Saturday 2 May 2015

Sumerian and Indo-European: a surprising connection

The Sumerian god Enki with the rivers Tigris and Euphrates descending from his shoulders

If the Indo-Europeans moved from the Zagros, as I have proposed in the last post, they should reveal some affinities with other languages of the ancient Near East (by the way, the recent paper by Haak et al. has revealed a 'Near Eastern' genetic component in the Yamnaya people from the Russian steppe). 
And these affinities are there, for instance with Semitic languages, but also with a very ancient language, that we are not used to associate with Indo-European: Sumerian.
A comparison between Sumerian and Indo-European was made by Charles Autran already in 1925, finding many similar roots and even suffixes, like -ta for the origin (Skt. -tas), -bi for the instrumental (Skt. -bhis).
In 1927, the British explorer, who knew Tibetan and Sanskrit, Laurence Waddell published a book with the title Aryan Origin of the Alphabet and Sumer-Aryan Dictionary which proposed an Aryan identity of Sumerians and a list of Sumerian words with alleged Sanskrit cognates. The list is not really reliable, but I have found there at least two good proposals.
More recently, in their book (published in 1995) presenting the theory of the Armenian PIE cradle, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov noticed a few terms that can be Sumerian loanwords into Indo-European.
Then Gordon Whittaker, since 1998, has identified the so-called Euphratic, a foreign substratum or superstratum in Sumerian, with an Indo-European language. Particularly interesting is his analysis of the phonetic values, without meaning in Sumerian, of pictographic symbols, which in some cases can suggest an IE connection. For instance, the symbol of a fish is read peš, which recalls PIE *pisk/peisk- 'fish', maybe from the IE root pi- 'to drink' and the frequentative suffix -sk-. The symbol of a bird is read hu, which can be compared with PIE *hwi/hwai- 'bird' (particularly close is Armenian hav 'chicken'). The logogram for 'dog', with an animal head, is read lik, which recalls PIE *wlkwa- 'wolf', especially Greek lykos. The logogram for 'fox', whith the symbol of a fox head with big ears, is read lib/lub, comparable to the PIE *wlpe- 'fox' (Latin vulpes, Greek alopex), which is apparently an offshoot or variant of the previous one (with kw > p). The phonetic values fo 'prince' are nar/nara, the same as the Sanskrit term for 'man, hero' (see below about ner/nir). In a publication of 2012, Whittaker has even proposed laws of phonetic change from Euphratic to Sumerian, which is a necessary aspect in a scientific demonstration of the existence of this Indo-European language.
There he cites other examples of phonetic values, like sah/suh for the sign 'thread+thread', which recalls Skt. sū-tra- 'thread', from the root s(y)ū- 'to sew', corresponding to Latin su-ere. And semed for the sign 'one', comparable to the PIE root *sam-, found e.g. in English same and Latin semel 'once'.
Also Aleksi Sahala, Assyriologist of the University of Helsinki, between 2009 and 2013 has elaborated a paper on 30 Sumerian words with a possible common etymology with Indo-European.
I have collected some suggestions from the aforementioned works, I have checked them on the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary, I have added some comparisons in Indo-European languages and, where I thought necessary, I have modified some elements, and I have proposed other possible cases (also with the help of followers - Nirjhar, Kyriakos, Daniel - as can be seen in the comments).
In the following list of possible cognates, I will normally use the vocalism a instead of the usual (see this post), and the Sumerian parallels often agree with it, which can suggest that this vocalism was typical of the area where both Sumerian and PIE were spoken.

