Sunday, 15 November 2009

karma and tera-

Proto-Indo-European *kʷer- "to make" became both Greek τέρας "monster, marvel" and Aeolian πέλωρ "portent, prodigy, monster" (as in peloria), perhaps from the sense "that which does harm" (AHD). Τέρας is found in terabit, terawatt, terahertz, meaning a unit times 10¹², the next prefix up from giga-. The two Greek reflexes p and t are due to dialect differences.

The suffixed form *kʷer-mn̥ became Sanskrit कर्म karma "act, deed". The form *kʷer- became kr̥ "to make", which combined with sam- "together" to form संस्कृत saṃskr̥ta "put together, well-formed", Sanskrit.

4 comments :

Ethan Osten said...

*kʷ became t before e (τε, "and", πεντε, "five"), p before o (που, "where"); there's another reflex, actually, but I can't remember it off the top of my head.

goofy said...

According to Pokorny, this particular difference is dialectical: πέλωρ is Aeolian. This makes sense, since the environment is otherwise identical in both words.

Glen Gordon said...

Mycenaean retained the labiovelars. Hence, for later Greek βασιλεύς basileús 'king, chieftain', we find Myc. �������� QA-SI-RE-U evidently to write out spoken *gʷasileús..

goofy said...

oooh, droppin the Linear B...