E 0915 THOU

The word "thou" is of Germanic origin

H 0076 א ת ה , א ת

Concept of root: you

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

א ת ה ;

א ת

att ;

at

you (m)

you (f)

Related English words

thou

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

א ת ה ;

א ת

att ;

at

you (m)

you (f)

-t

Greek (Doric)

τυ

t

you

t-

Latin

tu

tu

you

t-

Old Persian

tu

tu

you

t-

Gothic

thu

thu

you

th-

Old Irish

tu

tu

you

t-

Old English

ðu

ðu

you

dh-

older English

thou

dhou

you

th-

 

 

Proto-Semitic *ANT- --- *TŪ Indo-European

 

 

We have inserted this similarity even though it is of one letter, the "T", only, because we consider it significant that the letter indicating the second person is the same between these various languages. It probably was used in Indo-European to indicate the second person singular.

 

Note:
  • Greek. The common Greek word for "you" is "συ (s)". All scholars seem to be of the opinion that this Greek word is directly akin to the other ones. Anyhow the Doric version has T like the other languages .

 

Note:
  • The difference lies in the following. The essential consonant, here a "D" or "T" needs to be accompanied by a vowel for pronunciation reasons. Hebrew has the tendency to place that vowel in frond of the consonant, thus forming "at". This is seen also in those other very basic words "av (father)" and "em (mother)". European languages and Hebrew both have chosen in the case of father and mother to also use a vowel in front plus one behind. "Abba" for "father" and "amma" for "mother" are common to Greek, Latin and Hebrew. But in the case of the word for "you" we have not seen European versions with the vowel in front.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic Semitic languages show for the male personal pronoun "ata , anat, atta, anta" and for the female "at, ant, ati, anti, atti" . The usual conclusion is that the oldest, thus Proto-Semitic forms have been male "*'anta" and female " * 'ant ". These two pronouns can be seen as constructed of two elements, "an" and then either "ta" or "ti". The first element, "an" is also found in the first person singular and plural. The second element is the cognate , containing "T" , of the Indo European words of this entry. Proto-Semitic thus may be supposed to have had : "* א נ ת א , A N T A ", as well as "* א נ ת י , A N T I".

 

Note:
  • Dental D. In German, the Nordic languages and Armenian the word has a "D" instead of a "T" : "du".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic . In older Germanic languages we find a dental "TH" , the pronunciation of which is supposedly as TH in "thin" in North- and East Germanic and as TH in "there" in West Germanic. These "TH"-sounds both have a possible origin in a"D". In modern North Germanic the "D" has come back, as it was in the process of doing in Old High German with "thu" and "du". In German and Middle Dutch there is "du". English and Dutch no more use this root in modern language. Proto-Germanic presumably had "*D U", in which the "U" may have been long but more probably was short.

 

 

Note:
    Indo-European. There is little doubt that this word for " you " had a vowel " Ū " and a dental as consonant. The hypothesis is "*".

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 26/09/2012 at 16.04.54