Sum. agar ‘meadow, field’, PIE *ag’ra- ‘field’ (Skt. ajra-, Greek agros, Lat. ager 'field'),  maybe from the root ag'- 'to lead (animals to the pasture, or to till the soil)' and the common IE suffix -ra/ro-, but according to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov the Sumerian term a.gar means 'irrigated territory', and "this pair of words may be evidence for a connection of Indo-European agriculture with methods of working the land in Sumer." We have also the Akkadian ugāru "(communally controlled) meadow".
Sum. ak 'to do; to make; to act, perform; to proceed, proceeding (math.)', akuš 'toil, labor', PIE *ag'- 'to drive, draw out or forth, move', Latin agere 'to lead, drive, do, act, labor, perform', actus 'act, performance', actio 'action'.
Sum. alal 'cultivation; field; district, land', PIE *ar- 'to plow', Greek aroura 'tilled or arable land'. The use of l instead of r can be due to a distinction from arar 'miller', with a curious inversion compared to the IE forms that in that case have mostly al-. Cf. ulul 'cultivation' and ul = Akk. qerbetu 'meadowland'.
Sum. amaru 'flood', aĝar 'rainshower, downpour', im, meer (Emesal) 'rain, rainstorm', muru 'rainstorm; mist', Akk. imbaru 'fog, mist, drizzle', murū 'rainstorm'; Sum. ambar 'marsh', PIE *ambh-, ṃbh-, nabh- 'wet, cloud, rain, fog', Arm. amp/amb 'cloud', amprop 'thunderstorm', Greek ombros 'storm of rain, water, inundation', Latin imber 'rain', Skt. ambhas 'water', abhra 'rain cloud', nabhas 'fog, mist, cloud', Old High German nebul 'fog', Latin nebula 'mist, vapour, fog'. 
Sum. apin '(seed) plough', a very important agricultural term, has been compared by Whittaker with PIE *wogwh-ni- 'ploughshare', giving Greek ophnisIn Old Prussian we find wagnis, also 'ploughshare'. The PIE form that could have given apin should be wagwhni > wakwni > apni > apin. The initial loss of w- is shared with Greek and it is probable, since words starting with w- are very rare in Sumerian. 
Sum. ara 'to grind; hand-mill', arar 'miller', ul 'grind', PIE *al- 'to mill, grind', Greek aleo 'I grind', Armenian ałam 'to grind', Persian ārd, Pashto ōṛə, Hindi āṭā (from *ārtā) 'flour'.
Sum. armura 'ruins, ruin mound', Skt. arma, armaka 'ruins, rubbish'. The root is not clear, maybe it is the same as German arm 'poor' from Proto-Germanic *arҍma- 'abandoned' (see here) and Greek erēmos 'uninhabited, empty, desolate; bereft (of)'.
Sum. ašte 'chair, throne, seat, dwelling', PIE *asta 'seat', Skt. asta 'home, setting (of luminaries)', Avestan asta 'home (also of animals)', from the root as- 'to sit'.
Sum. bad 'leg or foot of furniture', Elamite baat/paat ‘foot’, Akkad. padānu ‘path’, Egyptian pd ‘knee, run’, Berber fud ‘knee’, PIE *pād- ‘foot’.
Sum. bad 'hard ground', PIE *pad-am 'imprint, ground', Skt. pada- 'footstep; footing, standpoint, abode, plot of ground', Greek pedon 'ground, earth', Umbrian peřum 'ground', OCS pods 'ground'.    
Sum. bad 'to open', Akk. petū, patū, patā'um 'to open', IE *pat- 'to open wide', Latin patere 'to be open', Greek petannymi, petasai 'to spread out, open, petēlos 'outspread, stretched', Avestan paθana- 'wide'.
Sum. bal(a) 'to rotate, turn over, cross; to hoist, draw (water); rotation, turn, term of office; to boil (meat)', PIE *(H)wal/val- 'to turn, wind; round, voluble', Skt. valate 'to turn , turn round , turn to'. Initial b and v are often interchangeable in Indo-Aryan, so there is also a form bal- found in the Intensive balbalīti 'to whirl round in a circle' which interestingly recalls Sumerian reduplicated forms with balbal-. Old High German wallan 'to well, bubble, boil', walzan 'to turn, roll', Old Norse valr 'round', Latin volvere 'to roll, turn around', Old Church Slav. valiti 'to roll', Arm. glem 'I roll', Greek eileo (from *wel-yeo) 'to turn, wind, roll'.  
Sum. bar 'outside, (other) side; behind; outer; ousider, strange; because of', PIE *par- 'to go over; over', Hittite parā 'forth, towards outside', Greek para 'beside; beyond', perā 'beyond', Skt. para 'far, beyond, on the other side of; foreign; another, enemy, foreigner', Latin per 'through, for, by means of'.
Sum. bul 'to blow, inflate', bulug 'a plant', buluĝ 'to flourish; to grow up, make grow", PIE *bhal/bhul/bhlā'to blow, inflate, swell', Latin bulla 'bubble', flare 'to blow', flos 'flower', folium 'leaf', Greek phyllon 'leaf', phallos 'swollen penis', phleo 'to swell', Old Irish bolgaim 'I swell', Old English blawan 'to blow, inflate', OHG bluoen 'to bloom', Gothic blōma 'bloom'.
Sum. buru(d) 'breach, hole; to perforate', PIE *bhar/bhur- 'to bore', Lat. forare 'to pierce, bore', Proto-Germanic *buron 'to bore', French burin 'burin, graver', Albanian bire 'hole'.      
Sum. dabariri 'liar, trickster, con artist', dibiri 'swindler, con artist', PIE *dhabh- 'to injure, deceive', Skt. dabh- 'to injure, deceive', dabha 'deceiving', dabhīti 'injurer, deceiver', Pali dubbhati ʻhurts, deceivesʼ, Avestan dab- 'to deceive', Parthian dbgyr 'deceiving'.
Sum. dabatum 'a textile', Akk. tapatum, tabatum, Latin tapetum, tapete, tapes, from Greek tapes (acc. tapeta), tapis, dapis (acc. dapida) 'carpet', which is supposed from an Iranian source, although it is found already in Homer. In Persian there is a verb tāb-aδ, inf. tāftan and tāb-ī-δan 'to twist'. It can been connected with the root *tamp- 'to span, stretch, extend', of Lith. tempti 'to stretch', tìmpa 'sinew'.
Sum. dag, dadag '(to be) bright; to clean; (ritually) pure', PIE *dhagwh- 'to burn, shine', Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Dutch dag, Gothic dags 'day', Tocharian A tsāk- 'to shine, give light', AB cok 'lamp', Old Irish daig 'fire', Old Prussian dagis 'summer', Lith. degti 'to burn', Skt. dahati 'to burn', dagdha 'burnt', Sindhi daho 'strong light of fire, sun'.
Sum. dala 'thorn, pin, needle', IE *dhal(g)- 'to stick; needle', Old Irish delg 'thorn, needle', Welsh dal, dala 'bite, prick, sting', Lat. dolo 'pike, sword-stick, sting', Greek dolon 'dagger', Skt. dhalaṇḍa 'small thorny tree'. 
Sum. dalla '(to be) bright', IE *dhal- 'to light, shining', Middle Irish dellrad 'radiance', Old English deal(l) 'resplendent', Old Norse Dellingr, god of Dawn, father of the Day (Dagr), Albanian diell 'Sun'.   
Sum. dar 'to break up, crush, grind; to split; to cut open', PIE *dar- 'to cut, skin, split, tear', Skt. dṝ- 'to burst, break asunder, split open; tear, rend, divide', dara 'cleaving, breaking', Greek dero 'to skin, flay', Old Church Slav. derǫ 'to flay, tear apart', Welsh darn 'piece, fragment', Old English teran 'to tear, lacerate'.
Sum. dari 'to support', PIE *dhar- 'to hold, support', Skt. dhara-, dhāri- 'bearing, holding, supporting', dhar-tra- 'support, prop', Old Persian, Avestan dar- 'to hold'.
Sum. deg 'to take; to gather up, glean; to tear out; to collect, pick up', PIE *dag/lag- 'to take, collect', Old English tacan 'to take, seize', Latin lego 'I choose, collect, gather', Greek legein 'to gather, count'. Here the connection of deg and leg is my proposal, cp. Lat. dacruma and lacruma 'tear' (PIE *dáḱru-), Lat. lingua, Arm. lezu 'tongue' (from PIE *dn̥ǵʰw-). It is also interesting that the Akkadian equivalents of deg are laqātu 'to gather up, glean' and leqû 'to take, take over'.
Sum. di 'to shine', PIE *diH/daiH/diw- 'to shine, glitter; day, Sun; god', Skr. dī- 'to shine, be bright', dina 'day', Armenian tiw 'day', Luwian Tiwat- 'Sun god', Palaic tiyaz, Hittite sius, Lycian ziw 'god', Latin dius 'celestial, bright', Greek dios 'shining, divine', Albanian diell 'Sun', Lith. dienà 'day', Old Irish dïa/dïe 'day'.
Sum. diĝir (dingir) 'deity, god, goddess; sky', the cuneiform symbol, like a star, was also read an, meaning 'sky' in Sumerian, so the word seems to come from another language. A common comparison is done with Turkic Tengri 'sky, sky god', and in Chinese sky is tian, pronounced thīn in Old Chinese. Etruscans had Tin or Tinia as sky god. Is there an old 'Nostratic' root or something more recent? In PIE he was *Dyaus (Skt. Dyaus, Greek Zeus, Latin Juppiter from *dyus-pǝtar) but there is also a root *din- meaning 'day', found for instance in Skt. dina- or Lith. dienà. And in Lithuanian and Old Prussian we have also dangus 'sky, heaven', clearly from the root dang/deng- 'to cover' found in dangà 'covering', dañgtis 'cover, closure', deñgti 'to conceal, protect', from PIE *dhangh/dhn̥gh- 'to cover, press', giving Old Irish dingim 'I press', Old Russian, Serbo-Croatian duga 'rainbow', Old English dung 'prison', Old Frisian and Saxon dung 'manure', OHG tunga 'manuring', tung 'underground room covered with manure'. Funnily, sky, rainbow and dung apparently come from the same root in different languages. And we can suppose that also the IE source of Sum. dingir derived the term from 'sky' from the root 'to cover', and from 'sky', the meaning still given to the cuneiform sign, Sumerians derived the meaning 'deity'. Interestingly, another Sumerian term, gira, meant both 'sky' and 'concealment'.
Sum. dub 'tablet', dubsar 'scribe' ('tablet-writer'), dub 'to push away, down; to smash, abolish' (Akkadian translation), 'to hammer' (Civil's Glossary), dubdab-za 'to make noise' (PSD), 'thud, batter' (CG), PIE *(s)tup/tub/tubh 'to hit, beat', Greek typtein 'to beat, strike', typos 'blow, impression of a seal, mould, engraving, engraved letters', OCS tupati 'heartbeat', tuputu 'noise'; *tap- 'to press down', Old Icelandic þefja 'to stamp', þóf 'thronging, pressing', Russian tópat' 'to stamp (one's foot); *daph- 'to push, stamp, thrust', Arm. top'el 'to beat (clothes)', depiti 'to beat, hit', Polish deptać 'to tread, trample', *stab/stamb/stambh/stap- 'to hit, press, stamp', Greek steibein 'to tread or stamp on', Old Norse stappa 'to stamp with the foot, beat, pound', OHG stapho 'step, footprint', OCS stopa 'step, pace', stopiti 'to tread', Punjabi thappṇā ʻto beat, hammer, fixʼ, ṭhappṇā ʻto strike, close a book, stamp, printʼ, Kumaunī ṭhāp ʻthumb impression, sealʼ, Hindi ṭhappā m. ʻstamp, mouldʼ. Old Persian dipi- 'writing' is considered as coming from Elamite tippi, more ancient tuppi, supposed to be an evolution of Sum. dub itself. But in this context we can propose that the Elamite form is connected with a common root dub/tup- 'to stamp, impress'.
Sum. dub 'to strew; to heap up, pile, pour' (PSD), 'to heap up, pour in piles' (CG), PIE *stup/stub/dub- 'heap, bunch, tuft' Skt. stupa- 'tuft of hair', stūpa- 'tuft of hair; heap or pile of earth or bricks, any heap, pile, mound', Sindhi thuḇu m. ʻtuftʼ, Bengali thubā ʻbunchʼ, thobā ʻbunch, clusterʼ, Latvian duba 'sheaf of straw', Old Norse toppr 'tuft of hair', Old Frisian top 'tuft'.
Sum. dubus 'second, second-in-rank', PIE *dwa/duwa- 'two', Hitt. duiyanalli- 'second-ranked official', Persian dovvom 'second', Pashto dwayam 'second', Skt. d(u)vā́/dvaú 'two', dvitī́ya 'second'.      
Sum. dul 'to lower, to be deep', dula 'depth, depression', PIE *dhal- 'valley, hollow', English dell, dale, German Thal 'valley', Delle 'light depression', Old Church Slavonic dolu 'down, below'.
Sum. dungu 'cloud', can be reconnected with the PIE root *dhangh/dhn̥gh- 'to cover' discussed above about dingir. 
Sum. duruna 'oven', Lat. furnus 'oven', Old Irish gorn 'fire', Russian gorn 'hearth', Skt. ghṛṇa 'heat', Greek thermos 'hot, heat', Arm. ǰeṙnum 'to get warm, to burn'. The initial d can be the result of a palatal as in the following.
Sum. dusa 'friend, companion', PIE *g'aus- 'to taste, enjoy', Skt. juṣ- 'to be pleased or favourable; to like; to choose; to delight in visiting, frequent', joṣa 'satisfaction, approval, pleasure', Old Persian dauš- 'to like, love, favour', dauštar 'friend', Middle Persian došag 'dear'. It is remarkable how here both the phonetic form and the meaning in Sumerian is close to Persian, although the PIE root was quite different.
Sum. er, re 'to go' (perfect plural stem), PIE *r-, ar/er- 'to move, set in motion', Old Persian ar- 'to reach, come'.
Sum. gala 'lamentation singer', gala-mah 'chief lament singer', PIE *gal(g'h)- 'to call, scream, cry, bewail', Latin gallus 'cock', OCS glasu 'voice', Welsh galw 'call', Middle Irish glām 'shout', Old Norse kalla 'to cry loudly', OHG kallon 'to call', klaga 'complaint', Skt. garh 'to lodge a complaint', Avestan gǝrǝzā- 'complaint', gar- 'song'.
Sum. gam 'depth (math.); vulva', PIE gwambh/gwm̥bh- 'deep, depth, womb', Skt. gabhīra/gambhīra- 'deep', gambhan- 'depth', gabha 'vulva', Greek baptein 'to dip, dye', baphe 'dipping (of iron in water), dye', Old Swedish kvaf 'depth', Old English wamb 'belly, bowels, heart, uterus', Gothic wamba 'belly, womb'.
Sum. gam/kab 'shepherd's crook, bent stick', Akk. gamlu 'bent stick', Sum. gab 'left (hand)', PIE *kap/kamp/kamb- 'to bend, crook', Latvian kampis, kamplis, kaplis 'crook, staff, hoe', Lith. kablys 'hook, rod bent into a curved shape, peg', kampas 'corner', kumpas 'crooked', Greek kampsos 'crooked, bent', kampylos 'bent, curved', skambos 'crooked, bent', Skt. kumpa 'crooked-armed', OHG hamf 'mutilated', Persian čap, Kurmanji çep 'left' (in many languages the left hand is defined as 'crooked').
Sum. gan ‘to bear young, child-bearing’, PIE *g’an- ‘to bear (a child), produce, generate’, Skt. jan-, Toch. B kän-, Latin, Greek gen-
Sum. gar 'to heap up', gargar 'accumulation', PIE *gar- 'to collect, heap', Greek ageiro (from *a-ger-yo) 'to gather, collect', agorà 'assembly, place of assembly, market-place', gargara 'heaps, lots, plenty', Latin grex 'flock, herd', Welsh gre 'herd', Sanskrit grāma- 'village, community, troop', Middle Persian grāmag 'riches', Baluchi grām 'burden'.
Sum. gigir 'chariot', PIE *kukwla/kwakwla- 'wheel', Skt. cakra-, Greek kyklos, Old English hweogol 'wheel', Toch. A kukäl 'cart, chariot'. The similarity is not very strong, but the analogous reduplication is remarkable.
Sum. gilim, gir 'rodent', PIE *g(w)ǝli- 'small rodent', Skt. giri- 'mouse', Ormuri (Eastern Iranian) gilak, Bakhtiari (Western Iranian) girza 'rat', Latin glis, gen. gliris 'dormouse',  possibly from the root *gwal/gwǝl 'to swallow, devour', that gave Skt. gilati/girati 'to swallow, devour'. 
Sum. giru 'an affectionate epithet', PIE *kāra/u- 'dear, beloved', Lat. cārus 'dear', Skt. cāru- 'dear, beloved', Welsh carr 'friend', Old Norse kærr 'dear'. The vowel i can be explained from a schwa in a zero grade of the root.
Sum. gu 'cord, (flax) thread', gun 'to twist', gunu 'flax', Skt. guṇa 'thread, string, rope'.
Sum. gud/gu ‘bull, ox, cattle’ PIE *gu/gwau- ‘cow, ox’.
Sum. gur ‘circle, loop, hoop, ring; to turn, gurum 'to bend, curve, wrap around', PIE *gur- 'round', *ghurdh- 'to enclose, gird', Gr. gyros ‘rounded; ring, circle’, Hittite gurta- 'citadel, fortress' (enclosed settlement), Old High German gurten, Old Saxon gurdian 'to gird'; PIE *kur- 'to curve, bend', Greek kyrtos, Lat. curvus 'curved', Welsh crwnn 'round'. 
Sum. gur '(to be) thick; (to be) big, to feel big', PIE *gwr/gwar- 'heavy', Skt. guru- 'heavy, great, large; venerable', Prakrit garu 'heavy, important', Kashmiri goru 'dense, solid', Old Gujarati garūu 'big', Old Marathi garuva 'big, important', Lat. gravis 'heavy, serious' (from *gwraw-), possibly also grandis 'big, great' (from *gwrandh-, cp. Greek brenthos 'arrogance'), Gothic kaurus 'heavy', Old English great 'big, tall, thick, stout, massive; coarse', Dutch groot, Frisian grut, German groß 'big, great' (from *gwraut-), Breton, Cornish, Welsh bras 'big, thick' (from *gwras-).
Sum. gur 'to reap', gur(u) 'to grind, cut up, chop, (to be) trimmed', guruš 'to cut, fell, trim, peel off; a cutting; stubble',  Greek koura (<*korsa) 'cropping, lopping, shearing', kouros (<*korsos) 'loppings, twigs stripped from a tree', Kurmanji kur kirin 'to cut (the hair)', kurt 'short', Latin curtus 'shortened, mutilated, broken, short', OHG scurz 'short'.
Sum. ĝeli 'throat; wind-pipe', PIE *gwal/gal/gul- 'to glut, swallow', Skt. gala- 'throat, neck', gil- 'to swallow', Persian gulū, galū, 'neck, gullet, throat; wind-pipe; voice', Lat. gula 'throat', OHG kela 'throat, neck', Old Irish gelim 'I consume', Irish goile, gaile 'stomach, appetite, throat'. It is also remarkable that Kartvelian is here very close to Sumerian, compare e.g. Georgian q'eli 'neck, throat'.
Sum. ĝen 'to go', PIE *gwam/gwan- 'to come, go', OHG queman 'come, go', Lith gemù 'to come, be born', Greek baino (<*gwan-yo) 'to go, walk', Latin venio 'to come', Skt. gam- 'to go'. 
Sum. hul joy, rejoicing; to rejoice’, Skt. hulahulī inarticulate sounds made by women on joyful occasions’, huluhulu 'an exclamation of joy'; German Hurra, English hurrah, hooray. We can suppose that the exclamation of joy became a verb in Sumerian, and it is often redoubled (hul2-hul2-ehul2-hul2-la-am3hul2-hul2-la-ni, etc.) as in Sanskrit. The reference to the sound of women is very interesting, because it is also made by Middle Eastern women, it is called zaghroutah in Arabic, performed particular for marriage, and generally intended to express joy. In Sanskrit we have also hulihulī for 'nuptial music' or 'howling'. And holākā for the spring festival (the famous Holī), a name that according to Monier-Williams may come from a shout or sound made in singing.  
Sum. hul 'ring, neck ring', Akk. hullu 'neck ring, torc', PIE *Hwal/Hul- ''to turn, wind, twist' (see bal above), Hittite hul- 'to encircle, surround', hulhuliya- 'entwine, embrace', hulali 'spindle', hulukanni 'chariot', hurki 'wheel', Arm. hol 'spinning top', holel 'turn', Skt. valaya 'bracelet, ring, girdle', ulva 'the membrane surrounding the embryo, womb, vulva', Greek helix 'spiral, bracelet, ear-ring', Welsh olwyn 'wheel', Old Irish fulumain 'rolling', Old English weoloc 'whelk, spiral-shelled mollusk'. The form with initial aspiration compared with bal- can be connected with a dialect akin to Anatolian, but it can be also due to the different vocalism: hwal > val > bal and hul instead remains hul.     
Sum. hurin, urin 'eagle', Akk. urinnu 'eagle', PIE *hara(n)/harn(i/a)-, Hittite hara(n), Gothic ara, Old High German arn, Old Church Slav. orilu 'eagle', Greek ornis 'bird'. There is also a Sum. aru interpreted as 'eagle' (see here).
Sum. imdu 'dew', Skt. indu 'drop', Baltic river names Indus, Indura
Sum. kadu 'cover', PIE *kad-, sk'ad- 'to cover', Old English haet 'hat, head covering', Latin cassis 'helmet', Skt. chad- 'to cover', chada 'a cover, covering'.  
Sum. kar 'to blow; to light up, shine; to rise', kur 'to burn, light up': both are translated with Akk. napāhu 'to blow; light up; rise'; in IE we have Lith. kùrti 'to heat, kindle, light', Latvian kur̃t 'to light, kindle', Old Church Slav. kurjo 'to smoke', Old Norse hyrr 'fire', Gothic hauri 'coal', Dutch haard 'fireplace, hearth', Latin carbo 'coal', cremare 'to burn'. In Sanskrit we have kūḍ- 'to burn', maybe from *kṝd/kurd-. The PIE root is *kar/kur 'to burn, kindle'.  
Sum. kaš 'beer', PIE *kwat(-s)- 'to ferment', Skt. kvath- 'to boil, to foam', kvathitam 'a spirituous liquor', Gothic hwaþjan 'to foam', OCS kvasъ 'leaven', Russian kvas 'fermented beverage made from bread'. Also Sumerian beer was made from bread (called bappir). There is also a Persian dish called kashk, a porridge made from grains fermented with whey.     
Sum. kezer 'hair, a hair-style', Akk. kezēru 'to gives s.o. a (special) hair-do', kezru 'with (special) haird-do', PIE *kaisar-, Skt. kesara 'hair, mane', Lat. caesaries 'hair (long and flowing)', of the head but also of the beard, and of dogs; equis caesariatus means 'wearing a helmet with a horse mane'. The Skt. form should be keṣ- for the RUKI law, while Latin should have rhotacism, and it is interesting that the Sum. parallel has z which is considered a voiceless affricate (ts), so maybe kesara comes from kaitsar-. Maybe also Kurmanji kezî 'braid of hair' is related, with voiced z.
Sum. kizurra 'sharp edge', PIE *ksura- 'razor', Skt. kṣura-, Greek xyron 'razor' (Greek verb xyo 'I scratch, scrape').   
Sum. kud 'to break off; to cut; to incise', Proto-Germ. *kut- 'to cut', Lithuanian kauti 'to beat, strike, cut, kill', Latin cudere 'to beat (grains, metals)', Middle Irish cuad 'to beat'. Maybe also Greek koura 'act of cutting', Hittite kwer- 'to cut', can be connected, also considering that the evolution from d to r is not unusual. 
Sum. kug 'pure; bright, shining, silver', gug '(to be) bright', PIE *k'u-k-, Skt. śuci 'clean, pure', śukra 'bright, white', śukti 'pearl oyster', Greek kyknos 'swan, white bird'. 
Sum. kur ‘mountain, east, east wind’, PIE *gur/gwar/gwir-, Skt. giri, Avestan gairi, Old Church Slav. gora ‘mountain’, East Slavic Gora, Greek Boreas, 'north wind' (as 'mountain wind'), Albanian gur 'cliff, rock'.
Sum. kuš 'skin; leather', PIE *(s)kau/kū- 'to hide, wrap, cover', Lat. cutis 'skin, leather', OHG hūt 'skin', Gothic skoh 'shoe', Skt. chavī 'skin' (<*sk'av-). 
Sum. labi, lubi 'a term of endearment, dear', PIE *laubh- 'to love, like, care for', Skt. lubh- 'to desire', Lat. lubido/libido 'desire, lust', German lieben 'to love', lieb 'dear' (OHG liob), Old Church Slav. ljubiti 'to love', l’ubъ 'dear, precious', l'uby 'love'.
Sum. lagaš 'storehouse' (name of a city), PIE *lag- 'to collect, gather', Greek lego 'I gather, I reckon, enumerate', kata-lego 'I list, enumerate', katalogos 'list', Lat. legere 'to collect, gather, choose, read', collectio 'collection'. Another possible parallel is PIE *lagh- 'to lie', *laghas 'bed, resting place', Hittite lagari 'is laid low', Toch. A lake, Toch. B leke, Greek lechos 'bed', Old Norse lag 'lay, order, disposition', German Lager 'place for lying, bed, lair, camp; storehouse'.     
Sum. li 'oil, fat'; lib 'sheep fat', PIE *laip/lip- 'to smear with fat', Greek lipos 'fat', Skt. lepa 'smearing, anointing'; *lip- is derived from PIE *li/lī- 'slimy; to smear, stick', found e.g. in Lat. linere 'to smear, anoint'. Also Gr. linon, Lat. līnum 'flax, linen', can be connected with this root since the linseed was pressed to extract oil. And Latin oleum corresponding to Greek elai(w)on 'oil', can also derive from this root (in the form lai-) with a prothetic vowel, as in alinein and aleiphein 'to anoint'.     
Sum. luh 'to clean, wash', šu-luh 'ritual cleansing', PIE *lu/lau(H)- 'to lave, wash', Hittite lah̬u(wai)- 'to pour', Latin lavare 'to wash', ab-lu-tio 'washing away, ablution', Greek louo 'I wash', OHG luhhen, Armenian lval 'to wash'. The Armenian root is derived by Pokorny, with the regular loss of initial p-, from PIE *pleu- 'to flow; to swim, to pour; to flee', which is a very spread IE root, used also for washing, as in Sanskrit plu- 'to swim, bathe, navigate, wash away'. In Greek we have plyno 'I wash', in Latin pluit 'it rains', Lith. plauti 'to wash'.
Sum. lum 'snail', Akk. luhumū, lummū 'snail', PIE *lim/laim- 'slime, slimy' (cf. li above), Greek leimax, Lat. līmax, Italian lumaca, Russian and other Slavic languages slimak  'snail'.
Sum. mah(a) ‘great, magnificent, numerous’, PIE *mag’h-  ‘great’, Vedic mah(a)- 'great, strong, mighty, abundant'.
Sum. mana 'weight measure', manatur 'unit of area, of volume, of weight', PIE *mā- 'to measure', Skt. māna- 'measure, dimension, size, weight; a particular measure of weight', mātra- 'measure of any kind', Greek metron, Latin mensura 'measure'. 
Sum. mar 'to smear', PIE *smar- 'fat, grease; to smear, anoint', Old English smeoru 'fat, grease', Norse smör 'butter', Dutch smeren 'to smear', Lith smarsas 'fat', Polish smar 'fat, lubricant', smarować 'to smear, grease'.  
Sum. mel 'malt-flour', PIE *mal- 'to mill, grind', Hitt. mallai-, malliya-, Armenian malem, Toch. A malywät 'to mill, grind', Skt. mlātá- 'soft-beaten', Latin mola 'mill, millstone', Old High German malan 'to mill', melo 'meal, flour', English malt. This word, isolated in Sumerian, is quite significant since it suggests that an Indo-European language gave this agricultural word to Sumerians. The only comparable term is the apparent compound zid-milla  'flour', where milla is close to the Anatolian verbs, and the first element zid, which means 'flour' also alone, can be connected with Akk. simdu/sindu 'a milled cereal product, a flour' or with the IE root *sē/sī- 'to sift', OHG sīhan, Lith. sijoju 'to sift', Lith. sietas 'sift'. 
Sum. muš 'face', PIE *mū- 'lips, mouth, muzzle', Skt. mukha 'mouth, face', Dardic 'face', Old Norse mūli 'lips of an animal, muzzle', Old English mūþ 'mouth', Vulgar Latin mūsum 'muzzle'.
Sum. mud 'joy', PIE *mud- 'joy; to be merry', Skt. mud- 'joy; to be merry, happy', Lith. mudrùs 'lively', I suggest also German munter 'lively, cheerful'. In Skt. there is also modaka 'gladdening; sweetmeat', which can be compared with Sum. mudgi 'sweetness'.
Sum. mudur 'dirt', mudra 'dirty', PIE *mūtra- 'excrement', (s)mud- 'dirt, mud', Middle Dutch modder, mudder 'mud, slime', German Moder 'rottenness, morass', Schmutz 'dirt', English smut 'stain', Polish muł 'slime', Greek mydos 'damp, decay', mysos 'uncleanness, defilement', mysaros 'foul, dirty', mydros 'redhot mass of iron', mydon 'fungous flesh in an ulcer', Avestan mū́θra- 'excrement, faeces', Sanskrit mū́tra- 'urine'.
Sum. mul 'foundation', Skt. mul/mūl- 'to be rooted or firm', mūla- 'root, basis, foundation'. This word has no clear IE cognates, besides Khotanese mul 'root', but it can be related to the root mū- 'to fix', and in Sumerian it seems isolated, so we can suppose that it is a borrowing there.  
Sum. murmara 'rumble', murmara ša 'to roar', PIE *murmur/marmar- 'murmur, roar', Latin murmur 'hum, roar, murmur', OHG murmuron 'to murmur', Greek mormúrô 'to boil, roar', Skt. marmara- 'rustling, murmuring; murmur', murmura- 'expiring ember; burning chaff (vl. murmara)'.
Sum. nam 'determined order; will, testament; fate, destiny', IE *nam 'to apportion, take one's portion', Greek nemein 'to dispense, distribute', nemesis 'distribution of what is due, retribution', nemetor 'dispenser of justice', nomos 'usage, law, ordinance'
Sum. ner, nir ‘lord, prince, hero’, PIE *(H)n- ‘man, hero’, Skt. nar(a)- 'man, hero', Greek aner 'male man', Oscan niir 'man, prince', Umbrian nerf 'princes, aristocrats'. 
Sum. nu ‘(to be) not, no, without’, PIE *na/an- 'no, not, without'.
One particular case is Sum. PA.TE.SI ‘lord of the city’, because it is the cuneiform spelling corresponding to the Sumerian ensi, and it recalls PIE *patis, Skt. patis, Avestan paiti- ‘lord, master, husband’, Latin potis sum 'I am master, able', hospes (*hosti-pets) 'lord of the guest, host', Greek despotes 'master of the house, absolute ruler'. Gordon Whittaker notices (see here) also the form GAR(A).PA.TE.SI, which recalls an IE compound like Sanskrit gṛhapatis 'master of the house', cp. Avestan gǝrǝδa-, Gothic gards 'house', Lithuanian gardas 'pen, enclosed area', Old Church Slav. gradь 'town, fort, garden', or -gara probably found in Skt. nagara- 'town, city' (from *nṛ-gara 'gathering of men'), or the already mentioned Greek agorà 'assembly, place of assembly' (see gar above). However, from the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary GAR appears to be normally used in compounds as synonym of niĝ 'thing, possession'.
Sum. pala 'a garment', of kings according to the Akkadian translation and two Sumerian passages mentioned by the PSD (mentioning EN 'lord' and LUGAL 'king'), in a text the 'pala robe' is 'fit for a queen', in another text it is connected with the goddess Inanna and 'ladyship'. In Latin, palla is the mantle of women and tragic actors or a curtain, pallium the mantle of Greeks and philosophers, but also a bed cover and curtains, and paludatus is someone with the mantle of a general. The PIE root is probably *pal- 'to wrap, cover; cloth; fell, pelt', found also in Latin pellis 'skin, hide', Greek pellas 'skins (Acc. plur.)', apelos 'wound not skinned over', Old Norse fela 'to hide', Old English fell 'hide', Irish peall 'couch, covering', Old Prussian pelkis 'cloak', Sinhalese paḷa, pala 'cloth, garment', Kashmiri palav 'clothes, garment, coat', Lahndā pallā ʻcloth, scarfʼ, Marāṭhī pāl 'large cloth to form a tent', Nepali pāl 'tent', Gujarati pāl 'cloth curtain for side of tent'. The Sumerian term is of the Old Babylonia period, when kings wore a typical dress leaving the right arm free, arrived in Mesopotamia some centuries earlier (see here):
"A different style of dress is evident in Mesopotamian sculptures dating after about 2370 BC. Both men and women were clothed in a large piece of material - most commonly of wool, though later also of linen - draped around the body over a skirt. This garment, similar to a shawl, was characteristically edged with tassels or fringe. The draping varied, but, for men at least, the fabric was arranged so that the fullness was at the rear, leaving the right, or sword, arm free. This newer form of dress had originated from farther north and east and was adopted by the Semitic people of Akkad under Sargon (the dynasty founded by Sargon lasted from c. 2334 BC to c. 2193 BC) and by the revitalized Sumerian culture in the years 2110-2010 BC." 
What is interesting is that this kind of shawl (see also the god Enki above) recalls the Greek mantle and the Roman toga, and also the men's dress found in the Bactria-Margiana and Harappan cultures. 

