question rises if there is just one root with strongly divergent messages, as is often thought, or rather two roots that met each other in the idea of "to turn and look at what happens".

     

    We have preferred to make two seperate entries.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is seen in Akkadian "shē'u = to behold, look for" and has a cognate in Ugaritic, with "T" instead of "SH" in "T Aleph Yod = to look through, across". The root as found in Hebrew may well have been present in Proto-Semitic "*ש ע, SH Ayin + accentuated vowel".

 

Note:
  • Hebrew and Germanic. We observe that Germanic has diversified somewhat further than Hebrew the roots of the group that deals with the concept of "using one’s eyes", which is done by seeing, looking and observing. But languages not always keenly respect or observe the difference in sense between "see", "look" and "observe".

 

Note:
  • Germanic languages have another word still for "to look", that is German "gucken", Swedish "kika" and Dutch "kijken". Old English had "cicean" and "cican", not to be confused with "ciccan" for "to kick".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. SEE, SAW. One has to consider that the concepts of "to see" and "sight" in Germanic languages are expressed by verbal forms and nouns that have an initial consonant "S", that sometimes becomes "SJ (SH) or "Z", followed by a vowel that is either "E" , "I" or "A". But important is to see that in various cases there is a second consonant, a guttural "G" or "GH". One remarks that upon comparing with Hebrew we see that these variations are as well present in that language. We refer to entries E 0759 (Hebrew 0849) with "*sakh" and "sikhi", besides the actual E 0782 ( H 0886) with "sha'" and a noun "she'iy=looking".

     

    In Germanic languages, older and newer, infinitives of "to see" do not have a "G", besides Faroese "siggja". But there are various that have an "H" instead: Old Saxon and Old High German "sehan" and Gothic "saihan" in which a light "W" should be heard after that "H". The "H" in modern German "sehen" does not indicate a guttural but spells the distinction between the pronunciation of the two vowels . Then in some past tense forms and nouns we encounter the "G" and "H": Dutch "zag= saw" and "zicht" like "sight". The light "W"-sound in Gothic does not justify a supposition of such a sound in Proto-Germanic.

     

    There can be little doubt that Proto-Germanic also used more basic forms, "*S Ē-" or "S Ī-" and "*S Ă H or "*S Ă GH, each with some diversifying variations in the use of vowels.

     

    SHOW. There is a hypothesis ""*SK A WW -" for the meanings of "to look, observe" as in this entry. The related Germanic words have an opening consonantal sound that is nearly always "SK", but becomes "SH" in modern German "schauen" and English "show" , with "SGH (spelled "schouwen" )" in Middle Low German and Dutch. Middle Dutch also still used the SK-sound in "scouwen".

     

    The following vowel-sounds are diphthongs. Old North Franconian has both "scouwon" and "scauwon" gives a clear indication of an original long "Ō" becoming "OU". This "OU" is pronounced near "OW" in English "now" and the same goes for "AU" that is just a different spelling sounding more American. In modern languages it is hard to distinguish between the two. We see a spelling "AU" in Old Saxon "skauwon", and "OU" in Old High German "scouwon, Middle Dutch "scouwen, schouwen" and Dutch "schouwen". Old Frisian dialects maintained the "W" instead of "U" in "skawia" and "skowia" but left this out in "skoia". Old English gives us a good help by offering "sceawian". This "EA" is as known usually a development out of a long "Ō". Oddly Middle English, that is the Norman conquerors influencing the existing Old English, turned the clock back to "showen" that later became "show". Probably Proto-Germanic had "*SK Ō W-".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European There exist hypotheses : For "SEE" there is "sekw-", that is not right, as shown in entry E 0759 (Hebrew 0849). For "show" < "*sqou" , to compare with our hypothesis "*skow" for Proto-Germanic. Some proposed cognates there are. Greek "thuos = priest", so someone "overseeing sacrifices". For the occasion an original "*skowos" is hypothesized, but others see the root as it is seen in the word "thuos". The Sanscrit priest "kravis", Latin "caveo = to be careful, look out for (danger)" do not help us out either.

     

    The nearest comes Greek "σκοπεω, skopeo = to observe, examin", but it says neither "to see", nor "to show". We suppose it may be far off related to Proto-Germanic "*skōw", but we can not base a hypothesis for Indo-European on it.

     

    Regretfully we have no solid view of the road between Indo-European and Germanic. Our comparisons have to stay at that point : Semitic and Germanic, as very often is the case.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 30/11/2012 at 12.58.52