Word Family - Root

May theme: Plants 🌱


root, orchard, radio, radish, eradicate

Full Text

  • Proto-Indo-European *wréh₂ds root
    • Old Armenian *rgat
      • Armenian արքատ arkʿat branch trimmings
    • Germanic *wrōts
      • North Germanic
        • Old Norse rót root, origin [1]
          • Danish rod root
          • Icelandic rót root, origin
          • Old English rōt
            • English root
    • Proto-Indo-European *wr̥h₂dés of root genitive
      • Germanic *wurtiz of roots lre-analyzed as base form in some descendants [1]
        • East Germanic
          • Gothic 𐍅𐌰𐌿𐍂𐍄𐍃 waurts root
        • West Germanic
          • Old English wyrt
            • English wort
          • Frankish *wurta
            • Dutch wort
          • Old High German wurz
            • German Würze spice, aroma
        • Germanic *urtiz [1]
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse urt
            • Danish urt herb
            • Icelandic jurt plant, herb
          • Germanic *urtōną to plant, to cultivate
            • West Germanic
              • Old High German orzōn to cultivaate, to tend a field
          • Germanic *urtgardaz garden, orchard lit. something like "plant-yard" or "herb-garden"; *gardaz is the root of both "yard" and "garden"
            • East Germanic
              • Gothic 𐌰𐌿𐍂𐍄𐌹𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐍃 aurtigards orchard, garden
              • Old Church Slavonic врътоградъ vrŭtogradŭ herb garden, kitchen garden
            • North Germanic
              • Old Norse *urtgarðr
                • Swedish örtagård herb garden
            • West Germanic
              • Old English ortġeard
                • English orchard
    • Proto-Indo-European *wréh₂dm̥s accusative plural
      • Italic *wrādmos
        • Latin rāmus branch
          • Eastern Romance
            • Romanian ram branch, bough
          • Western Romance
            • Old French raim branch
            • Spanish ramo bouquet, bough, branch
          • Latin rāmificō I branch, I cause to have branches
            • French ramifier
              • English ramify
          • Vulgar Latin *ramellus
            • Western Romance
              • French rameau
          • Vulgar Latin *dērāmō I prune? lit. "I take away branches"
            • Eastern Romance
              • Romanian a dărâma to prune, to demolish
              • Albanian dërmoj I demolish
            • Western Romance
              • Italian diramare to broadcast, to release, to prune a tree
              • Spanish diramare to spill
    • Proto-Indo-European *wrh̥₂dnio
      • Albanian rrënjë
      • Celtic *wrednā
        • Brythonic
          • Welsh greddf instinct
        • Old Irish
          • Irish fréamh root, source, origin, radical
    • Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dyos
      • Celtic *wredios
        • Brythonic
          • Welsh gwraidd root
      • Italic
        • Latin radius ray (of light), spoke (of a wheel), rod or several other possible origins
          • Eastern Romance
            • Romanian rază
          • Western Romance
            • French rai
              • English ray
            • Italian raggio
          • English radius
          • Latin radiō I radiate, I shine
            • English radiate
            • English radio-
              • English radiophone
                • English radio
            • Latin radiāns shining, beaming
              • English radiant
    • Proto-Indo-European *wredih₂
      • Hellenic
        • Ancient Greek ῥίζα rhíza root, source, foundation
          • Greek ρίζα ríza root
          • English rhizome
    • Proto-Indo-European *wreh₂dih₂s
      • Hellenic
        • Ancient Greek ῥάδιξ rhádix
      • Indo-Iranian
        • Iranian
          • Western Iranian
            • Kurdish reh
            • Old Persian raēša
              • Persian ریشه rīše root, basis, origin
      • Italic *wrādīks
        • Latin rādīx
          • Western Romance
            • Italian radice
              • French radice
            • Spanish raíz
          • Old English redic
            • English radish
              • Māori rātihi
          • English radix
          • Old High German rātih
            • German Rettich
            • Yiddish רעטעך
          • Latin radīcīna
            • Eastern Romance
              • Romanian rădăcină
            • Western Romance
              • French racine
          • Latin rādīcālis rooted, pertaining to roots, addressing the root of a matter
            • French radical
              • English radical
          • Latin ērādīcō I root out, I annihilate
            • Western Romance
              • French arracher
            • English eradicate
            • French éradiquer
            • Spanish erradicar
    • Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dikeh₂
      • Tocharian
        • Kushean witsako root *wirtsako expected, irregular loss of r


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Collected English words

root, wort, orchard, ramify, ray, radius, radiate, radio-, radiophone, radio, radiant, rhizome, radish, radix, radical, eradicate


  1. ^

    Three variations on the Germanic stem *wrōt-: *wrōt-, *wurt-, and *urt-. These are not unusual variations: the second is the oblique stem expected in genitive/dative/instrumental cases, and the third is form of the second where the very similar sounds w and u in sequence have collapsed into a single u. But unusual things seem to have happened to them. While these would almost certainly have been clearly one word to speakers of Pre-Germanic and Early Common Germanic, by the time of Late Common Germanic, it is not clear if these are understood as one, two, or three different words!

    The basic stem *wrōt- is attested only in (or through) North Germanic, but is absent in East and West Germanic.

    In East and West Germanic *wrōt- is replaced with a backformation of the oblique stem *wurt, giving Gothic waurts and English wort. East and West Germanic also seem to have a separate *urt- stem, but it is only attested in derived forms: *urtōną and *urtgardaz, so maybe it is not a separate stem, just compounds failing to preserve the stem perfectly.

    But then things are complicated by the Old Norse urt as separate from Old Norse rót. Old Norse has a compulsory collapse of Germanic *wu into Old Norse u, so this form could come from either Germanic *wurt- or *urt-.

    The lexicalization of the split could have been in Late Common Germanic, with the *wrōt- later lost in East and West Germanic. Or re-analysis of a phonologically difficult direct form could have occurred repeatedly in different ways in the different branches. Or there could be some cross-dialect borrowings as these three branches (plus whatever other branches there once were, now extinct and unattested) diverged into distinct but mutually intelligible dialects of Late Common Germanic.