"Priest king", Mohenjo daro
Gudea of Lagash 
Roman toga
Bactrian man
Greek himation

Sum. pirig 'bright', PIE *bhg- 'to gleam, shine; white', Skt. Bhṛgu, mythical being connected with fire, bhrājate 'shines, glitters', Hittite parkui 'clean, pure', English bright, from Proto-Germ. *berhta, English birch, Lithuanian beržas 'birch', Skt. bhūrja 'kind of birch', being the 'white' or 'shining' tree, found also in northern Iran, Iraq and Turkey. 
Sum. saga 'to reap', PIE *sak- 'to cut, dissect', OHG, OE saga 'saw', OHG segansa, Middle High German segede, Latin secula 'sickle', Latin secare 'to cut' (often in agricultural sense).
Sum. sanga 'priest', sanki 'rites', Akk. sakkû 'cultic rites', PIE *sak- 'to sacrifice, sanctify, make a treaty', Hittite sankunni- 'priest', saklai- 'rite', Latin sacer 'sacred', sacra 'cultic rites', sancire 'to make sacred, to sanction', Sancus, Roman god of trust and oaths.
Sum. sar 'to run, hasten', IE *sar- 'to flow, run', Skt. sar- 'to run, flow, speed'. 
Sum. sig 'hush, (to be) silent', PIE *swīg/k- '(to be) silent', OHG swīgēn 'be silent', Greek sīga 'silently', sīgē 'silence', sīgao 'to be silent'.
Sum. sig 'to cast, pour on', PIE *sikw- 'to spill, pour', Skt. sic-  'to pour, discharge, to cast metal', seka 'pouring out, sprinkling', Av. haek- 'to pour out (water)', fra-hik/šik- 'to sprinkle, to cast metal', OHG sīhan 'to pour through a sieve'.    
Sum. sil 'to split', sila 'cut (of meat); fragment; street', silaĝ 'a seed funnel', silig 'ax': these words can appear to be unrelated, but they can be all connected with 'to cut, split', which was applied especially to the furrow, therefore the 'seed funnel', an object to throw seeds in a furrow, and the 'street', being a line like a furrow. In Skt. we have sīla and sīra 'plough'. In Old Norse, sila means 'to trace a furrow', and this is possibly the origin of ancient French silier 'to plow', modern French sillon 'furrow'. In Latin we have silex, silicis 'flint', used to cut, which can be compared with Sum. silig 'ax'.
Sum. sir 'to bind', šergu 'string (of fruit)', šeršer 'chain', PIE *sar- 'to bind, put together', Latin sero 'to join or bind together', serta 'wreath, garland', Greek eiro 'to fasten together in rows, string', herma 'band, noose, earring', seira 'cord, rope', Old English serc 'shirt, coat of mail', Lith. seris, Skt. sarat, sarit 'thread'.
Sum. sur 'to cut cloth; canal, ditch', zir (written zi-irze2-er) 'to tear out; to break, destroy; to be troubled; to erase', zurzur 'to break', PIE *swir/swar/sur 'to cut, prick, pierce', Old English sweord, swyrd, Dutch zwaard, OHG swert 'sword', OHG sweran 'to hurt', Old East Slavic svĭrdĭlŭ 'drill', Avestan xvara 'wound', Skt svaru 'a large piece of wood cut from the trunk of a tree, stake, post; an arrow', Middle High German swir 'post', Latin surus 'pole, peg' (objects that pierce the earth). For the evolution from sw to z, see zal below. 
Sum. sur 'to press, squeeze; to drip; to rain; to milk', PIE *su-(l/r)- 'to press out, distill, milk', Skt. su- 'to press out, distill', soma 'juice of a sacred plant', sūra 'the Soma juice flowing from the press', sūri 'presser of Soma', surā 'spirituous liquor', Avestan hurā 'id.', Latvian sula 'juice', Greek hyein 'to rain', hylizein 'to filter, strain'.     
Sum. šar 'totality', PIE *sala-/sal-va- 'whole', Skt. sarva 'all, every', Greek holos 'whole', Latin salvus 'safe, sound', salus 'health, safety', Avestan haurva, Old Persian haruva 'whole; sound', Middle Persian har 'every'.
Sum. šed to lie down; to sit, be recumbent (of animals)’, PIE *sad/sid ‘to sit down’.
Sum. šeĝ 'to cook; to dry a field; to fire (pottery)', sig 'to burn (of digestion)', PIE *sa(n)k- 'to singe, burn, dry', Old English sengan 'to singe', Icelandic sangr 'burnt, scorched', sengja 'singed taste', Sindhi sekaṇu ʻto toast, warm (anything)ʼ, seku m. ʻtoastingʼ, seko m. ʻdrying up of a crop from wind or droughtʼ, Marathi śekṇẽ, śẽkṇẽ ʻto warm oneself before a fire, foment, burnʼ; PIE sik- 'dry', Latin siccus, Avestan hiku- 'dry'. The velar nasal in Sumerian corresponds here to a nasal infix+velar in Germanic.
Sum. šer 'reddening, (to be) bright', PIE *sar- 'red', Lith. sartas 'reddish (of horses)', sárkanas bright, clear, light; pink”, serbentà 'redcurrant', sirpti 'to ripen (of fruits)', Latvian sarts 'ret (in face)', sarks 'red, pink', sarkt 'to become red, to redden', Latin sorbum 'sorb (reddish fruit)'. 
Sum. šerti 'strip of cloth', PIE *(s)k'ar- 'to cut', Old English scyrte 'skirt, tunic', English shirt, shred (long narrow strip cut off), Middle High German scherze 'piece cut off', German Schere 'scissors', Lith. skirti, Latv.  šk'irt 'to divide', Skt. kṛt- 'to cut', śāṭa/śāṭī 'strip of cloth, particular garment (sari)' (possibly from *k'art- with retroflexion following the fall of r). The initial  š- in Sumerian can be the result of an original sk- or sk'- as in Germanic languages.   
Sum. šita(n) 'water channel', Skt. sītā 'furrow; name of a river', from the root sī- 'to draw a line' found also in sīman 'line parting the hair; limit, boundary', sīra 'plough' and sīrā 'stream'. Possibly also Greek oiròn/hoiròn (from *sairan) 'furrow, border line' is connected.
Sum. šun 'to shine', PIE *sun/swan- 'sun', Old Norse, OHG sunna 'sun', Avestan xᵛə̄ṇg 'sun (genitive)', Welsh huan 'sun'.
Sum. tab 'burn', PIE *tap- 'to be warm, hot', Skt. tap- 'to burn, be hot, make hot', tapas 'heat', Hitt. tapassa- 'fever', Persian taftan 'to heat, burn, shine', Khot. ttav- 'to be hot'.
Sum. tag to touch, take hold of’, PIE *tag- ‘to touch’, Old Latin tago 'I touch', Lat. tangere 'to touch', tactus 'touched', Greek te-tag-on 'having seized'.
Sum. tak.alan 'craftsman' (composed with alan 'statue, form'), PIE *tak's- 'to form by cutting', Skt. takṣ- 'to fashion, chisel', takṣan- 'wood-cutter, carpenter', Greek tekton 'carpenter', techne 'art, craft, skill', Avestan tašaiti 'to make (as a carpenter)', Hitt. ták-ki-(e-)eš-zi 'to join, build', Lithuanian tašaũ, tašýti, OCS tešǫ, tesati 'to hew', Russian Church Slavic tesla 'adze, carpenter's tool', Latin texere 'to weave, plait', tela 'web, loom, fabric', OHG dehsa 'axe', Old Icelandic þexla 'adze'.
Sum. tal '(to be) broad, expand', PIE *tal- 'surface', Skt. tala 'surface, base, palm (of the hand), sole (of the foot)', taliman 'soil', Irish talam 'earth', Old Prussian talus 'floor (of a house)', Old Norse þel 'floor, board', Lat. tellus 'earth', Greek telia 'board'; PIE *stal- 'to dilate, broaden, stretch out; broad', Old Lat. *stlatus, Lat. latus 'broad', dilatare 'to dilate, spread wide', Common Slavic steljo 'I spread'.
Sum. tar 'to cut down; to untie, loosen; to scatter, disperse', PIE *stṛ/star- 'to strew, scatter', Skt. stṛ- 'to spread, strew, scatter; to lay low, overthrow', Middle Persian wistardan 'to spread out', Lat. sternere 'to spread out, scatter; to lay low', Greek stornumi 'I spread out', Old English strewian 'to scatter', Old Norse stra 'straw', which is scattered.   
Sum. temen, Akk. temmenu, temennu 'foundation (deposit)', PIE *dhā-man/dha-mn̥- 'what is placed or set', Skt. dhāman- 'dwelling-place, abode; law', Greek thema 'what is placed or laid down: deposit; position of land; grammatical stem'; themethla, theme(i)lia 'foundations', themelios 'foundation-stone'. In Greek we have also temenos 'a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain', especially to kings and to temples of gods. According to the analysis of Dunham (1986), Sum. temen often refers to a marked off area, and also the boundaries and the corners of the area, and Whittaker remarks that temen is the reading of the 'perimeter sign', so something very similar to the temenos. Manessy-Guitton already in 1966 proposed that temenos comes from temen, but temenos seems to have a very clear etymology from the Greek tem-no 'to cut', which is made stronger by the comparison with Latin templum, originally indicating a delimited space in the sky for auspices, but also a space consecrated to the gods (the temple) and a transverse beam. So, if temen and temenos have a relation, we should admit that temen comes from the same root tem- as temenos and templum. The temen sign is done with two crosses and a rope, like this:
xx. Rather than a perimeter, it is one side of it, and, as Dunham remarks, it is like a string between two pegs, and he also suggests that temen indicates the foundation peg (or set of pegs). If he is right, the root of temen is more likely 'to put, place' (the pegs) than 'to cut' (the area of the foundations).
Sum. ten 'to be extinguished; become cool', PIE *dhwan/dhwin- 'to be extinguished', Skt. dhvan- 'to become extinguished', Middle English dwinen 'waste away, fade, vanish', Greek than-, thnesko 'to die'.  
Sum. til '(to be) complete(d); to end', PIE *kwal- 'completion of a circle', Greek telos 'completion, accomplishment, end'. This semantic correspondence with Greek compels us to accept an analogous evolution of the IE *kwi>ti, probably from a palatal intermediate form, or a loanword directly from a language similar to Greek. This comparison allows us to propose also the following:
Sum. til 'to live; to dwell', PIE *kwal/kwil- 'to move, frequent, inhabit', Lat. colo 'I cultivate, inhabit, honor', in-quil-inus 'inhabitant'.  
Sum. tud 'to hit, beat', PIE *(s)tud- 'to hit', Skt. tud- 'to push, strike', Latin tundere 'to beat, pound, strike', Gothic stautan 'to strike'. 
Sum. tug 'textile, garment', PIE *(s)tag- 'to cover', Latin toga, tegimen/tegumen/tegmen 'cover; dress', OCS o-stegъ 'garment', Old Irish etach 'garment'.
Sum. tum(u) 'wind', PIE *dham/dhum- 'to blow', Skt. dham- 'to blow', Parachi dhamā́n, Nuristani Ashkunu domṍ 'wind', Lith. dumiù 'to blow'.
Sum. ubur 'breast', PIE *ūdhar-, Latin ūber 'udder, breast', Danish yver, Skt. ūdhar- 'udder'. 
Sum. ugnim, ummana 'army', here Whittaker proposes for ugnim a metathesis from PIE *h2ĝmen- 'train, war band on the march', Lat. agmen, and remarks that Lafont in an article has compared semantically the Sumerian and the Latin terms. The form ummana, found also in Akkadian as umman(u), can be a variant (assimilation of *ug-man-), closer to the IE term. In Vedic we have ajman- 'career, passage, battle', and the root must be aj- 'to drive, move forward' (PIE *ag'-). Sum. ugur, according to Whittaker a divine weapon described sometimes as a mace, sometimes as a sword, PIE *wag’-ra-, Skt. vajra, which has been connected with the root uj- 'be strong', found also in ugra- 'powerful, violent, mighty, cruel, angry'. In Sum. we have also ug '(to be) furious; anger'. In Avestan vazra- is the weapon of Mitra, and in Middle Persian wazr, warz (Modern Persian gurz) is a 'club'.  
Sum. ulin ‘colored wool’, Akk. ullānu 'cover; woollen', PIE *wal/wul- ‘wool’, Hitt. h̬ulana-, huliya-,  Got. wulla, Skt. ūrṇā 'wool'.
Sum. umbin 'nail, claw, finger, toe', PIE *gwi-, Lat. unguis 'nail, claw'. Connected is Old Irish ingen, Greek onyx, Arm. eġung 'nail'. 
Sum. ur 'to shut; protection', PIE *war/wṛ- 'to shut, close, cover; guard, warn, save', Skt. vṛ- 'to cover, screen, veil, conceal, hide, surround, obstruct; to close ( a door ); to ward off', ūr-ṇu- 'to cover, invest, hide, surround', Ossetic wart 'shield, protection', Old English werian 'to defend, protect'.
Sum. uru 'to sow, cultivate, plow', Latin urvare 'to plow round, mark out with a plough', urvum 'the plough-tail', verv-agere 'to plow land', Skt. urvarā 'fertile soil , field yielding crop'.
Sum. urud ‘copper’, PIE *(H)rudh- ‘red’, Skt. rudhira-, Gr. erythros, Old English rudu, Welsh rhudd ‘red’.
Sum. (Ebla) uwi ‘sheep’, PIE *Hawi- ‘sheep’, Luwian hawi- 'sheep', Arm. hoviw 'shepherd', Lat. ovis, Old High German ouwi 'sheep'. 
Sum. zal 'to shine', zalag '(to be) pure; (fire) light; (to be) bright, to shine', PIE *swal- 'to shine, burn, sun, light, glory'. In Greek we find selagéo 'I enlighten, I shine', selagos 'ray', selas 'light, brightness, flame; lightning, flash', selēnē 'moon' (Aeolic selanna). These Greek words are generally derived from PIE *swel/sūl/sā́wel- 'to shine', found also in Skt. svar- 'sun, light, heaven; to shine', svarga 'heaven, paradise', sūrya, Lat. sol, Gothic sauil, Greek hēlios 'sun' (from *sawelios, we have also the Cretan abelios, Aeolic aelios and Epic ēelios). The passage sw- to s- in Greek is found also in sīgē 'silence', from PIE *swīg- (see sig above), and somphos 'spongy, porous', from PIE *swambha- (OHG swambo 'mushroom', Old English swamm 'sponge, mushroom'). Again, we would find a similar loss of w in Sumerian and Greek, which apparently creates a voiced z in Sumerian in this case. According to the Pennsylvania Dictionary, a variant form of zalag is sulug, which can be a different dialectal result of *swalag-, with vocalic harmony. It is interesting that the closest parallel formations are in Greek, whith the addition of -ag-. However, for the passage from sw to s we can also cite Toch. B sälp- ‘be set alight, blaze up; burn’, which is accepted by Douglas Adams as "an extension of the widely attested *swel- ‘burn, smoulder’" and is connected with Latin sulphur (see here).   
Sum. zurzar (zur-za-ar) 'sound', zarah 'wailing, lamentation', Akk. ṣarāhu 'to cry out, wail, complain; lament, sing lamentation', Sum. šir 'to sing, play an instrument; song', PIE *swar/swir/sur-, Skt. svara- 'sound', svarati 'to utter a sound, resound', Russian svara 'altercation', OCS svirati 'to play a flute', Gothic swaran 'to swear', Old Norse swarmr 'noise', German surren 'to whisper, hum, buzz', Lat. susurrus 'whisper'.  

So, we have some quite strong evidence of common roots and loanwords, especially with Indo-Iranian, Greek, Italic and Anatolian, sometimes also with Germanic and Balto-Slavic. Some exclusively Indo-Iranian and Greek forms suggest that an IE language was spoken close to the Sumerians and spread to the Indo-Iranian area and Greece. Where could this language be spoken and which archaeological culture can be connected with it? From some words, it seems that it was a culture which knew farming, flour milling, herding, buildings and water channels. In Mesopotamia, irrigation agriculture started in the Samarra culture (see here), which influenced the Ubaid culture of Eridu and other Sumerian cities: "According to Gwendolyn Leick, Eridu was formed at the confluence of three separate ecosystems, supporting three distinct lifestyles, that came to an agreement about access to fresh water in a desert environment. The oldest agrarian settlement seems to have been based upon intensive subsistence irrigation agriculture derived from the Samarra culture to the north, characterised by the building of canals, and mud-brick buildings. The fisher-hunter cultures of the Arabian littoral were responsible for the extensive middens along the Arabian shoreline, and may have been the original Sumerians. They seem to have dwelt in reed huts. The third culture that contributed to the building of Eridu was the nomadic Semitic pastoralists of herds of sheep and goats living in tents in semi-desert areas. All three cultures seem implicated in the earliest levels of the city."
The Samarra culture was developed in 5600-4800 in an area not only bordering the northern Zagros that we have proposed as the PIE cradle, but also including the same region where Jarmo is found, the Neolithic site, inhabited around 7000 BC on the Zagros foothills, which presents affinities with the Iranian sites of the Zagros and the Caspian region and with Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, as we see from the lithic inventory and figurines (see my previous post). The Samarra culture is characterized by a style of painted ware rich in geometric motifs: the most typical are the swastika and the cross, two elements very popular also in Iranian art of the Bronze age until the historical times, while the swastika subsequently disappears in Mesopotamia. It is also interesting that the root meaning 'rotation' (bal/val-), a central element of Samarran art, appears to be shared by Sumerian and Indo-European.

Samarran painted bowl
Samarran designs

So, we can suppose that the Samarran people were ancient speakers of an Indo-European language, who were assimilated by Sumerians and left an important heritage of technology, words and concepts to the Sumerian civilization. If this is true, Indo-Europeans, far from being originally nomadic barbarians of the North, would be involved in the first urban and literate civilization of Mesopotamia, the source of a great part of the Eurasian cultural evolution.

Impruneta, 3-5-2015 (with later additions)                        


  1. Giacomo, I find curious that there was no examples of laryngeals in words or roots among the words you cited. Is there any explanation for that?

