False cognates

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Shemtov
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Re: False cognates

Post by Shemtov » 05 Jan 2015 21:22

Icelandic <mál> /mauːl/ and Korean <말> /ma̠ːɭ/ both mean "language".
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Re: False cognates

Post by Prinsessa » 07 Jan 2015 21:37

Another neat one where the words seem unrelated but in fact really are direct cognates is the case of English guest and host as well as Latin hostis (not the direct source of EN host, but related).

EN guest and LA hostis are both derived from Proto-Indo-European *gʰóstis, defined on Wiktionary as "stranger, guest, host, someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality".

The word guest is Germanic, tho influenced phonetically in today's English by the Norse reflex gestʀ with a hard /g/ as opposed to the palatalised ġiest of Old English. Apparently back then it could still cover both meanings and even had a poëtical use as enemy. Perhaps Old Norse helped narrow down the English meaning too.

Latin hostis generally meant enemy (cf. EN hostile) or stranger.

The word host of course comes from Latin, a derivative of the same word that yielded hostis. Quoting Wiktionary's entry on the English host:
From Old French oste (French: hôte), from Middle Latin hospitem, accusative of hospes (“a host, also a sourjourner, visitor, guest; hence, a foreigner, a stranger”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰóspot- (“master of guests”), from *gʰóstis (“stranger, guest, host, someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality”) and *pótis (“owner, master, host, husband”).

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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 07 Jan 2015 23:17

I don't know if anyone's said these yet, but…

:jpn: shimo "frost" and :rus: zima "winter"

:jpn: taberu "to eat" and :eng: table

:jpn: atsui "hot" and :eng: hot

Are all false cognate pairs I've heard, from off the top of my head.

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Re: False cognates

Post by thetha » 09 Jan 2015 23:57

Two similar ones: The passive marker in Vietnamese is bị, and the third person copula in Archi is bi. Both very similar to the English verb 'to be'.

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Re: False cognates

Post by Squall » 13 Jan 2015 02:49

Italian 'ciao' and Portuguese 'tchau'.
The pronunciation sounds like each other, but in Italian, it means 'Hello' and in Portuguese it means 'bye'.

The Portuguese speaker may think that the Italian is rude in the first moment, because the first thing the Italian will say may be interpreted as 'bye'. [:D]
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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 13 Jan 2015 04:25

Squall wrote:Italian 'ciao' and Portuguese 'tchau'.
The pronunciation sounds like each other, but in Italian, it means 'Hello' and in Portuguese it means 'bye'.

The Portuguese speaker may think that the Italian is rude in the first moment, because the first thing the Italian will say may be interpreted as 'bye'. [:D]
A difference in meaning doesn't disqualify two words from being cognates (at least, I'm almost certain it doesn't). I'd be willing to bet that the two words come from the same source, which makes them technically cognates after all.

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Re: False cognates

Post by Dormouse559 » 13 Jan 2015 05:49

Yeah, cognates are words with the same etymon. So false cognates are words that look like they are descended from the same source but actually aren't. Meaning is secondary. If anything, it's similar meanings that give the impression of a relationship.

Ouais, les mots apparentés sont des mots avec le même étymon. Alors les mots faussement apparentés sont des mots qui paraissent être descendus de la même source mais qui ne le sont pas en réalité. Leurs sens sont secondaires. C'est plutôt des sens similaires qui donnent l'impression d'une relation.

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Re: False cognates

Post by Avo » 13 Jan 2015 10:03

Additionally, ciao means both "hello" and "goodbye" in Italian.

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Re: False cognates

Post by Prinsessa » 13 Jan 2015 11:33

Same with hej (or hej, hej) in Swedish and some other corresponding colloquial forms like tja (surprisingly similar to ciao – I wonder if there is some connection there).

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Re: False cognates

Post by Lao Kou » 13 Jan 2015 11:55

shimobaatar wrote:
Squall wrote:Italian 'ciao' and Portuguese 'tchau'. The pronunciation sounds like each other, but in Italian, it means 'Hello' and in Portuguese it means 'bye'.

The Portuguese speaker may think that the Italian is rude in the first moment, because the first thing the Italian will say may be interpreted as 'bye'. [:D]
A difference in meaning doesn't disqualify two words from being cognates.
I would think the latter being a loan from the former would disqualify them as cognate, false or otherwise [:)] :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciao
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Re: False cognates

Post by k1234567890y » 13 Jan 2015 12:56

some examples:

English sun and Manchu šun("sun", pronunced /ʃun/)

English male and English female("female" is not the derived form of "male")

English he(3rd masc subject pronoun), Min Nan (3rd pronoun, pronunced /i˥˥/) and Manchu i(3rd subject pronoun, pronunced /ī/)

Czech/Slovak/Polish ona(3rd fem subject pronoun) and Japanese ("woman", pronunced /onná/)

English throw and Mandarin Chinese 投("to throw/to cast", pronunced as /tʰoʊ˧˥/)

English gang(from Old English gang (“a journey, a way, a passage”) ) and Chinese (one of the pronunciation of 行 in Old Chinese was likely to be /*[g]ˤaŋ/ or something like that when it means "rank, row")
...

