Wednesday, 5 December 2007

owe and Ganesh

The Proto-Indo-European root *h₂eiḱ- "to be master of, possess" (IEW ēik- 298) became Proto-Germanic *aiǥan "to possess", then Old English āgan, then English owe - and ought from the past tense form āhte. The Proto-Germanic word combined with the intensive prefix *fra- to form *fra-aihtiz "absolute possession, property", and this gives us fraught and freight thru Middle Dutch.

In Sanskrit, the reduplicated zero-grade form *h₂e-h₂iḱ- became ईश īś "to own, possess, rule over". This combined with गण gaṇa "throng, group of followers" to form गणेश gaṇeśa "master of throngs". This is the origin of the name of the Hindu deity Ganesh.

The weird thing is that Pokorny does not have this root with a palatal, to account for the Indic ś (but the AHD does).

1 comment :

Stuart Douglas said...

Ah ha, so *this* is where you've gone!