    1. Interesting observation, but there is the case of hurin/haran where there is a laryngeal. In the case of uwi, there is a laryngeal in the IE root Hawi, and there it is apparently lost in Sumerian. There are also cases in Akkadian where a Semitic laryngeal is lost, although it is found for instance in Arabic. So it seems that in Mesopotamia there was a tendency of losing laryngeals.

  2. I think you've worked really hard to find all these cognates,and your hardwork has payed off! Awesome post! I have a question though,could some of these IE terms in Sumerian might have actually inherited from their contacts with the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization?After all we know that Mesopotamia had close contacts with India during that time.

    1. Yes, but I don't think that the contacts were so close to give such words and roots. For instance, flour, wool and threads are something more ancient than the Harappan civilization in Mesopotamia. In that case, we could expect loanwords of exotic items imported from India, like peacock, ivory, special wood... instead, it is difficult to find something specifically Indian in that words and in their forms. Even the vajra was also present in Iranian.

    2. I think even according to Michael Witzel(quoted by K.Elst) there is a term in Sumerian called 'sindu/sinda' referring to woods from Sindh.Anyway,the Wiki page states that Samarra culture more or less died out in early 4th milln BCE.So which IE branch do you think was represented by this culture?And was there any IE branch 'left behind' in the Near East after the IE expansions?We only know of IE speakers in the Near East from the Mitannis and later Medes.

    3. Also Anatolians are in the Near East, that branch was 'left behind' or rather moved to the west. Maybe also Greeks and Italic speakers derive from such a movement, including or influencing all those who burned their dead, a typical Hittite custom. About 'sindu', in the Akkadian dictionary it is translated 'indian', as designation of timber tree. It is an Assyrian word, unfortunately it is not said of which period. The form 'sindu' is not aspirated as in Persian, so it is of Indian origin or more ancient than historical Iranian. I think it can be a proof of how ancient is Indo-Aryan in the Indus Valley.
      The Samarran IE seems to be, from the Sumerian loanwords, a language close to Indo-Iranian and Greek, for some aspects also Anatolian and Italic. Whittaker has called it Euphratic, following the name created by Landsberger, but maybe it should be called rather 'Samarran'!

    4. //I think even according to Michael Witzel(quoted by K.Elst) there is a term in Sumerian called 'sindu/sinda' referring to woods from Sindh//
      Oh that's really interesting can you provide the reference please?:).

    5. @Giacomo & Nirjhar bhai

      Check this link Witzel is discussing about Meluhhan words here,so I think he is talking about Sumerian term sinda/sindu instead of Akkadian one.Also here it is date palm instead of timber tree,also based on this I have seen few Dravidian scholars suggesting that the term Sindhu itself is borrowed from Dravidian īnthu meaning dates!! However,I think Sindh is a pure IE term,also found in Avestan.

      Regarding Samarra culture,so I think it is better to say that it had more Greco-Aryan connections :)

    6. According to the Pennsylvania Dictionary there is no Sumerian sinda/sindu, which also does not look like a Sumerian word (Sumerian does not seem to have -nd-). There is a word meaning 'wild date palm' somewhat similar, but most probably unrelated: šidšid.
      On the Akkadian dictionary, sindu (si-inda-a is actually a variant) is 'jungbabylonisch', which means 'Middle Babylonian/Middle Assyrian' in English, corresponding to the period 1530–1000 BC, which is not very old (Late Vedic I would say), but shows that there were contacts also at that time between India and Mesopotamia.

    7. Thanks for summing up Giacomo,so Witzel might be mistaken here :)
      Yes,I think this proves the existence of Aryas in Sindh during late SSC times.

      Btw,do you remember our Facebook discussion on Sanskrit -apsu and Mesopotamian cosmic water deity named Abzu?It seems that the partner of Abzu in Babylonian creation myth,Tiamat,is also mentioned in Atharva Veda as Taimata!
      See from verse 6 onwards on this link

      Even as the cord that strings the bow, I slacken, as it were, the
      Of the All-conquering serpent's wrath, of the fierce rage of
      Black, and Brown, Taimāta, and Apodaka.
      And Āligi and Viligi, their father and the mother too,—
      What will ye do? Your venomed sap, we know, is utterly
      Daughter of Urugūlā, she-fiend whom the black, skinned mother
      All female serpents poison who crept swiftly near is impotent.

      So what do you think?Could it be a coincidence between Tiamat and Taimata?

      Other names which appear in this sukta like Urugula.Aligi,Viligi etc do not sound like Sanskritic names to me.Also the Babylonian creation myth is really similar to the Nasadiya suktam of Rig Veda i.e in the beginning there was no heaven,no earth,no Gods...there was only the cosmic waters or Abzu.This is exactly what Nasadiya suktam states...there was the vast ocean of dark waters(salila) in the beginning,possibly symbolizing Asat or non-being from which the Sat or being arose.

      And I think you also remember our discussion on Babylonian version of Ashvamedha,in which the horse is replaced with a bull....

      Delete if there are double comments,my net is acting crazy.

    8. The connection of the Mesopotamian sea monster Tiamat and Taimāta is an old theory, proposed by Tilak it seems. But I find it quite unlikely, because here there are names of snakes or poisons, and not a mythical personification of the Sea like Tiamat. They should rather be Prakrit names. timita in Sanskrit and Prakrit means 'wet', tem means 'wetness', while apodaka means 'waterless, not watery'. It seems an opposition, Āligi and Viligi have clearly two Sanskrit preverbs, Ā- and Vi-, and maybe the root lag- 'to adhere'. uru- means 'wide', gūlā is not clear. The similarity in the creation myth is interesting, but the archetype of primordial water is very common I think. The similarity of Abzu/Apsu and Apas is worthy of consideration, however.

  3. Instead of so much text, I could read more easily if the IE-Sum comparison was structured as a table (separately as an XML file for example). Anyhow, my impression is that the cognates, while possibly valid are not really with PIE but with this or that local branch via substrate in most cases. For example Greek and Latin only cognates can well be associated with the Pelasgian/Etruscan substrate, which in turn can be tracked via Halaf-Vinca (Etruscan word for king is Lukumon, while Sumerian is Lugal).

    My iron rule when comparing Basque with IE is that, if it is shared with European and Asian IE, then it's surely a Basque-IE or "paleoeuropean" cognate, while if it's only shared with one or several European branches (but no Asians), then it's probably Vasconic substrate influence as IE expanded. It's not the same 'hartz' or 'hauts', which are Basque words with pan-IE (and particularly PIE cognates for bear and ash) than 'hil' or '-ari', which only affect Germanic and Western IE instead (for 'kill', 'ill' and '-er respectively).

    A mass comparison would help you weight the amount of IE/PIE-Sumerian relationship (just random noise or truly significant?) I would also include NE Caucasian, Semitic and Dravidian outgroups for reference (for example Sumerian cognates may have arrived to Indo-Aryan or even Indo-Iranian as a whole, as Elamo-Dravidian substrate words). What is clear is that: (1) Sumerian was not isolated but belonged to the wider sprachsbund area of Fertile Crescent Early Neolithic, a very influential region in many ways, and (2) IE languages are not all IE (as in PIE-derived) but they incorporate a huge amount of vocabulary that is from other sources. It is crucial to discern what is truly IE and what is just an areal element that can well originate in the local substrate. Just being in Latin and Greek does not make a word IE (can be and probably is substrate/adstrate influence), being in Latin, Sanskrit and Tocharian does (for example). That's the greatness of IE being so widespread, that you can discern relatively well what is true IE and what are incorporations in the expansionist drive.

    1. I have a similar approach, Maju, and I have a list of words found in Semitic and in European languages but not in Asian IE languages, which I suppose come from a Neolithic substratum from the Levant. So, we can doubt about the case of zalag, which apparently is reflected only in Greek. Another case is lu/lau-, because it seems to be found only in European languages (also Celtic and Germanic). I have not cited all the cognates, you can check here:
      I have the impression that Sumerian has a direct relation with PIE, or at least with an ancient IE branch, while Semitic was involved in the pre-IE European substratum, which is natural, since the Early Neolithic started from the Levant. Sumerians, instead, are too far from Europe and created their civilization in an area which became agrarian later than the Levant.

    2. "So, we can doubt about the case of zalag, which apparently is reflected only in Greek".

      Absolutely: if an apparent cognate is only found in one specific branch of IE then it is not PIE but a development specific of that branch, often via contact with other languages (substrate or adstrate).

      This is one of the most serious problems when discussing IE because some people tend to say: if it exists in any one IE language (or sometimes any random 2-3 languages, without further criteria and regardless that they are neighbors or related downstream of the PIE node), then it is PIE. This kind of lazy all-is-pan-IE thinking can easily be demonstrated false with concrete examples, for example "bizarre" is found in several European IE languages but it clearly has a recent Basque origin (bizardun = bearded → Sp. bizarro = brave, bold, manly → Eng. bizarre = freaky, strange, kinky → back to Spanish with that altered meaning - there's also an Italian relative which may cause confusion).

      I'm not going to do my own counter-analysis (I could, but why bother) but I do suggest above the criteria needed for a well-done analysis where the various possible processes at play can be discerned.

    3. I agree on the principle, but I have changed my analysis about zalag, and I have added the form zal. The Greek forms have a clear IE form, are clearly based on a common root, and phonetically they do not create a real problem as I thought initially. There is also the IE root g'hal 'to shine, bright', but it should not give zal- in Sumerian, which has centum forms like gan-.

  4. Sum. DUR, DURU means to irrigate, moisture, fresh - Armenian d͡ʒər-el irrigate, d͡ʒur - water, Latvan, Litvan Jura means Sea
    The Armenian has also words t'urm, tor-el, turd͡ʒ-el that all are related to water

    From Your list. This words
    Agarak - field
    d͡ʒər-ambar - water reservoir where ambar means reservoir
    Ner - an Antihero, Antichrist, a very bad person. this is perhaps the result of Christian thinking because there is an evidence that during Pagan times Ner-Gal was worshipped in Armenia.
    Kurt͡ʃ - Mountain rock
    Karapet - is a common name and surname in Armenia. The origin is known but is thought to mean a Leader, A prominent person. The second root is pet which is from PIE poti, linking to GARAPATESI
    Kətr-el - to cut

    If needed I can continue the list

    1. Thank you Aram, it can be very interesting to enrich the picture with Armenian words. I have the doubt, though, that in some cases Sumerian words could arrive to Armenia not through IEs.
      The case of Karapet is very interesting, what is the meaning of 'Kara' in Armenian? I have seen that 'pet' is an actual word meaning 'chief', clearly related to 'pati-'

    2. Karapet initialy was a word meaning leader, forerunner, the one who march before the king. Then after Christianity it was used as a title for Joan the Baptist. This word was translated as Prodromos in Greek. The forerunner.
      The Armenian linguist Jahukyan says that this word is attested also in Elamian.
      The meaning for the root Kar ( a is a just joiner ) remain unclear for me. Some say it is a Iranian loanword as in name Kar-en meaning mighty. The root Kar also means 'to can, will' in English.

    3. Aram Welcome! Do link the word lists when you can, i would love to see them!:).

    4. Giacomo

      I made an error. It seems that the Neṙ 'evil' is related to NERUgal in Sumerian and has nothing to do with ner/nir 'hero lord'.

      We have word neri 'male (but only for goat)' that is speculative.

  5. Giacomo,
    Thank you so much for the post!
    About Sum. zalag- '(to be) pure; (fire) light; (to be) bright, to shine' can that be compared with Skt. jvAlA ''burn,flame,illumination,light,torch'' etc?
    About *ghurdh- 'to enclose, gird',it is interesting that Bangla have Ghera and Ghira 'to enclose,cover' and Hindi Gher with similar meanings.
    I think if we compare the relation of IE and Sumerian then we find it to be stronger than the Relation of IE and Uralic.

    1. thank you, Nirjhar! I suspected that there was a word similar to zalag in Sanskrit, but I did not remember, that's it! The sound jv- can explain z- in Sumerian. In Lithuanian we have žvilti 'to shine'. Also the root Gher/Ghir is very useful, see here 'ghir':

    2. :-)
      A couple more suggestions:- on Sum. umbin 'nail, claw, finger, toe', PIE *n̥gwi-, Lat. unguis 'nail, claw'. Old Irish ingen, Greek onyx, Arm. eġung 'nail' I think we can also add Sanskrit अङ्गुली (AgGuli) 'Finger,Tow,Thumb' etc
      About Sum. dul 'to lower, to be deep', dula 'depth, depression', PIE *dhal- 'valley, hollow', English dell, dale, German Thal 'valley', Delle 'light depression', Old Church Slavonic dolu 'down, below' We have discussed that there is also Bangla Dhal 'Slope' with retroflex.

    3. Correction: It should be aGguli.

    4. No, anguli is not equivalent, it is related to anga- 'member', although probably there is a common root for something curved, bent, like 'angle' (from Latin 'angulus').
      Dhal as a cognate is really evident, as we discussed.

  6. You did a great job.
    A friend of mine is doing the same kind of research. I will ask to give me some additional words.

    There are other some striking things linking the PIE to West Asia. For example the Hurrian god stories. Basically the fight of Teshub with Kumarbi is the same storyline that of Zeus fighting Kronos. I have counted Hurrian and Greek gods with same story-lines. But all this Gods are tought to be IE gods so how they appear in Hurrian that lived there even before Hittites?!
    Kumarbi - Kronos
    Teshub - Zeus
    Ullikumi - Typhoeus
    Inara - Artemis
    Aplu - Apollon - maybe trough Hittite Apaliunas
    Upelluri - Atlas

    It's obvious that all this gods names are not related. But their stories show striking similiraties. And many of this stories are present in other IE people's mythologies.

    1. The similarity of Kumarbi with Kronos is well known, and it is generally explained by Hittite influence. As far as the Greeks are concerned, the Hurrian mythology could reach them through the Hittites and other Anatolians. If we find some myths in other IE mythologies it is more significant. I find interesting that Aplu is the same form of Apollo that we find in Etruscan, also because Hurrian and Etruscan languages seem to have a relation.

  7. Giacomo, have you seen this paper?

    1. Yes, I started from that, I suggest to read also the others of Whittaker if you find them, another one, besides this, is linked in the post. Also the paper of Sahala is useful.

    2. I got all I could find on Whitaker last night, on scribd, but I have yet to check them. I also read the paper you linked from Sahala.

      I think another good source, though I didn't check on this issue yet, is the most recent book on Nostratic from Bomhard. It's freely available on .

    3. I don't know what you mean, but If you need any of them, you can send me an email :)

    4. There is another root which in PIE is bhereg, which means high, noble; barrow, mountain; maybe this one is related to king (also).

  8. What do you think of this:
    I cannot find anything related in sanskrit
    In PIE, here, I found
    gašan: lady, mistress; queen (cf., ga-ša-an) (Emesal dialect word, in which nin becomes šan)
    sum nin: queen, mistress, proprietress, lady;

    PIE gu̯ē̆nā, queen

    1. In Sanskrit that root gives gnā́ 'lady, goddess', but I do not see a probable connection of IE gw(a)nā with Sum. gašan, because of the sibilant.

    2. From Halloran' s lexicon:

      úgunu, úgun[GAŠAN]: lady, mistress, ruler.

    3. Yes, I also noticed that ugunu (this is the only form according to ePSD) but because of the preceding and following u I am not sure about the possible connection with IE gwan-. But it is interesting that the meaning is 'lady, mistress, proprietess' rather than 'woman', and also for IE gwan- the original meaning is supposed 'honored woman', giving queen in English:

    4. After doing a research in the dictionary, I suggest that ugunu can be a compound of ug 'exalted' and unu 'girl, young woman'. There is also 'unu' 'banquet, dwelling, throne'. In a language like Sumerian, where we have many monosyllabic words that can be put together, we must be very careful before making a comparison if a word is not to be explained as a native compound.

  9. barag, bára, bár; bara5,6: throne dais; king, ruler; cult platform; stand, support; crate, box;
    sack; chamber, dwelling (container plus ra(g), 'to pack') [? BARA2 archaic frequency: 69; concatenates 2 sign
    variants; ? ZATU-764 archaic frequency 21].

    PIE *bher- to bear, to carry, to take

    1. it can be a good parallel, although 'ruler' does not fit much, unless it is connected with 'throne'. 'Sack' is good, bhara- means also 'burden, load' in Sanskrit.

    2. In the line of sucession of many kings, that follows bharata, there are quite a few with the word bhara, and phonetic variations. So, I was thinking about, at least the first bharata, being a sort of title of king.

      And, then, I was actually thinking about the word king. I thought if *bherh₃reǵ, which could yield barag.

  10. Sumerian ZI.ZI means horse - Armenian d͡zi 'horse' .
    The Armenian word is thought to come from PIE g'heuio ' speedy, ride, to move'. But it can be a direct borrowing from the Sumerian.
    Sumerians ideogram for horse was ANSE.KUR.RA which literaly means the 'equid (or donkey?) of mountain lands'.
    This shows that Sumerians first contact with horse was from mountains of north.

    The ideogram ANSE is also very interesting in Sumerian. It is used for equids: horse, donkey, mules.
    In IE languages it could be related. Luwian ásù 'horse', Lydian esbe, Phrygian es', Lithuanian ašvà 'mare', Sanskrit áśva, Armenian ēš 'donkey', Iranian aspa 'horse'.
    the Greek, Latin Germanic and Celtic forms for horse are more in line with reconstructed PIE *éḱwos or *h₁éḱwos or *h₁éḱus.

    1. That bit you mention is most interesting Aram. I'd say that you are right about horses in West Asia arriving from the North, probably first of all with the Kura-Araxes culture, believed to be at least partly proto-Anatolian.

      However I can't but notice that the words you mention also appear similar to Basque "zaldi", which is obviously not Indoeuropean by any means. Incidentally North Iberia/South France seems to be a second center of horse domestication, judging on mitochondrial genetic data: . Also there is archaeological evidence of widespread horse consumption in Chalcolithic Southern Iberia, when Indoeuropeans were still far away.

      As for ANSE, it is clearly related to Lat. "asinus", ancient Greek "ὄνος" and other similar words in Celtic (asan, asen) and ancient Germanic (esil). It's almost certainly derived from West Asia, or maybe Egypt. In this case the Basque word follows the same scatter pattern but with distinct evolution: "asto". I think the Egyptian word was also something like "ass" (could somebody confirm? I see it transcribed as 'ȝ and ˁȝ but not sure what's the exact reading). IMO an African origin of the term makes sense because donkeys were first domesticated in NE Africa.

    2. Maju,
      Pardon me but what do you mean by Western Asia which countries and their parts it includes in your suggestion on Horse?
      BTW i don't see how sumerian ZI.ZI horse - Armenian d͡zi 'horse can be compared with the Basque Zaldi!.

