Cognate

related topics
{language, word, form}
{food, make, wine}
{day, year, event}
{math, energy, light}
{disease, patient, cell}
{acid, form, water}
{specie, animal, plant}
{government, party, election}
{son, year, death}

In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin.

An example of cognates within the same language would be English shirt and skirt, the former from Old English sċyrte, the latter loaned from Old Norse skyrta, both from the same Common Germanic *skurtjōn-. Words with this type of relationship within a single language are called doublets. Further cognates of the same word in other Germanic languages would include German Schürze and Dutch schort "apron".

The word cognate derives from Latin cognatus "blood relative".[1]

Contents

Characteristics of cognate words

Cognates need not have the same meaning: dish (English) and Tisch ("table", German) and desco ("table", medieval Italian), or starve (English) and sterven ("die", Dutch), or head (English) and chef ("chief, head", French), serve as examples of how cognate terms may diverge in meaning as languages develop separately, eventually becoming false friends.

Cognates across languages

Examples of cognates in Indo-European languages are the words night (English), nuit (French), Nacht (German), nacht (Dutch), nicht (Scots), natt (Swedish, Norwegian), nat (Danish), nátt (Faroese), nótt (Icelandic), noc (Czech, Slovak, Polish), ночь, noch (Russian), ноќ, noć (Macedonian), нощ, nosht (Bulgarian), ніч, nich (Ukrainian), ноч, noch/noč (Belarusian), noč (Slovene), noć (Croatian), ноћ/noć (Serbian), νύξ, nyx (Ancient Greek, νύχτα/nyhta in Modern Greek), nox (Latin), nakt- (Sanskrit), natë (Albanian), noche (Spanish), nos (Welsh), nueche (Asturian), noite (Portuguese and Galician), notte (Italian), nit (Catalan), noapte (Romanian), nakts (Latvian) and naktis (Lithuanian), all meaning "night" and derived from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *nókʷts, "night".

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