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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Germanic 'Jörð' vs. Turkic 'yer/yurt'|
|Question:||Hello everyone. I am preparing a presentation of compared mythology and I reached an interesting point. The word Jörð in Old Norse is etymologically related to ''earth'' as you know. In Turkic, there is two words: ''yer'', which directly means ''earth'' and ''yurt'' (t/d change is observed in Old Turkic), which means ''homeland''. These two words are also used in today's Turkish. I see a phonological and semantical similarity here. I need to know if these words are originally related or not. Thank you!|
|Reply:||My fellow panelists have already covered this one. As they say, it seems really implausible that this resemblance could be more than a simple coincidence. When you think about it, a language has so many words, even counting only simple root words, that a few coincidences between any given pair of languages are to be expected. The example I usually quote is that the Chinese word for 'dawn' is "dàn": the Chinese word sounds just like 'dawn' (said with an American accent, at least), but the histories of the two words have nothing to do with one another. Regards, Geoffrey Sampson|
|Reply From:||Geoffrey Richard Sampson click here to access email|