    3. Aram, I think the PIE form for horse should be rather *(H)ak'wa-, with the vocalism of Luwian, Avestan and Sanskrit, anyway the phonetic changes are regular and both the centum and satem term have the same origin, which is not Sum. ANŠE. This form can be related to Lat. asinus (the origin of the Celtic and Germanic words), if we imagine a metathesis for instance (from anse- to asne-, giving also Greek osno->onos 'donkey') Another theory is a connection with the Semitic ʔatnā 'she-ass', and another with Sanskrit asita/asiknī 'dark'.
      About ZI.ZI, according to the Pennsylvanya dictionary (and other sources) is to be read 'sisi', which is very close to the Arabic sīsiyy- 'Pony', Akkadian sīsû (sīsāʔu) 'horse', and other Semitic words. It looks like a 'childish' word, and apparently Semitic.
      The Armenian d͡zi (also written ji), according to Mayrhofer it is related to Sanskrit haya 'horse', from a PIE *g'hi/g'hay- 'to send forth, set in motion, impel, urge on, hasten on' (Skt. hi/hay-).

    4. Yes I know that the Armenian 'ji' or ՛dzi is considered to come from PIE. Interesting about Sanskrit. Did any other IE language use *g'hi/g'hay for horse apart from Sanskrit and Armenian?

      I didn't knew about Semitic. But for childish word it is interesting because we have a very popular child song where a child's horse is called dzidzi. So quite possible that it came from Semitic languages.

      As far as I know words like like dzi or ji are also present in Caucasic proto-languages.
      *či for Daghestani
      din for Nakh
      and *čhe for Abkhaz-Circassian

      I got this Caucasic words from Johann Nichols paper.

      So perhaps a more Nostratic word or just coincidence. I don't know.

    5. Well I agree that ANSE is better candidate.
      So we can put away the 'dzi' that is much more complicated.

    6. Aram,
      // Did any other IE language use *g'hi/g'hay for horse apart from Sanskrit and Armenian?//
      Yes in Slavic the cognate is present, see here-

  11. Nirjhar:

    1. I don't understand your first question but this "Western Asia": (Near East, Middle East, Fertile Crescent are other names for the same approximate region, but this one is more precise).

    2. Re. "zaldi", what I see is the "z...i" similitude with the other mentioned words but I won't go any further nor reach any conclusion. Conjecturally they could derive from a same origin but hard to say.

    I disagree with what Giacomo just wrote above anyhow making the similar words (apparent cognates) in Semitic, Sumerian and Armenian have different origins. It's quite outstanding the the Armenian word should be cognate with the Semitic and Sumerian words. I also doubt the Semitic origin and, if there is a "childish" effect on it it must still be based on some other word: children do simplify words by syllabe repetition and syllabe supression but not out of the blue, I recall several examples of personal names: Francisco → Coco, Francisquín → Kin, Cristina → Titina, I'm sure you also have your own).

    Most likely the Armenian word is ancestral (even if not properly Armenian, maybe Hurrian or Hurro-Anatolian or the Kura-Araxes culture, which introduced the horse in the region) to the Semitic/Sumerian word. I don't see "childspeak" here but just variants of the same word *dzi or *zi or something of the like. Z→S transformation is common (some dialects of Basque for example have lost the /z/ sound altogether in favor of /s/, while most retain it) but not sure how it works in the languages of West Asia with the comparative method (i.e. is it a regular sound change in some contexts or is it really anomalous?)

    1. Maju
      We have a word 'zambik' for female horse. The root of this word could be the zamb.
      The etymology of this word is unknown. Some consider it as a Iranian loan but I have no any Iranian parallel.

    2. About zaldi, there are two interesting parallels in Ibero-Latin, celdo and thieldones:
      About what Maju says on childish word, it is an interesting observation that you must have an original word as a base. In my region, children say 'lallo' for 'cavallo' (horse). The Semitic words like Akk. sisu, Hebrew sus, are often considered as derived from an IE word like ashwa, but it always appeared strange to me. But maybe the Armenian dzidzi is really related with Sum. ZI.ZI, which became sisi and then sisu in Akkadian (Akkadian has often u at the end of words), and then spread to other Semitic languages with the diffusion of horses. Aram, how is really pronounced dzi/ji in Armenian?

    3. Problem is that zaldun is horse-rider (usually in the meaning of "knight") and it's a natural derivate from zaldi (zaldi-dun → zaldun). Also if zerri, zarri (pig, maybe via a variant *zerdi) produces cerdo in Spanish, it makes total sense that zaldi (o *zeldi) produces celdo. Mitxelena is not always right.

      "About what Maju says on childish word, it is an interesting observation that you must have an original word as a base. In my region, children say 'lallo' for 'cavallo' (horse)".

      Indeed. The only exceptions may be close relative words like ama, mamma, dada, tata, baba, etc., which have been argued to directly derive from the very first sounds babies can pronounce, which are then incorporated, once and again, to the common vocabulary by wishful thinking of what the baby might mean. But that's a different thing from what a toddler does when learning the actual language but has still difficulty pronouncing all sounds, long words, etc.

    4. Giacomo
      It is prononced as d͡zi, now and also in Old Armenian
      You can here this consonant here
      The letter j is not the best letter for this consonant

      I also checked that child song. I think it is not reliable because first the dzi dzi is transcripted separately and I don't know how old is this song. So lets say that it is an example of childish reduplication for poetic purposes and nothing more.

      Caucasic words(che, chi, de, ache) also don't have any reduplication.

      So the reduplication happens only in Sumerian.

      There is another Armenian word zizi. With real reduplication. I don't know his exact meaning. I will check it.

  12. I looked at the word horse in Hurrian
    It is a word like ashu or *isi

    The word aššuššanne
    ‘horse-trainer’ combines the Hurrian suffix -anne with an Indo-Aryan-sounding root aššušš (cf.
    Sanskrit áśva-­ ‘horse’). Indeed, it was probably the Hurrians who introduced “the light horse-
    drawn chariot with spoked wheels, the training of horses to draw it, its use as a platform for
    firing the composite bow, and the development of scale-armour for men and horses to counter it”

    *[isi] ‘horse’ (?)
    EL ešši.

    From By Arnaud Fournet And Allan R. Bomhard

    1. Yes, I have recently read this, but there is also the theory that aššušanni (this is a common reading) is related with the Vedic compound aśvasani 'gaining or procuring horses'. However, the -anni suffix is found also in Mitanni, maryanni, so, it is quite probable that it is rather the Hurrian suffix. In this case, the form aššuš is closer to the Luwian asu(wa) 'horse', but see here for the different theories:

    2. Do you guys realize that many of the words for horse in West Asia arising in this discussion are similar to the words for ass, donkey mentioned earlier? Personally I suspect a connection.

    3. Can you make an example? We can also cite the case of Armenian ēš 'donkey', which is considered as derived from the IE root ek'wos. Also Sumerian anšekurra 'ass of the mountain' for the horse shows the identification of the two equids. But there is also anše-sisi for 'horse', which shows that anše, meaning primarily 'ass, donkey', always needed a specification for the horse.

    4. The words you just mentioned for example: "aššušanni", "aśvasani", don't seem related to PIE, not even to the (conjecturally Hurro-Anatolian) dzi, but rather to anse or related forms in the line of lat. asinus.

    5. aśvasani is simply a Sanskrit compound of aśva 'horse' and sani 'gain, one who gains', and it means 'gaining or procuring horses'. It seems it is found only in one passage of the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Yajurveda. aššušanni is apparently Hurrian, found in the famous Hittite treatise of Kikkuli of Mitanni about horse breeding to define himself. Since there are also other Indo-Iranian words in that work, someone proposed a comparison with the Sanskrit term, but I think that the Hurrian suffix -anni from an IE ashush/ashwas for horse is more likely.

  13. (23) Sum. šeg9 'snow; frost; cold weather' ~ PIE *sneig 'snow'; Skt. sneha (स्नेह); TochB śiñcatstse; Gk. nipha (νίφα); Lith. sniegas; ON snjór.
    Possible connection to Sumerian šeg was first introduced by Pokorny (1959). However, differing from Pokorny, I consider it possible that the Sumerian word was not originally pronounced /šeg/.

    The Armenian word is d͡ziun or d͡zun. not very similar to PIE. But if it is related to PIE then s -> dz is interesting.

    The only place where Sumerians could see a lot off snow is the Zagros mountains.
    BTW he also discuss the horse and the donkey.
    He thinks that the horse comes from Hurrian *issi who themselves borrowed it from IE people.

    1. I did not cite that parallel because I did not find it very compelling. It lacks the nasal sound, which is found in all IE forms. About horse, yes, I did not notice that Sahala derives sisi from Hurrian issi, it can be an idea, although it would be better to have other similar examples in Sumerian with additions and reduplications.

  14. Same thing: where does aśva come from? Isn't it a borrowing from asne? Or is it the other way around?

    1. You mean Sumerian anše? It does not seem related. Some give the form anšu, which is more similar, but the 25 forms given by the Pennsylvania Dictionary are all with anše. I suspect that it comes from a metathesis from 'asne' from Semitic ʔatnā 'she-ass'. We must remember that donkeys come from North Africa, so they arrived to Sumer from the Levant.
      Sanskrit aśva comes from the IE (H)ak'wa ((h1)ek'wo- according to the most common reconstruction), like Avestan aspa, Luwian asu(wa) and Latin equus. It may be related to a root meaning 'quick', found e.g. in Skt. āśu 'fast, quick'.

    2. Yes that "anše". However along Sumerian there must have been other languages which called the donkey in a similar way because the same (unknown) root produces variants like asinus (Lat.), asto (Basque) and I'd argue that also asva, rather than this one having a strict IE etymology, which is inconsistent with more typical IE horse terms derived from PIE h₁éḱwos.

      1. Clear h₁éḱwos derivatives:
      → Celtic: *ekʷos
      → Germanic: *ehwaz
      → Mycenaean Greek: ikkʷos
      → Italic: *ekwos
      → Tocharian: *yä́kwë

      2. Probably anse related:
      → Anatolian: only ANŠE and ásù attested
      → Armenian: ēš (donkey)
      → Balto-Slavic: ašva (mare)
      → Indo-Aryan: assa, asva, aspa, asp, esp
      → Phrygian: es'
      → Thracian: esvas

      One could argue this duality, I guess in terms of centum/satem but, regardless, the similitude of the "satem" words for horse with others used for donkey, is clear, including the example of Armenian ēš. Based on the above relatives of anše (asinus, asto), I'd argue for a proto-form in the line of *ass, of which anše is just a variant. Obviously it is a wanderwort or (initially) sprachbund feature spanning different language families.

      Alternatively, if you can solidly argue for a *h₁éḱwos→*ass evolution within the centum→satem paradigm, then *ass (or similar) was originally horse for a subgroup of early Indoeuropeans and was borrowed by non-IE West Asians to mean ass, which was the first equine domesticated in the area of Mesopotamia (arguably they independently tamed wild onagers, but it'd be quite strange that they do not have a native word for them).

      So I'd rather lean for *ass being a native West Asian (not necessarily Sumerian, could be Elamite, Hurrian, Guthian, Hattic or whatever) for "generic equine", particularly the ass variant, being borrowed into a branch of IE at a very early date. But I reckon that the inverse possibility is also worth considering.

      Regardless of the exact etymology, this seems to have implications for early IE split in their horse vocabulary. The oldest expanding IEs (in all directions save Caucasus-Anatolia) used h₁éḱwos (both Tocharians and Europeans of the Western and Greek branches), so this one is surely the original IE word. For some reason (either evolution or borrowing) the Caucasus-Anatolia branch (Maykop and Kura-Araxes) adopted the *ass form and then it became common in the satem area but also in non-IE areas like Sumer, Urartu...

    3. About the onager, in Sumerian a compound is used for it: anše-eden-na, where eden means 'plain, steppe' (we can compare it with the ass of the mountain), while in Akkadian there is a simple word, serremu, and also parû, whose cognates are found also in other Semitic languages, like Hebrew pärä and Arabic faraʔ.
      About Basque asto, I remember I have already cited a comparison with Berber aste:
      In Luwian, there is also -asna for ass:

  15. Sumerian BAD 'wall, fortification' - Arm. PAT 'wall' . PAT is a root for many words related to wall.
    The origin of Armenian PAT is thought to be IE or maybe Iranian. *pat, *pet-

    In Armenian the root PAT has another meaning 'story'. patum, patm-em, 'to tell a story', patm-ut'iun 'History'. How wall and story/history are related I don't know.
    I don't have IE parallels for this word. It would be nice to find some.

    Interesting potential ramification of this 'Wall' story is the Proto-Semitic word *bayt which means 'house'.

    1. There is the word bhitti भित्ति = wall in Sanskrit, too.

    2. Surprising comparison, however bhitti comes from the root bhid- 'to split, separate', so it means 'splitting' and 'mat' (made of split reeds) and in later texts 'wall, partition', apparently from the meaning 'something separating'.

  16. Giacomo, important to see more cognates are added as suspect there will be more!
    BTW I today give the comparison between ar [PRAISE] (56x: Old Babylonian) wr. ar2; a-ar2; a-ar; a-ar3 "(hymn of) praise; fame" Akk. tanittu To Sanskrit आर् (Ar) Praise, what do you think?.

    1. Yes, it is a bit short but there are some interesting IE parallels as you can see here:
      In this case, the Sanskrit meaning seems the closest, but according to Mayrhofer it has a different meaning, 'anerkennen', that is, 'to acknowledge, appreciate' rather than 'to praise'. Apparently he follows Geldner, who translates 'erkennen', 'to recognize'.

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  18. Today I give the proposal to connect Sumerian dam [SPOUSE] (2104x: ED IIIa, ED IIIb, Old Akkadian, Lagash II, Ur III, Early Old Babylonian, Old Babylonian, unknown) wr. dam "spouse" to the PIE root *dam- "house, household" as the IE root produced French dame "lady, mistress, wife," from Late Latin domna, from Latin domina "lady, mistress of the house," is this arguable? if it is then only publish the comment:).

    1. It is interesting, not only because of Latin domina/dominus, but also for Greek damar 'wife, spouse', Skt. damūnas 'house lord', and dampatī 'the two masters of the house, husband and wife', from the root *dam- 'house' which is connected with the concept of spouse.

    2. another one for today though its probably not PIE.
      Sumerian mes [HERO] (29x: ED IIIa, ED IIIb, Old Akkadian, Ur III, Old Babylonian) wr. mes "hero; (to be) manly; young man" compare with Latin masculinus "male, of masculine gender," from masculus "male, masculine; worthy of a man," diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person, male,", ''macho''.

    3. Looks at least related to IE to me because we can't ignore the similitude "mas" - "man". While 'man' seems derived from PIE *man- quite unmistakably (many cognates across the board), 'mas' is said to be derived from a youth-meaning variant: *meryo, also present in Sanskrit 'marya' and Armenian 'mari'. Notice that in all the IE words, including Lat. 'mas', the common element is "ma-", while the Sumerian one is "me-" instead (OK, close enough but still intriguing).

      Can't it be an IE borrowing (young man → hero makes good sense)?

    4. The connection of mes with mas semantically is possible, but what is strange is that Latin mas- has no clear cognates (I have checked also on the Latin etymological dictionary by Ernout-Meillet). The genitive maris comes from *masis according to the regular rhotacism (, while mar(ya)- is already with r in IE (it can be found also in Lat. maritus 'married, husband'), and it seems it has given also words for girls, like Lithuanian marti, merga 'girl', Welsh merch 'daughter, girl'.
      So, Sumerian mes 'hero, manly, young man' (=Akk. eţlu "young man"), would give a unique parallel for Latin mas! The form with e is most probably an evolution of the form with a, according to a common phonetic change, like 'mel' above.

    5. Giacomo

      The Russian muzh, muzhik meaning husband, man isn't it a cognate of Latin mas ?

      p.s. Please approve only this comment the other is not in right place.

    6. Guys thank you so much for your observations!
      So today i have this proposal to make:
      Sumerian zizna [WOMB] wr. zizna "early childhood; creation; shape, appearance, structure; womb" with Sanskrit Zizu/ Shishu ( शिशु) ''Infant,Infantile,young,child,baby boy'' Tower Of Babel gives a PIE form * k'ik'- ''Child'' and some cognates in Baltic anyway in Sanskrit there is also Zizna/Shishna which is the male generative organ probably from a same root as well?.

    7. Aram, Russian muzh does not seem related, the usual etymology is from the root *man/mon- for 'man':
      It is also remarkable that Latin mas is used also for animals, so it should not be connected with man(u)- as someone has made.

  19. Here another i think quite probable-
    Sumerian bar [BURN] (20x: Ur III, Old Babylonian) wr. bar7 "to burn; to fire (pottery)" Akk. napāhu to PIE *gwher- ''Heat,warm'' as in Hittite war ''to burn'' Old Church Slavonic goriti "to burn," varŭ "heat," variti "to cook, boil;" and Lithuanian vérdu "to seethe." Sanskrit Gharmah etc.
    Ah yes there is Sumerian gurum [BURN] (1x: Old Babylonian) wr. gurum2 "to burn" also!.

    1. This verb bar was noticed also by Autran, but the IE root you use for comparison is different, and I think it is interesting, because it would show a proximity to Hittite. There is also Armenian 'varim' 'to burn'. Sumerian b for IE w/v is present also in bal above, although here w/v- is the evolution of gwh- of one part of the IE world. I think that gurum and kur ('to burn, light up') can also be results of the root *gwhar-, like zal- and sul- above from *swal-. We can also imagine that different IE dialects entered in Sumerian. However, there is also the possibility that the IE root corresponding to Sum. bar is rather *bhar/bher- 'to cook, bake, fry, roast':
      or *bhar/bher- 'to boil':

    2. All right! here is today's first suggestion-
      Sumerian igi [EYE] with PIE*akʷ- ''eye'' Sanskrit Akshi,Old English ege (Mercian), eage (West Saxon), Tocharian ak, ek, Armenian akn etc etc.

    3. And Basque "begi" (eye), which I have often compared with IE. The b(e)- seems to be a common preffix in Basque words but unsure about the pattern it follows (I believe some have argued for "repetition" or "otherness" as fundamental archaic meaning).

    4. Ah Maju Hi! i need something from you can you please link your Article/Suggestion on IE and Basque cognates list? i would love to see them!.

    5. Here is my 2nd proposal for the day.
      Sumerian Aga ''Axe'' compare PIE *agʷas-i- ''Axe'' as in Gothic aqizi,Greek axine, Latin ascia etc.
      and this one i'm not Sure:
      Sumerian pašu ''Axe'' with PIE *palak ''Axe'' Sanskrit Parashu, Greek Pelekus.