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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 13 Jan 2015 20:57

Lao Kou wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:
Squall wrote:Italian 'ciao' and Portuguese 'tchau'. The pronunciation sounds like each other, but in Italian, it means 'Hello' and in Portuguese it means 'bye'.

The Portuguese speaker may think that the Italian is rude in the first moment, because the first thing the Italian will say may be interpreted as 'bye'. [:D]
A difference in meaning doesn't disqualify two words from being cognates.
I would think the latter being a loan from the former would disqualify them as cognate, false or otherwise [:)] :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciao
Since loanwords share an etymological source, why wouldn't they be considered cognates?

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Re: False cognates

Post by Shemtov » 13 Jan 2015 21:32

Skógvur wrote:Same with hej (or hej, hej) in Swedish and some other corresponding colloquial forms like tja (surprisingly similar to ciao – I wonder if there is some connection there).
Also Hebrew "Shalom" and Hawaiin "aloha"
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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 13 Jan 2015 21:34

Shemtov wrote:
Skógvur wrote:Same with hej (or hej, hej) in Swedish and some other corresponding colloquial forms like tja (surprisingly similar to ciao – I wonder if there is some connection there).
Also Hebrew "Shalom" and Hawaiin "aloha"
Don't false cognates have to sound alike?
Edit: Unless you're saying that because they both have <alo>?

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Re: False cognates

Post by Shemtov » 13 Jan 2015 21:52

shimobaatar wrote:
Shemtov wrote:
Skógvur wrote:Same with hej (or hej, hej) in Swedish and some other corresponding colloquial forms like tja (surprisingly similar to ciao – I wonder if there is some connection there).
Also Hebrew "Shalom" and Hawaiin "aloha"
Don't false cognates have to sound alike?
Edit: Unless you're saying that because they both have <alo>?
No, I was addressing the tangent that Sko was taking about words meaning "hello" AND "Goodbye"
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Re: False cognates

Post by Lao Kou » 14 Jan 2015 01:41

shimobaatar wrote:Since loanwords share an etymological source, why wouldn't they be considered cognates?
So English "sushi" and Japanese "sushi" are cognates? :wat:
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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 14 Jan 2015 03:35

Lao Kou wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:Since loanwords share an etymological source, why wouldn't they be considered cognates?
So English "sushi" and Japanese "sushi" are cognates? :wat:
I think I spoke too soon before. This last question of yours has made me really think about this kind of situation, and for me, it's very complicated, much more so than I thought before.

From my point of view, :eng: sushi and :jpn: sushi are not cognates, because the English word is a direct borrowing of the Japanese word. They do share the same etymological source, which was, until now, my definition of a cognate, but the etymological relationship between the two words is different than the one between, say, :eng: hundred and :lat: centum. I'm not sure I can say exactly what that difference is, but here's my theory. Those two words are both descendants of a common ancestor, PIE *ḱm̥tóm, unlike the two "sushi"s, where the Japanese word is essentially the ancestor of the English word. You could most definitely argue that they are, in fact, cognates, but now that I really have to think about it, calling them that doesn't feel right to me, personally.

So I wouldn't call them cognates. However, I wouldn't call them false cognates either. While I would no longer define two words from different languages as cognates simply because they share an etymological source, I stand by my definition of false cognate, at least for now. Two words that, coincidentally, sound similar and have similar meanings are false cognates, in my opinion. The similarity between the English and Japanese word sushi is no coincidence. I wouldn't call them false cognates, because the reason for their similarity can be demonstrated, but I wouldn't call them cognates either, since the English word is borrowed from the Japanese word. Similarly, if a language borrows the Italian word ciao in some form, that word is neither a cognate nor false cognate with :ita: ciao, from my point of view.

I hope I made myself clear.

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Re: False cognates

Post by Lao Kou » 14 Jan 2015 04:18

shimobaatar wrote:I hope I made myself clear.
Yes, and you've explained what I've understood the definitions of "cognate" and "false cognate" to be. Feel the agreement. Feel the zen. [:)]
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Re: False cognates

Post by qwed117 » 17 Jan 2015 02:42

:lat: deus, :ell: theos, Nahuatl teotl (god) has already been said, and I think deus->theos is a true cognate originating from a PIE, (devas in Indic languages)
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Re: False cognates

Post by shimobaatar » 17 Jan 2015 03:46

deus and devá are cognates, but neither one is cognate to theós, surprisingly.

deus and devá are both descendants of *deywós. theós is descended from *dʰh₁s-, a derivative of *dʰeh₁-, which makes theós a cognate of Latin fēriae, fānum, and fēstus (and English do and Latin faciō), but not deus and devá.

However, since *deywós is a derivative of *dyew-, deus and devá are related to Greek Zeús, and Latin Iuppiter and diēs.

So deus and theós are, in fact, false cognates.

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