Finding English roots similar to Hebrew



Old English was a Germanic language. Through the Norman Conquest a very important number of French words was introduced, which led to the creation of Middle English. The French words were in vast majority based on Latin roots, though a minority was also of Germanic (esp. Frankish) origin. Very few seem relatable to other sources (Celtic). Further English has, like most modern European languages, many loanwords from Greek and Latin.


This means that the sources of English roots, similar to Hebrew, can be sought after in Latin and Greek, besides in the Germanic predecessors or sister words of modern English.


There are roughly 1070 Hebrew words with roots similar to those in Indo-European words available in this study . This number cannot be seen as the total available. Further investigation will yield more material. For 991 Hebrew roots original Proto-Semitic roots are presented. These are per definition hypothetical, as are words and roots of Indo-European.


The main Indo-European partners dealt with are Latin, Greek and Germanic, though especially interesting words from other groups as Slavic, Celtic and Old Indian have been compared as well.


A striking result is that Hebrew has many more similarities with Germanic roots than with the other groups.


The figures of similar roots found in the main groups are as follows:


Hebrew roots 1075
Proto-Semitic origin defined 991
Indo-European roots defined as cognates 563
Similarities with Greek roots 501 , of which with Greek only155
Similarities with Latin roots393 , of which with Latin only  82
Similarities with Germanic roots 752 , of which with Germanic only395


Similarities are anyhow also found with other groups of Indo-European languages. On the other hand for many similarities between roots from Hebrew and Indo-European languages, no original Indo-European root has been established.



Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: Friday 31 May 2013 at 21.25.14