  20. Not sure what you mean, Nirjhar but THIS is a Basque-PIE-NE Caucasian-Dravidian mass lexical comparison of 200 words. I'd also suggest to search for Dr. Roslyn Frank in, who has made many proposals (not all published, I know some only from personal exchanges) about Basque-PIE connections that she calls "paleoeuropean".

    Also axe (and cognates) again seems oddly vasconic, compare not just the literal Basque word "aizkor" but also many other Basque words for tools beginning with a(i)(t)z-, usually believed to mean rock, stone (modern haitz=rock, also -aiz and similar common in toponimy with that meaning) but that some argue could be related to a lost form of "to cut", whose possible cognate, along many others, I have only found (to my surprise) in Nubian. Azto=knife (do not confuse with "asto"=donkey), aiztur=hoe, adze ("adze" also seems to share the "vasconic" root), etc.

    1. Maju aitz meaning rock is quite possible. In Armenian xaz means rock, it is also present with same meaning in Persian. In Sumerian there are various words for axe one is hazi or hazin.

  21. Nirjhar already suggested the Sumerian word mes for 'hero, young men', and I know Your answer.
    I found some other words who can be related to it. I found them in a forum so they are not reliable.
    Thracian Muca = tribe/clan bonded by blood males
    Scottish Mac = tribe clan
    Iranian muca = son
    Proto-Slavic *mǫžь - Man it is derived from PIE *manu but neverthless it's interesting.

    1. Thank you, unfortunately I am busy for my departure for Thailand, where I will attend the World Sanskrit Conference, so I cannot deepen the topic and cannot reply and make research easily in the next weeks.

    2. About those words, they do not seem related to mes. Thracian Muca/Muka denotes a clan (, but Scottish Mac means 'son':
      I don't know Iranian muca, which language does it belong to?
      I have found instead Gathic Avestan maga 'bond of the religious community', and 'magavan' 'belonging to the bond of the religious community'.

  22. Another suggestion
    Sum. UGUBI 'monkey' - Akkadian uqupi, Iranian kapik, kabi, Arm, kapik, Indian kapi. All the same meaning.
    It would be interesting to compare it to the word ape in English. Etymology is unknown.

    1. The connection of kapi and ape was proposed, but it is quite controversial. And anyway, it should not be ancient, since monkeys were not present in regions of Celtic, Germanic and Slavic speakers (in these languages we find related terms), so it must be a late loanword.
      The Iranian forms are considered loanwords from India, anyway it's interesting that macaques are present also in Eastern Afghanistan. According to a Hebrew etymological dictionary, even the Egyptian qefi (or gyf) and Hebrew qof and Akkadian ukupu come from Old Indian kapi. Greek kepos/kebos is late (Aristotle and so on). The form cephus/cefus in Latin suggests a connection with the Semitic or Egyptian form. See here: There it says that qefi in Egyptian is used for monkeys of the land of Punt, which is in Ethiopia/Yemen: probably baboons.

    2. It's not straightforward to say what animals existed in an area or not. There were elephants in China and they were not of the same type of the Indian Elephant:

      See, it was not easy to conclude that.

    3. Well, there we have proofs of the presence of elephants in China, which had a suitable environment, in northern and central Europe we have no recent traces of monkeys or apes. I think it's possible that the word ape, possibly starting from Celtic, was originally a mythical concept of a dwarf or goblin, later identified with the actual apes, as suggested here:
      It is interesting that in English ape is used for the most human primates, without tail.

      Another possibility is a loanword from Amharic eba 'monkey', Tigre habay 'baboon, monkey', or related languages from the Horn of Africa, but I don't know by which way they could reach northern Europe.

    4. Note that the difficulty was in making sure it was not merely an Indian elephant. It looks like it was not an easy task. And the bones are large, which is not the case concerning monkeys. It's and oddity that they are absent there. I'd expect them to survive in refugia during the ice age.

      Besides, there would be opportunities to migrate to Europe during the several, though brief green Sahara that happened during the interglacials.

    5. Well, it seems that Old World monkeys disappeared from Europe about 1.8 mya (, citing K. Strier 2007).

      I wish to add that Skt. kapi- and Germanic apa- cannot be connected as cognates, because according to the normal phonetic change (the first Germanic Lautverschiebung) kap>haf, as in Lat. caper, Old Icelandic hafr 'he-goat'. In German Affe, we have the regular second Lautverschiebung from p to f.

    6. About Sum. ugubi, according to EPSD it is attested since the Old Babylonian period, after 2000 BC. Akkadian has the form uqūpu, with variants a/iqūpu, attested later in Middle/New Babylonian period, in one case it is used for monkeys from Egypt (Chicago Assyrian Dict., CAD).
      The corresponding Sumerogram is UGU.DU.BI. Another Akkadian term for monkey, pagū, has the Sumerogram UGU.DUL.BI and UGU.KU.BI. According to the CAD (entry pagū), DUL is a mistake, and UGU.KU.BI is to be read ugubi, with a variant agabi. This last form is closer to Skt. kapi, but it seems very rare, and ugubi does not seem a normal loanword from kapi. It is also strange that in Akkadian we have an uvular q. The same sound that we find in Hebrew qoph, monkey, which is also the name of the letter q itself, considered as a representation of the monkey, probably called qoph also in Phoenician. In Assyria we have representations of Phoenician merchants with monkeys, so maybe the word comes from there. Then, Sanskrit kapi, of dubious etymology, is maybe a Near Eastern term, although it can be later the source of the Iranian and Armenian similar terms, attested only since Middle Iranian. Interestingly, in Pashto the term for monkey, namely 'bizo', is different.

  23. I think this is an odd occurrence. There should be a reasonable explanation for the disappearance, or the actual non existence, since there were several opportunities for re-population. This is a typical case where the non finding begs for an explanation.

    If that was the case, the word for monkey, tximino, for basque should also be a similar sounding word.

    1. 'Tximino' quite apparently derives from Lat. 'simius' (ape or monkey), probably via Romance or Vulgar Latin 'simio' (Spanish form), as otherwise it would have kept the -u ending. So it'd be simius → simio → *(t)simino → (t)ximino (where (t)x- is just a diminutive).

      That's all quite conservative from Latin, what is innovative is mono[es] → monkey[en], which allegedly comes from Arabic maimon (happy) or from Spanish mamón(-a) (suckler). In Spanish mono/-a also has the meaning of "cute" (which may well be older than that of monkey, at least if we follow the Arabic etymology).

      As for repopulation of Europe by monkeys in the Ice Ages, I think it just doesn't make much sense, especially as there're not monkeys in West Asia (crossing Gibraltar Strait is not feasible for such animals, who mostly just hate swimming, Gibraltar macaca are a recent British import). Mostly ape migration seems to have been ruled by forest cover and that cover vanished from NE Africa long ago, mostly cutting any further migration of primates between Africa and Asia (and by extension Europe). The only exceptions are humans and macaques.

    2. Maju, not in the ice age, but in between ice ages.

    3. Already 9 mya apparently the apes disappeared due to the disappearance of forests for grasslands:
      The Mesopithecus survived in Europe, together with macaques, as they have found in N Italy:
      But even Mesopithecus is dated 7-5 mya.

      Thank you Maju for the Basque etymology, I can add that in Latin there was also the diminutive form 'simininus'. About the etymology of monkey, here there are some interesting speculations:

    4. If "siminus" is the actual root of (t)ximino (both tximino and ximino do exist), then the origin is surely not via Spanish (where simino is not attested AFAIK) but via a lost Vulgar Latin form *simino (other -us → -o Vulgar Latin forms are attested and some made it into Basque). Unless -u mutated into -o already in Basque, not regular but the difference of sound is nimious enough to have happened accidentally.

      As for monkey, if its first use in English is from 1530, then it looks like a colonial borrowing, albeit very early. The -key ending is probably just sailor English deformation, of an undecipherable founder effect. For example a Navarrese or Aragonese diminutive monico (instead of Castilian monito or Galician-Portuguese moninho) might be at the origin. But it's anybody's guess.

      Haven't you ever introduced a new slang word you heard in a remote place or even just made up a wholly new one? That's what youngsters do all the time, don't they? Once enough people has repeated it, it becomes established, at the very least as a fad, maybe for many centuries to come.

    5. Take care, the Latin form strangely is simininus, but I think it could be easily simplified. Anyway, we are sailing definitely into an off topic sea ;) we should discuss only the terms regarding Sumerian and IE here... I add some considerations on ugubi and kapi above.

  24. OK Guys,
    So today i give the proposal to connect Sumerian Zi- Life as we see in ziĝal [LIVING] ,zipaĝ [BREATH] with PIE *gwiH ''To Live'' as in Sankrit Jivana,Latin Vivus, Lithuanian Gyvybė.

    1. I had also noticed that root, but I was dubious because it apparently shows a Satem form, whereas the IE dialect connected with Sumerian has Centum forms like agar or gan.
      Moreover, -gwi- gives -bi- in Sum. umbin, as in Greek gwi- gives bios 'life'.
      Greek has also zao/zoo 'I live' from gwyo-. But Sum. zi is not really corresponding. Moreover, it has the variant ši. This is quite close to Slavic žiti 'to live', but unless we think of an exceptional loanword from a Satem language, it seems difficult to connect it.

      You have also cited paĝ 'breath' (pa-aĝ2; pa-an), which I find interesting because it recalls on one side Skt. prāṇa 'breath', on the other Greek pneo 'to breathe'.

  25. Today I give the Proposal to Connect Sumerian Kur ''Burn, light up'' to PIE *Kar/*Kur "heat, fire, to burn" as in Latin cremare "to burn;" Lithuanian kuriu "to heat," karštas "hot," krosnis " Old High German harsta "roasting;"Sanskrit kudayati ''Toburn'' etc

    1. This seems good, actually in Sumerian there is also Kar with a similar meaning, both are translated with 'napāhu' in Akkadian. In Sanskrit it is probably connected with the root śrī 'to burn, flame; radiance, glory'. Skt. kūḍ- is of uncertain etymology, maybe it comes from kūrd-, of which I see no parallels. See also here:

  26. Guys,Today I give another one:
    PIE Kwal-a-/ gʷala- ''Neck'' Cognates Sanskrit Gala ''Neck'' Old Norse and Middle Dutch hals "neck" Latin collum "the neck," to Akkadian hullu "neck ring, torc" Sumerian hul "ring; rein" etc.
    Of Course this is related to Wheel, Chakra etc also.

    1. The translation 'neck ring' makes it very attractive for comparison with Lat. collum, Germ. hals, the problem is the sound h- instead of k-. Maybe we can suggest rather a connection with Hittite hurki 'wheel', hulukanni 'chariot', hul- 'to encircle', hulhuliya 'entwine, embrace' (see
      The root is PIE *Hwal/Hul-, in the non-laryngealist form here:

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  29. Ok So, Today I give the Proposal to connect Sumerian udu'utuwa,Udunita ''Ram'' with Sanskrit HuDa and HuDu ''Ram'' the PIE form is *g'hAld/*ghaid-u- And Words Like English Goat,Old English gat "she-goat," from Proto-Germanic *gaito ,Latin hædus "kid" etc are also related.

    1. I think I have already cited *ghaid- as a word of the pre-IE Neolithic substratum, because of the European area and the similarity with Semitic *gady- 'goat, kid'.
      The Sum. udu 'sheep', however, is close to Skt. huḍu/huḍa 'ram', which has unclear etymology, so maybe there was a word a word Huda/Hudu for sheep that was specialized into 'male sheep, ram' in Indo-Aryan. In Sanskrit there is also uran- 'lamb', urā 'ewe', connected with an IE root *urHn, found in Greek (w)aren 'lamb, Arm. garn 'lamb'. A correspondence between r and ḍ can be not absurd, since Indo-Aryan r is a retroflex sound. Obviously we do not know if also in Sum. there were retroflex stops.

  30. I today came across an Interesting word in Sumerian Hindum, yes its very similar to the word Hindu, which comes from the corruption of the Word Sindhu the Indus River but sometimes Ocean,river etc also, the word in Sumerian means 'a bead' so i wonder is it related to Sindhu Civilization Trade which exported such items? hence it got the name?.

    1. It is really fascinating, because cornelian beads were a typical item of the Harappan civilization, and they have been found also in Mesopotamia (for instance at Tello, Iraq). The dictionary says it belongs to Ur III, which is around 2000 BC, still in the Harappan period. The form Hindu suggests an Iranian dialect as the source, with aspiration of the sibilant (a phenomenon, however, found also in Greek). Also in Akkadian there is hindu-, with three meanings: "a gold object (bead?), Hurrian word" (Early Assyrian, maybe after 1950 BC), "name of a monster" (Standard Babylonian, after 1530 BC), "a profession or social class (why not a foreign people?)", it speaks of the town of hindu-people, and a woman PN, the hindu. And this is Late Babylonian, after 600 BC, so in a Persian period. In Akkadian there is also 'hidu', already in Old Babylonian for metal or stone beads, especially in Qatna, Syria, interestingly also referred to cylinder-shaped (typical Harappan form) bead of lapislazuli, an eastern (Iran-Afghanistan) material. Maybe it is a simplified form of hindu, used for indicating the typical 'Indian' kind of jewel, the cylindrical bead...

  31. sag~ga(2,3,4): (cf., sa~g~ga); sa~g~ga(2,3,4), san~ga(2,3,4): a sprinkler, used for ritual cleaning; economic director of a temple or occupation (such as all the smiths) (sa~g, 'head', + ~gar;~gá, 'to store') [SANGA archaic frequency: 530; concatenates 3 sign variants] (I couldn't post the tilde from the pdf)

    And the meanging in sanskrit is similar

    1. Thank you Daniel for your suggestions, but here which meaning is similar? Anyway, I think there is no connection, because as you rightly remark Sum. saĝ means 'head', while Skt. saṅga comes from the Sanskrit root sañj 'to cling or stick or adhere to', IE sag/sang:
      It is very important to observe the roots and not only the apparent similarity when we search for cognates, also for loanwords, because if the two compared words can be explained with different indigenous roots the possibility that it is a loanword becomes very unlikely.

    2. But think Giacomo that, because Indoeuropean is so widely spoken today, probably false Indoeuropean etymologies abound, while actual etymologies may well be hidden.

      I can't say which is the correct one but I would not dare to write off such an obvious identity of sound and meaning as the one Daniel points out just because there's a tentative internal IE etymology around. Indo-Aryan should have borrowed heavily from the pre-IE (Dravidian) substrate of the IVC, which in turn may well have shared words with its wider oecumene, including Elam and Sumer. That may be particularly true regarding water-centered religious symbolism, more typical of southern civilizations than of steppe nomads.

      Of course it might be a coincidence but a quite unlikely one.

    3. I am still waiting to know where is the identity of sound and meaning, since you have found can you tell me? :)

    4. No, sorry, you're right, Giacomo. I was trusting Daniel too much and had not checked the actual meaning. I just thought both meant "sprinkler" but that is not the case quite obviously. My bad.

  32. mašda: drawing; gazelle (máš, 'to scrutinize', + dù, 'to make, apply') [? DARA3 archaic frequency: 11; concatenation of 4 sign variants].

    According to wikipedia: Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European *mn̩sdʰeh1, literally meaning "placing (*dʰeh1) one's mind (*mn̩-s)", hence "wise"

    1. In the Pennsylvania dictionary ( máš, 'to scrutinize' is not present, and also the meaning 'drawing' (very ambiguous, btw) for mašda, which is there translated 'gazelle' and 'a kind of stone'. The meaning 'gazelle' is clearly to be connected with maš 'goat'. du for 'to make, apply' (rather 'build' in the EPSD) is interesting, because it can be compared with the IE root *dhaH/dheH 'to put, do', that you cited for Skt., which has given also English 'to do':

    2. I should had put the next 2 definitions:

      mašda(2): commoner; destitute.
      maškim: inspector, monitor, sheriff, commissioner (máš, 'to inspect', + kíñ, 'work').

    From Proto-Balto-Slavic *źuˀs; related to Latvian zivs, Old Prussian suckis (“fish”). From Proto-Indo-European *dǵʰ-uH- [1]; cognate with Ancient Greek ἰχθῡ́ς (ikhthū́s), Old Armenian ձուկն (jukn, “fish”).

    zugud, zubud: a kind of club; a fish
    ku6-a-dé: fresh fish ('fish' + 'water' + 'to pour, water').

    1. I don't see a clear phonetic connection. zubud-ku6 is 'fish', only zubud=zugud is 'club' in the EPSD. The Balto-Slavic form is an evolved Satem form, where the sound ź (Portuguese j) is supposed to come from PIE *g' (palatovelar), which should become g- in Sum. as in gan-. We can hypothesize dg'uH>zu, but we have no parallels and -bud is not explained.

    2. Acually, I was also trying to show that Ku6 is an inportant element:

      ku6, kua: fish (kú, 'food', + a, 'water') [KU6 archaic frequency: 282; concatenates 3 sign variants].

      The same entry in the wikitionary point, rather quotes the paper , p. 12:

      Since *dK- regularly yielded *iKt- in Greek (compare ικτῖνος (iktînos), ἑκατόν (hekatón)), Proto-Indo-European *d- as opposed to *dʰ- must be reconstructed, encouraging a connection with the root *deǵʰ- (“liquid?”); compare Old Irish deug (“drink, draught, potion”), Lithuanian dažaĩ (“paint, dye”). A similar semantic path can be observed in ūdra (“otter”) from *wed- (“water”) [2]

      So, consider the word to taste and I suppose it linked with the word Ku6 - *ǵews, taste - Latin dēgūnō, Gothic kiusan, German kiosan/kiesen, Sanskrit joṣati, Avestan zaošō, Albanian dashur, Polish gust, English ceosan/choose, Persian dauš/, Irish asagussim/--, Ancient Greek geusis

      So, we have kua = food + water -> fish
      dhghu- derived from water + food

      It's interesting that the word water in sumerian, water is also the word for prep., locative suffix - where;

  34. शिश्न zizna m. n. penis
    शिश्न zizna anat. phallus

    zizna: fish roe; abnormal growths on a fetus.

    1. It's curious that this Sum. zizna has been noted also by Nirjhar, but for Skt. śiśu 'child, young of an animal', śiśna means also 'tail', and remember that z in the spokensanskrit dictionary (and also in other transliterations) is used for the palatal ś, which comes from PIE *k'. Interestingly, in Luwian k' becomes also z (maybe pronounced ts), so we can consider Nirjhar's suggestion. Also your suggestion in this context is interesting, although the meaning is not very close, but the etymology of śiśna is not clear...

