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E 0178 (TO) CLOSE

The verb " to close " is, via Old French, of Latin origin .

H 0487 א ל כ

Concept of root : to close

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

א ל כ

kal’

to close

Related English words

to close, key

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

א ל כ

kal’

to close

k l .

Greek

κλειω

kleyo

to close

k l .

Latin

claudere

<cludere

cl(au)dere

<cludere

to close

c l .v

Russian

заключатьj

zakljutshatj

to close

k l .

English

to close

to close

c l .

 

 

Proto-Semitic *KAL'À --- *KLĀW- < KLŪ- Indo-European

 

 

The Latin word, obviously related to both Greek and Hebrew, is found in many modern words in European languages. Originally these words mean more or less any kind of closing action, with or without the use of keys.

 

The use of a significant vowel after the basic root is found in all above words. The accentuated A in Hebrew, the diphtong " EI " in Greek (with possibly an O as origin), the U in both Latin and Russian.

 

 

Note:
  • Closing has given words for "key", such as Greek " κλεις , kleis " (modern "kleidi"), Latin "clavis", Russian " ключ , kljutsh " and English "key". The same we see with the Germanic root in German "schliessen" that is done with a "Schluessel". There we see a fundamental difference with Hebrew. European languages have for key something that closes. The Jews use for "key" an instrument with which one opens : " מ פ ת ח , maphteagh ", that which opens.

 

Note:
  • Latin. The word "clavis = key" makes it clear that the "U" in "claudere" is part of the root, that then basically has "CL . V". Not without reason Latin uses one letter for both "U" and "V". There is a sister word "clavus = nail ( for wood etc.)". Nails were and are also used to close something.

 

Note:
  • Hebrew and Proto-Semitic. This root , besides meaning "to close", indicates various related concepts , like "to withhold, restrain", and in Aramaic and Syriac "כ ל א , kel' = to restrain, hinder". Arabic "kala' = to watch, guard, protect" and is a bit further off, but Akkadian "kalū and Ethiopian "kal'" say "to restrain, hinder". Proto-Semitic probably had this root also with the less referred but basic meaning of "to close". כ ל א , K L Aleph".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The Middle Dutch word "klave ", in modern Dutch "klaaf", has identical sister words in Middle Low German and the Nordic languages. They all stand for a wooden halter used to restrain horses or cattle, especially in stables. It is a particular use of a root that seems related to Latin "clavis". It would indicate a Proto-Germanic "*KL AV-".

     

    The main Proto-Germanic form to say "to close" was "*S L Ū T-". The explanation for this form is that Germanic first added an initial "S", without changing the meaning of the root: "*SKL-". Then in a second phase the "K" was eliminated, with the result "*SL-". The dental " T " shoult have been added anyhow in an early stage.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European has a hypothesis of "*klāw-". What one sees as vowels is Latin "AU", Germanic "AV", Greek "È" out of earlier "ÈW" and with "Ā" out of earlier "ĀW" in various branches of the language, Slavic "Ū" as shown below. This means that there originally was what in Semitic is called a "waw", a sound that according to the relation with other nearby sounds and on account of development varies from vowel to consonant. As a consonant it easily is accompanied, for reasons of pronunciation, by a different vowel, especially "A", In Latin one recognizes this "waw" in the letter "V", used both as consonant ("V") and vowel ("U").

     

    Consequently Indo-European had a form "*K L Ū-", and possibly developed a variation into "*K L AW-".

     

    But then a further problem lies in the "third consonant", seen as "D" in Latin "claudo", but not in "clavis", as a combined "TSH" in Slavic "klutshj" and as " T " in Germanic, where it in German becomes "ZZ" or "SS". Also Greek introduces in a number of words a " D ", but not in basic "kleio". Probably these dentals are later developments in the various branches or groups of changing languages.

     

    Slavic has a hypothesis of "*klutshj", identical to the Old Church Slavonic word for "key", and nearly identical to Russian "ключ, kljutsh = key". Other related words indicate other, especially older means to close a door or the likes.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 29/10/2012 at 14.01.20