Monday, 29 March 2010

pajamas and peccadillo

The Proto-Indo-European root *ped- "foot" became Persian پای pāy "foot". This combined with جامه jāmah "garment" to form پای جامه pāy-jāmah "drawers, trousers", borrowed thru Hindi-Urdu into English as pajamas.

In Latin *ped- became ped- "foot", and perhaps peccāre "to do wrong", as in "stumble". (Ped- plus the adjective-forming suffix -cus.) Peccātum was "error, moral lapse", becoming Spanish peccadillo "minor sin".

In English the lengthened o-grade form *pōd- became foot.

3 comments :

Glen Gordon said...

Technically *pod- is the citable PIE root whereas *ped- is just a derived form found in non-nomino-accusative cases (ie. *pōds [nom] and *pódm̥ [acc] but *pedós [gen]). In Latin, the weak case form took over the nominative and accusative cases through the process of analogical leveling, thus pēs and not *pōs.

Glen Gordon said...

After just typing that, being neurotic, I challenged what I wrote for myself by googling it up and I notice that Szemerenyi did in fact claim e-grade throughout the PIE paradigm (Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics (1999), p.164).

However, I don't think this properly explains the o-grade in the Greek paradigm and if I understand correctly, the long vowel in the Sanskrit accusative form suggests o-grade as well. Jasanoff will back me up though (Hittite and the Indo-European Verb (2005), p.68).

goofy said...

I was going by Fortson who cites it as *ped-, for what it's worth.