    2. I thought the meaning was close. It's fish roe is the eggs of a fish, inside it, it can be thought of sexual organ of an animal, since back then there were no zoologists. So, zizna both derives their meanings from sexual organs.

  35. Ok Guys, Today i give the proposal to connect Sumerian Du- ''build,"to build, make; to do, perform" with Proto-Indo-European *Dha- "to put, place, do, make" cognates: Old Saxon duan, Old Frisian dua, Dutch doen, Old High German tuon, German tun), Sanskrit Dadhati ''Put'' Slavic Dejati' and many others.
    If this connection is valid then its a very morphological connection.

  36. I today give the Proposal to connect Sumerian muš2 "face, appearance" with PIE- *mū- Muzzle,Lips, Mouth, Face(?) as In Sanskrit Mukha ''Mouth''Greek: mǘllo-n n. `Lips'Latin mentum "chin" Old High German mund, German Mund, Gothic munþs "mouth" etc etc
    In Bengali the term Mukha is used to denote Face as whole also in Hindi Mu is used...

  37. I'm not sure on this one, publish if you think its tenable:
    Sumerian kilib "total, sum; (the) whole, entirety; assembly" with PIE *kaila- "whole, uninjured, of good omen"Old English hal "entire, whole; unhurt, uninjured, safe; healthy, sound; genuine, straightforward," from Proto-Germanic *haila- "undamaged" (cognates: Old Saxon hel, Old Norse heill, Old Frisian hal, Middle Dutch hiel, Dutch heel, Old High German, German heil "salvation, welfare" Slavonic celu "whole, complete;"

    1. The comparison semantically is strong, although we don't have the meaning 'assembly' in IE. The final -b is not found in IE forms, maybe there is a suffix, but what is interesting is also that the reading kilib is given to a single symbol, as if it came from another language. It is also interesting that the root *kail- is found in Germanic and Slavic and Baltic but apparently not in Asian languages.

    2. Yes, In Sanskrit i only Found Kul/Kolati '' to accumulate ,collect,to count'' but not sure if this can be connected.

    3. With also Sanskrit Kal ''To Count'' and Sakala ''Whole,all,entire....

    4. sa-kala means 'with parts', is not connected, but kul is interesting, and through kul I have come to kula 'family', compared with Greek telos 'troop' but first of all 'perfection, completion, achievement'. Now, telos comes from *kwel-. In Luwian we have kuwalan 'troop, army'.
      It can also be the same root of wheel:
      BTW, the symbol of kilib is a square, which in cuneiform is the same as a circle... So, maybe kilib comes from *kwil- 'circle, totality, group of people'

    5. I have explored the Akkadian dictionaries, and I have found that there is kalu, gen. kili 'all, totality', kališ 'totally', etc. It's also interesting kililu 'circlet, headband, wreath'. Also kilu 'enclosure, confinement' and kilubu 'bird cage' (supposedly from West Semitic). I think that the root means something closed, a circle, then totality. So, kilib is probably of Semitic origin. In Arabic we have kullu 'all'.
      And this suggests that also Germanic *hal/hail- of 'whole, holy, health' and Slavic celu 'totality' has the same root. Another Semitic Early European Farmer substratum... On the other hand, according to the Starostin database (TOB) the Semitic root is kwall-, practically identical to the IE root shown above. So, it becomes a common root, and I have just discovered in Sanskrit kalya meaning 'healthy, perfect'...

    6. Yes Indeed! We can consider this as one of the excellent examples of Root Sharing Between Proto-Indo-European and Semitic.

    7. Kyriakos Samelis28 August 2015 at 00:41

      Hello friends!

      May I add the following suggestion:

      Sumerian kilib[LAGAB]: package, bundle (from Halloran's lexicon) with sanskrit kalaapa = bundle, which is probably connected with latin word globus.

    8. Welcome Kyriakos, thank you for the interesting proposal. In ePSD it is given as gilim, kilib 'rope of twined reeds', corresponding to Akkadian kilimbu 'reed bundle'.

      Now, Skt. kalāpa is used mostly as 'bundle of arrows, quiver', which is close to 'reed bundle'. Feminine kalāpī (attested in Vedic texts) is 'bundle of grass'. Other meanings are 'zone; rope round the elephant's neck; totality, whole body or collection of a number of separate things'. So, we go back to the meaning of 'totality' and something encircling that we have found in Semitic words for kal- and kil-. Globus can be connected, with gleba 'ball, clod' and glomus 'ball of wool'. See:
      It seems that there an IE root glabh-, particularly interesting are Lith. glebti 'to embrace with arms', globti 'to embrace, protect', Serbian zglobiti 'to put together'. Maybe the root kal- became gl- because of the liquid consonant at zero grade. Skt. kalāpa is strange, it can be a loanword, or it has a different evolution.

    9. Kyriakos Samelis28 August 2015 at 05:08

      Thanks, Giacomo, for your welcome. In Greek we have κόλπος (kolpos), which means "bossom" (hence the english word "gulf"); the some word can mean "womb, vagina".

      Perhaps it is also useful to add that in Linear A tablets, the probable word for "totality", "sum" is ku-ro, which is read most probably "kulo". Linear A has not been deciphered yet, so we cannot be sure about the language of the tablets (Minoan Cretan).

    10. Kyriakos Samelis28 August 2015 at 06:28

      Giacomo, you have mentioned the Greek word τέλος (telos, "end, finish completion, etc" ). How about comparing it to the Sumerian "til" = “to complete, to end” ?

    11. About kolpos, it should be compared with Germanic hwalf- 'vault' (from *kwalp-) and Skt. garbha- 'womb, embryo', which gives delphys 'womb', and adelphos 'brother' in Greek (from *gwalbh-). So, it seems that there are two different dialectal forms of the same root in Greek, something found also in other words. The evolution to Italian 'golfo', French 'golfe', instead, is an interesting parallel of the change k-l/g-l found above.

      About Minoan kuro/kulo, it could be a Semitic word (cp. Arabic kullu 'all'). I think a Semitic substrate is probable in Crete, since it was on the route of the first farmers from the Levant, but also an Anatolian presence (some scholars suggested that Linear A was Luwian).
      It is interesting that in Hittite and Luwian kulani- means 'to bring to an end, complete', and kulana 'result', but in Hittite 'all' is panku.

      About til, it appears very promising, although we would need some parallels of the evolution kwi->ti- like in Greek. If we find, the connection between the 'Samarran' language and Greek becomes stronger...

    12. This evolution kwi -> ti- might happen too much early in Greek, because in Linear B the word is written with " te" instead of the expected "qe" (like in te-re-te, τελεστής, for example).

      About the Sumerian "kilib" again, is it possible to connect this with the Indic "kalpa" (aeon, cosmic circle"? )

    13. What you remark about Mycenean is very interesting, because it can show that the change kwe/kwi->te/ti- is older than kwo->po-. But as far as I know, the change kwe>te is attested only in Greek. (See e.g.
      So, it would be a strong sign of a contact of Sumerian with an ancestor of Greek, which is suggested also by other comparisons, like zalag or temen.

      Kalpa comes from the root kḷp- 'to be well ordered or regulated, to be fit for, to partake of, to perform a ritual'. The main IE etymology of it is from the root *(s)kel- 'to cut' which gives also half and scalp. If you can read German, you can see
      The idea of Mayrhofer is that the fundamental meaning is 'to distribute', make parts. But maybe there is also the idea of cutting something to make it fit in carpentry. According to Pokorny kalpa in Lithuanian is a wooden part of a sleigh.

      Skt. kalpa meant first 'rule, sacred precept, prescribed practice', so maybe the Puranic and Buddhist meaning as 'aeon' is because it is a regular period of time.

    14. That is also very interesting, since one of the basic meanings of τέλος ( < *kwel) is exactly “ceremony, ritual, magical practice or performance” . For example, the temple in Eleusis, where the Mysteries (or Τέλη) were performed, was called Τελεστήριον (Telesterion); a τελεστής (telestes) is the performer of the rituals of a cult; τελετή (telete) means “ceremony” and even “τέλεσμα” means “ talisman” (the word came to Europe through Arabic).

      Now, the words “πέλω or πέλομαι” (pel- < *kwel) mean not only “to turn, to move around” (like πόλος, pole), but also “I come into existence, I exist”. The words “τέλομαι” and “τελέθω” share also the same meaning “to exist, to be, to become”. The word τέλλομαι (with 2 lambdas) means even “I start to exist” “I appear” (a star, for example). This is not a contradiction to the meaning of τελος as “end”, because in the Greek religion (as in Hinduism) an end is always a new beginning (circular motion of Nature).
      I think that there is a connection with the Sumerian til = to live; to dwell, to sit” Consider also “incolo” in Latin (col- < *kwel).

    15. This is a stroke of genius. It seems you have a good Classical culture! Actually, in Latin we have also "in-quilinus" 'inhabitant' (especially of Rome) and "Ex-quilinus" was referred to an area out of the walls of the City. So, there is also a form quil- of that root, especially for 'dwelling'.

    16. About the meanings of the word “τέλος” and its possible connection to “kilib”, I checked Hesychius and I found that there is another meaning of the word τέλη (tele) = “τὰ συνέδρια τῶν ἐν ἀρχῇ” = the councils (assemblies) of men in authority”.

      Also just another word from the same lexicon: τελλίς = ὅλον. τάξις. μέρος (tellis = totality. order. part.).

  38. Ok Lets Connect Sumerian Di "to shine" with PIE Diw/Dya/Di̯ā- 'to shine, glitter; (also root for deity,deva etc) Old Irish: dïa/dïe ''day'',Sanskrit diva "by day," Welsh diw, Breton deiz "day;" Armenian tiw; Lithuanian diena; Old Church Slavonic dini, Polish dzień, Russian den), literally "to shine" (compare Greek delos "clear;" etc etc

  39. Today I give the Proposal to connect Sumerian enten ''Winter'' with PIE *wend ''Winter'' Proto-Germanic *wintruz "winter" (cognates: Old Frisian, Dutch winter, Old Saxon, Old High German wintar, German winter, Danish and Swedish vinter, Gothic wintrus, Old Norse vetr "winter"), The Adjective form of the root is suggested to be found in Old English as ænetre "one-year-old;" and wintercearig, which might mean either "winter-sad" or "sad with years." as 'Anglo-Saxons counted years in "winters," as per OED.

    1. The similarity is quite strong, except for the final -n, also considering that w- seems normally lost in Sumerian. The meaning 'winter' seems limited to Germanic, but in Hittite we have wet- and wetant-, in Greek 'etos' (from *wetos), in Albanian 'vit', all meaning 'year'. Maybe originally they also meant 'winter', then, as it happens, the term of a season being used to count one year it finished to mean simply 'year'. In Hittite we have also wita- 'wet'. However, I suspect that enten can also be an unrelated Sumerian compound.

  40. Today i give a proposal which don't seem related on the basis of Root but the meanings are strikingly similar :
    Sumerian Kul ''Heavy, to honor a person" with Sanskrit Term Guru which means Heavy,Great,Weighty but also a term to denote an Honorable person or A teacher or an expert.
    The PIE root Is gwar/gur Tokharian: A krāmärts 'heavy', B krāmär 'weight, heaviness' Armenian Ker Strength, power ', karigross, much, tremendously' Latin Gravis, Proto-Germanic: *kuru- ''Heavy''Gothic: *kɔru-s `weighty'; kɔrjan wk. `be a burden, oppress' Proto-Baltic: *grū̂-t-a- ''heavy'' etc etc

    1. Maybe kul is really related to gur-, if we compare with kur 'mountain', and considering that often Sum. has L forms. However, it seems that in IE that root has r in all languages. Maybe it is not a loanword but a common root. But it's interesting that there are many terms for heavy with the double meaning 'important'. It seems that this meaning is reconstructed from the translation with Akkadian kabtu, which means 'heavy' but also 'important, honoured', as a substantive 'important person'. So, the association of heavy and important person that we find in Skt. guru was a common concept in ancient Mesopotamia. This suggests a common cultural trait between Mesopotamia and India.

    2. Ok, Lets connect another Sumerian word with the PIE root:
      Sumerian Gur "(to be) thick; (to be) big, to feel big".

  41. Today I give another Proposal:
    Sumerian buluĝ to grow up, rear, make grow; novice; foster child" with PIE bhel-, bhlē- 'to grow, spread, swell, inflate as in here-
    But Ultimately from Root bheu-, bheu̯ə-, bhu̯ā-, bhu̯ē- : bhō̆u- : bhū- 'to be, exist; grow, prosper'

  42. Today I give the Proposal thanks to Daniels work on Bomhards book on Nostratic:
    A Comprehensive
    Introduction to Nostratic
    Comparative Linguistics
    With Special Reference
    To Indo-European
    Allan R. Bomhard
    Proto-Indo-European *pºel-/*pºol-/*pºl̥- ‘to cover, to hide, to conceal’:
    Sanskrit paṭa-ḥ (*lt > ṭ) ‘woven cloth, garment, blanket’, paṭála- ‘cover, veil’Gothic filhan ‘to conceal, to bury’; Old
    Icelandic fela ‘to hide, to conceal’, fylgsni ‘hiding-place’; Old English befēolan
    ‘to put away (under the earth), to bury’; Old Frisian bi-fella ‘to
    conceal, to commit’; Old Saxon bi-felhan ‘to commit, to entrust, to bury’;
    Icelandic fela ‘to hide, to conceal’, fylgsni ‘hiding-place’; Old English befēolan
    ‘to put away (under the earth), to bury’; Old Frisian bi-fella ‘to
    conceal, to commit’; Old Saxon bi-felhan ‘to commit, to entrust, to bury’;
    Old High German felahan, bi-fel(a)han ‘to transmit, to entrust, to bury’
    (New High German befehlen); Old Prussian pelkis ‘cloak’. Rix 1998a:424
    *pelk- ‘to wrap, to enclose, to hide, to conceal’ etc with Sumerian Pal "a garment"

  43. Today I give another proposal thanks To Daniel-
    Proto-Indo-European *dºogº- ‘day’: Proto-Germanic *da¦az ‘day’ >
    Gothic dags ‘day’; Old Icelandic dagr ‘day’; Swedish dag ‘day’;
    Norwegian dag ‘day’; Danish dag ‘day’; Old English dKg ‘day’; Old
    Frisian dei ‘day’; Old Saxon dag ‘day’; Old High German tag, tac ‘day’
    (New High German Tag). Feist 1939:113—114 *dhegh- or *dhegßh-;
    Lehmann 1986:86—87 *dheg¦h- ‘to burn’; Kroonen 2013:86—87 Proto-
    Germanic *daga- ‘day’ (< *dºoǵº-o-); Orël 2003:66 Proto-Germanic
    *đaᵹaz; Onions 1966:246 *dhegh- ‘to burn’; Klein 1971:192 *dheg¦h-,
    *dhog¦h- ‘to burn’; Boutkan—Siebinga 2005:71—72; Kluge—Mitzka
    1967:766 *dhegßh-, *dhō̆gßh-; Kluge—Seebold 1989:718 *dhegßh- ‘to
    burn’; De Vries 1962:71—72 *dhegh- or *dhegßh-; Falk—Torp 1903—
    1906.I:97—98. Puhvel (1987:315—318) has convincingly argued that the
    Proto-Indo-European word for ‘yesterday’, which he reconstructs as
    *dhĝhyes-, belongs here as well. He reconstructs Proto-Indo-European
    *dhoĝho- as the source of the Germanic words for ‘day’. Sumerian dadag ‘clear, shining, bright, radiant, brilliant, luminous’, dág
    ‘shining, bright, clear’. Also Sanskrit Dah,Dagdham ''To Burn,Burnt'' etc

  44. and another-
    Proto-Indo-European *t’ew(A)/*t’ow(A)/*t’u(A)- ‘to go, to leave, to go
    away; far off, far away, distant’: Sanskrit dávati ‘to go’, daváyati ‘to make
    distant, to remove’, dūtá-ḥ ‘messenger, envoy’, dūrá-ḥ ‘distant, far,
    remote, long (way)’, dávīyas- ‘farther, very distant’, daviṣṭhá-ḥ ‘remotest,
    very far away’; Avestan dūrāt̰ ‘far’; Old Persian dūraiy ‘afar, far away, far
    and wide’, (adv.) dūradaša ‘from afar’, duvaišta- ‘very long, very far’;
    Greek (adv.) δήν (< *δ+ᾱ́ν) ‘long, for a long time, (of place) far’; Middle
    High German zouwen ‘to hasten, to proceed, to succeed’ (New High
    German zauen); Middle Low German touwen ‘to hasten, to proceed’;
    Hittite tu-u-wa ‘to a distance, afar’, (neut. pl.) tu-u-wa-la ‘far off, distant’;
    Old Church Slavic davě, davьnъ ‘ancient, long-standing’. Pokorny
    1959:219—220 *deu-, *deu̯ǝ-, *du̯ā-, *dū- ‘to move forward’; Walde
    1927—1932.I:778—780 *deu̯(ā); Mann 1984—1987:133 *dāu̯, *dāu̯n-, *dū- ‘long ago; long-standing’, 144 *deu̯ǝros ‘lasting, firm’, 144 *deu̯ –
    ‘long, lasting’, 144—145 *dē̆u̯ō ‘to last’, 158 *dou̯ō (?), *douu̯ō ‘to go’,
    169 *dūros ‘far, long-lasting, long’, 170 *du̯āros ‘long-lasting’; Watkins
    1985:12 *deuǝ- (also *dwa˜-) and 2000:17 *deuǝ- ‘long (in duration)’
    (oldest form *deuš-, with variant [metathesized] form *dweš-, colored to
    *dwaš-, contracted to *dwā-); Mallory—Adams 1997:349 *deuhú- ‘to
    leave, to go away’; Gamkrelidze—Ivanov 1984.I:230 *t’eu̯-, *t’u̯-aH- and
    1995.I:200 *t’ew-, *t’w-aH- ‘to remain’; Mayrhofer 1956—1980.II:25,
    II:26, and II:56—57 *deu̯(ā)-; Boisacq 1950:183; Chantraine 1968—
    1980.I:274—275 *dwā-; Frisk 1970—1973.I:381—382; Kluge—Mitzka
    1967:875; Kluge—Seebold 1989:806. Sumerian du ‘to go, to leave, to depart, to go away’, du-rí ‘long time’, duþ ‘to
    let go, to let loose, to release, to set free’, duh ‘to release, to set free, to loosen,
    to untie, to release, to open’.*

  45. Today I give another proposal as per Daniels suggestion from Bomhards book:
    Proto-Indo-European *k’el-tº-/*k’l̥-tº- ‘vulva, womb’: Sanskrit jartú-ḥ,
    jarta-ḥ ‘vulva’, jaṭhára-m (< *jalthara-m) ‘belly, stomach, womb’; Gothic
    kilþei ‘womb’, inkilþō ‘pregnant’; Old English cild ‘child’. Possibly also
    Old Swedish kulder, kolder (Modern Swedish kull) ‘child of the same
    marriage’; Old Danish köll (Modern Danish kuld) ‘child of the same
    marriage’; Norwegian (dial.) kold ‘child of the same marriage’. Mann
    1984—1987:1623 *ĝelt-; Mayrhofer 1956—1980.I:414 and I:423; Orël
    2003:212 Proto-Germanic *kelþaz; Kroonen 2013:309—310 Proto-
    Germanic *kulda- ‘litter (of progeny)’ (Gothic kilþei < *kelþīn- and Old
    English cild < *keldiz-); Feist 1939:311 *gel-; Lehmann 1986:218 *gel-
    ‘(adj.) rounded; (vb.) to form a ball shape’; Onions 1966:169; Klein
    1971:131; Falk—Torp 1903—1906.I:421—422. Sumerian galú, galúla ‘vulva’, galú-la-tur ‘vagina’, galúla ‘sexual organs,

    1. Actually, there were 2 types of pictograms to represent this word. One was listed above, for womb. The other means a female singer , which could be a transexual woman or simply a transvestite.

      According to this dictionary:

      gala[ÑÌŠ.DÚR]: cantor, ritual singer, lamentation priest; transvestite (throat + la, 'youthful
      freshness and beauty').
      gal4(-la), gála: vagina, vulva, female genitalia (throat-like chamber + lá, 'to penetrate, pierce').

      This other dictionary, with cuneiform, has some exotic definitions. It seems that PSD do not like much to talk about sexual stuff. It also proposing reading GALA as Milk, as an alternative reading of a variant of the word GA, milk

  46. I propose, from checking PSD:
    zizna [WOMB] wr. zizna "early childhood; creation; shape, appearance, structure; womb" Akk. binītu; šassūru; şehrūtu

    And from sanskrit, zizna

    The divergence in opposite meanings is due to ambiguity in shiva-lingam, which also means creation

    In Porkorny dictionary:

    2. sūs- 2. seu-(check also) parent, creator, producer

    2. seu-, seu̯ə-, sū̆- IE sū̆-s to bear (a child); son

    1. I also also thinking about this inversion in terms of the condemnation of ziznadeva worship and the invertion of evil/good terms in zoroastrian/vedas. Sumer is located in the west, zizna there has clearly a good meaning, and that is closer to the Iranian area, while in Vedic area, zizna is considered negative, but that is anterior to the deva/asura split, since zizna is accompained by deva.

      The origin of zizna may be also hypothesized to be free of ambiguity. That is, unified in vagina/penis, as in genitalia as creation. According to Pokorny
      1. nā- 'to help, be useful'

      So, it would be the result of sūs nā, parent enabler, to bear a child aid. That is, something that bestow someone the capacity of having a child.

  47. Today I give the proposal based on Arams Suggestions:
    Sumerian Dub ''Scribe'' with PIE *tup- "to push, stick, knock, beat" the root of English Type etc, compare Akkadian tup Persian dabir/dapir, Arm. dpir,Latin and Greek typos with Same meanings.

  48. Today i give another proposal:
    Sumerian Tir ''Plant,Forest,Forester'' with PIE Daru,dō̆ru-, dr(e)u-, drou-, dreu̯ə '' 'firm, solid; tree, wood'
    Sanskrit Daru ''log, timber, (piece of) wood'' drumá ''Tree'' drú-ḥ ''wood, wood tool'' Taru ''Tree', Hittite Taru ''wood'' German trē ''wood'' Teer ''Tar'' Old Church Slavonic: drěvo 'Tree' Russian Derevo ''Tree'' etc etc....

  49. Today i give another proposal to Connect Sumerian Zid ''Right'' r, true, loyal'' with Sanskrit Siddha ''Fact,Proven,Established,Settled'' etc.

    1. That zid is comparable probably whith the Greek words ετεός ("eteos" ) meaning "true, right" and ετάω "etazo" = to scrutinize, > hence the word ετυμον > ετυμολογία, etymology) -- and Sanscrit satyas.

  50. (Corrected)
    Today I give an interesting comparison-
    We already have Sum. di 'to shine', PIE *diH/daiH/diw- 'to shine, glitter; day, Sun; god'.
    Now if we take a look at the Sumerian Dictionary we find A word meaning 'deity, god, goddess' starting with ''di'' which is diĝir (dingir), is this just a coincidence?.

  51. Today i give the proposal to connect Sumerian Gara ''Cream'' with PIE *Ghar ''To rub'' , its the root of English Cream,Greek khrisma"unguent;Sanskrit Gharsa/Gharsana''Rubbing,Grinding,Polishing,Friction etc '', Latin cramum "cream," etc etc,
    Interestingly this root is also suggested to be the root of Christ-

  52. Today i give the Proposal to Connect Sumerian ĝiri "razor; sword, dagger" with the PIE root Ghil/Ghal ''To Cut,To Plow ''etc-

  53. Today I give another proposal to Connect Sumerian ak (ag) "to do; to make; to act, perform; to proceed, proceeding (math.)" with PIE *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move" (cognates: Greek agein "to lead, guide, drive, carry off," agon "assembly, contest in the games," agogos "leader;" Sanskrit ajati "drives," ajirah "moving, active;" Old Norse aka "to drive;" Middle Irish ag "battle").

  54. Dear Giamoco
    You compared Sumerian LI 'oil, fat' . But this story had some continuation imho.
    Armenian iwł or eł means oil ( it's main meaning is the same as the Indian ghee ) . It's origin is thought to be linked to Greek elaia (olive oil).
    But the problem is that we never use that word for vegetable oils. We have another word for vegetable oils which is the jet. It has semitic origin, it also derives from olive but from the semito-sumerian word zeitun (olive)

    So my proposition is that the Armenian eł and the Indian ghee are related to the Sumerian i-li or i-ir-a. And the Greek olive oil also but with shift in the meaning.

    BTW the origin of Greek elaia is unknown.
    In this link there is an error about the Armenian word. The correct word is the ewl.
    Also English oil

    1. Thank you, ewi is probably a mistake due to the letter ł, in the Greek etymological dictionary I have found ewł. So, it seems that the root is about an oily or fatty substance, and not olive oil specifically. In Sumerian, we have i and li for oil or fat, i-ira is 'scented oil' because ir means scent. i-ab is ghee, probably because ab is cow. ili means man, is not attested for oil according to the PSD. So, maybe li and elaia/ewł have not a direct connection, but a root li/lai- can be implied in the Greek forms, with a prefix e- found also in Armenian, while the latin oleum, considered a loan from an archaic Greek form, reveals a different vowel. An original a- or a laryngeal can be supposed. Anyway, the so-called prothetic vowels are typical of Greek and Armenian. We can compare Greek olisthano 'to slip, glide' and Germanic slide: The root, implying an oily surface, can be even the same li- (in the enlargened form lidh-), as also in 'slime'. Maybe there was an initial s- which caused the prothetic vowel and then was lost. This is a very interesting topic in Indo-European linguistics.

      The same root li- with a suffix -no- maybe gives also in Greek linon and Latin linum 'linen, flax', which was also used to extract oil.

      On the other hand, Hindi ghee comes from Sanskrit ghṛtá, meaning 'sprinkled' (in oblations) or 'heated'.

    2. In Greek there is also aleiphein and alinein 'to anoint', showing the vowel a-.

  55. I 'm not sure if there is a IE etymology here, but how about comparing this:

    Sumerian: kizurra = "sharp end", with:

    Sanskrit: kṣura = "sharp end", and

    Greek: ξυρόν or ξυρός "xyron", "xyros" = "sharp end, razor".

    Maybe is a loan-word.

    1. My theory (and Whittaker's) is that most of these cognates are loanwords from an IE language. This kizurra is actually impressive, the IE root is supposed *k'es or *kes:
      It is interesting that xyron and kṣura reveal a Greco-Aryan isogloss, and that the Sum. form would have an Aryan ending -a but a consonant z closer to Greek, without the RUKI change.

  56. Another possible common root (if not a loan-word):

    Sumerian adamin = "fight, contest", probably from ada (?) = to fight + "min" = two


    Homeric Greek: υσμίνη (hysmine) = battle, fight, contest

    Sankrit root: yudh- = to fight, to contest.

  57. Another possible common word:

    Sumerian “ad” = “shout, voice, song, sound” (from Halloran’s Lexicon).

    with Greek ἀείδω (aeido - Homeric / poetic) or ᾄδω = (aido) “ to sing” (words like ᾠδή (ode), τραγωδία, (tragedy), κωμωδία, (comedy) etc come from it). The word αὐδή (aude) also means “voice”.

    From I.E. root *au̯-, au̯ed- “to speak” (Pokorny).

    Sanskrit word: vada

    1. This seems also possible, since also in other cases Sumerian apparently loses the sound w, which is very rare in initial position. Sanskrit has the important verb vadati 'to speak', and vāda 'speech, cry, sound', quite close to Sum. ad "voice; cry; noise" according to ePSD. There is also Hittite uttar/uddan 'word, speech, thing'.

  58. Another possible common root:

    Sumerian deg = "to take, to collect, to glean" and IE *dek = to take

    In Greek the main word is "δέχομαι" (dekhomai) = "to take, to receive, to accept"

    From this root, in Greek there is also the word δόχη (dokhe) or δόκη (doke) = pot, which is comparable to the Sumerian "dug" = (clay) pot.

    1. I think the correct entry for this word is , which is even more similar *deg = Pokorny Etymon: dēg- 'to take, grab, pack?' .

      There isn't an entry for greek in this word, so, you just discovered one new reflex for this root!

      I think the entry you posted is an error from either Pokhorni or the website. It does't look like "to take" if you see the general meaning, it should be something like "the correct person/thing". It looks like more "correct thing" or "to correct", the correct hand which is the right hand (the hand which is dominant in most people); the correct person (teacher) or person could be (doctor); the thing that shows something correct (document).

    2. The issue is not simple, deg (PIE *dag) would be good for English take, which is quite isolated, having only Tocharian 'tak' as possible parallel (but in the sens 'to touch' which can be also from the root *tag-). It is more difficult to connect deg with dechomai (Attic form, other dialects have dekomai), which should come actually from PIE *dak'- 'to accept, to honour, serve'. I see instead possible a connection with Greek lego 'to collect' which is very close to the Sumerian meaning, and the change d/l is quite easy, it happens also in Latin (dacruma/lacruma) and Sanskrit (with retroflex d and l). We have found the same root *lag for lagaš, which is however the name of a city and it is found only in one lexicon translated with an Akkadian term meaning 'storehouse', and the root could also be *lagh (as for German Lager, see in the post); it is maybe significant (also phonetically) that leg is absent in Sumerian and deg is very common (78 attestations).

    3. I have just noticed that deg is translated lequ 'to take' and laqatu 'to gather up' in Akkadian. This reveals a link with the Greek/Latin root leg-.

    4. These are some unusual arguments. d/l happened in latin, but an attestation of a change is merely a necessary condition, meaning that a change can happen in a human language. This is not something that is frequent like l/r, which are called liquid consonants for this specific reasons. Moreover, retroflex d and l are not d and l.

      It seems more likely that the origin is due a different consonant cluster, which became unstable and broke down due some other (to be figured out) phonetic change in a given word. Or that some migration induced odd phonetic changes.

    5. The change l/r is easy in some languages like Indo-Aryan, not in others, like Latin or German. In some Italian dialects we have the change from d to r (Madonna becomes Maronna for instance).
      The change l/d is found also in other instances in Greek and Latin, e.g. in the name of Ulysses: Odysseus, Olysseus... another interesting case is Latin lingua/dingua, corresponding to Norse tunga, PIE *dṇg̑hū:
      Unfortunately there is no Greek parallel (glossa is from a different root), but we have Armenian 'lezu'.

      It is interesting that *dag- 'to take' is found practically only in Germanic, and *leg- mainly in Latin and Greek, the languages where we have the change from d to l. On the other hand, the Akkadian/Semitic root laq/leq- is most probably related, but it is difficult to say in which way.

    6. l/r changes are almost universal. It happens randomly in regions, in my city, that's common.
      And I bet that changes in d/r happens before strong vowels, in the same syllable, so that the air flux becomes concentrated in the strong and long vowel, such that the occlusion of d loses its sonority and it becomes a thrill.

    7. In Portuguese the change l to r is typical, but not in Castilian Spanish, and not in Italian, except dialects. In Sardinia, there is instead the change r to l.
      The change d to r is for every intervocalic d in Neapolitan, Sardinian and Sicilian dialect, also for the initial d in Neapolitan. But we are going off topic...

    8. No, I am not going that off topic. It's just there must be constrains. If we just open the gates for anything, we can just link trivially languages. There must be some other criteria for phonetic changes, otherwise, anything goes.

      There's a reason why r/l are called liquid, it's very unstable. In the case of my surroundings, sometimes r goes to l. Castillian Spanish is very close to Portuguese, so, I'd take it any word with a variation r/l variation between these languages as a dialectal variation. Beware of different types of r, which are camouflaged by written representation. In the case of the "true" r, the tongue flips just once, and it is a very unstable configuration.

      So, I am questioning the conditioning of r/d. Which might be helpful in reconstructing old languages. For example, we don't have clues about accents in Sumerian, we just know that it is very likely that there were, since there is a great degeneracy of syllables. So, you see that they are numbers along roots, so that they can be told apart.

  59. Strangely enough the word λέγω (lego) in Greek means not only "to collect", as in Latin, but also "to say"; now, that is again "dug" in Sumerian, a word possibly related to Latin "dico" (from a IE root *deik, = "to show" "to pronounce solely"or "to point"). This dug = "to say" has also a grammatical counterpart "di" which in some phrases (like "di kud") means "to judge", which reminds the words δίκη "dike" = justice and δικαστής "dikastes" = judge in Greek (from the same root *deik).

    There is also another "dug" = "pleasent, good, sweet" in Sumerian, which seems close to the Latin word "dulcis" < *dlku ; in Greek it became γλυκύς "glykys" (< dlykys) = sweet. In Greek there is also another possible version of the same word, that is "deukos" (δευκος) = sweet. Maybe, after all, there was some cluster "dl" (or somethng like) in this word "dug"?

    On the other hand, in my opinion, if the word "dug" = "pot" is to be linked to some IE root, more specific via the Greek δοκή (doke) = "receptaculum", that must be certainly *dek, ( = to take, to receive).

    1. I find attractive the connection of dug with doke, also because there is no o in Sumerian, and no form like duk. It seems there was a tendency to voice the last consonant.

      dug and dico is also attractive, but the vowel u there is an obstacle, because the change from i to u is difficult to accept. However, there is the imperfect stem di- that you have noticed. 'di kud' is apparently related to the verb kud 'to cut, decide, make clear'.
      The meaning 'to order' can be compared with Latin duc-ere 'to guide', but this gives not 'to speak', which is apparently the main one in Sumerian.
      Greek legein means 'to speak, say' from the meaning 'to enumerate', a bit like 'to account' in English:

      deukos is the same as gleukos (, sweet wine. An interesting phonetic variant, maybe both from dleukos? dug maybe comes from dulg or dlug, in this case is comparable with Latin dulc-is and Greek glykys from *dluk-.

  60. Today I give the Proposal to connect Sumerian dungu "cloud" with PIE *dhangh- "covering" to obscure, to be or become dark as in Lithuanian dengti "to cover' dangà ‘cover, roof, garment’ dangus ‘sky’.Hittite da-an-ku-i-iš ‘black, dark’ Old High German tunchar, dunkal, tunchal, tunkal ‘dark’ etc etc.

    1. This seems excellent! Pokorny sees the root as dhem 'to smoke, blow', with an extension dhenguo 'foggy, misty':
      I think that the root *dhangh- 'to cover' of dung and Lith. dangtis 'cover' and dangùs 'sky' must be connected. The aspirated gh is postulated because of Germanic g, but maybe with the nexus ng the evolution was different. It is interesting that an apparent connection of dung and mist is given also with German 'Mist' which means dung!

  61. Kyriakos,
    If you please help us on this, its a bit off topic but i think you can help to clarify.
    See this suggestion-*men%C7%9D%28w%29&method_any=substring&sort=proto&ic_any=on
    I want to know that do you think the Greek Words are correct?.

    1. Nirjhar, I checked the entry in my lexicon and there is indeed a fish called μαίνη (maine) or μαινίς in old Greek, which it could be connected to these other IE words (root *meni) according to the writer.
      The other view is that this word comes from "μαίνεσθαι" (mainesthai ; root man- of "mania") which signifies a "maniac" or "crazy" kind of fish.

  62. Another Proposal today-
    Sumerian Sir "to bind" with IE Sar 'to insert, line up, put/bind together'.

    1. In Greek we have the verbs εἴρω (eiro) and ἀραρίσκω (ararisko), both meaning "to bind together, to connect" which are derived from this IE root (*ser/ *sar - the "s" dissapeared, s > h > -). There is also the word σειρά (seira, "chain") which is somehow different (looks like the latin serere, or maybe it is loanword, it reminds the sumerian root "sir" (which is also the same in Akkadian, too, I think).

      By the way, from the root of one of these two verbs (εἴρω or ἀραρίσκω) we have the (Homeric) word ὄαρ (oar) in Old Greek (The first ὀ is thaught to be a prefix used to accumulate things); ὄαρ means "wife" (oar < ohar < osar). This ὄαρ is usually comared with the latin words "uxor" = wife, or "soror" (sister).

      In Sumerian there is the word "usar" = "(female) neighbor, wife"; "us" in Sumerian means "side".

      How are these words (usar, oar, uxor etc) connected? If these are loanwords, how we can know if these are from an IE language to Sumerian or vise versa?

    2. uxor is interpreted as uk-sor, where sor is 'woman' as in soror (from swa-sor- 'woman of one's own family', cf. German Schwester, OE sweosor, Skt. svasṛ-). uk- maybe is the root of vox, vak 'speech', in the sense of ritual formula of marriage. In another Italic language the form is usur, however. Also Greek oar is reported in Chantraine's etymological dictionary to sr- 'woman', see also here:

      The Sumerian form is very close, but if it means neighbor is not exactly equivalent, and maybe it comes from Sum. us- 'side'.

  63. Another possible common word:
    Old Indian viṣa = poison, greek ἰός (ios) poison and latin vīrus (IE root *u̯eis-3 , Pokorny), with:
    Sumerian uš = poison.

    1. I think quite good ! ( / but the š sound is to be explained, though traces are there in Greek and Slavic!.