E 1017áááááááá WUNIAN

The Old English word " wunian " is of Germanic origin .

H 0668á ááááááááááה ו נ

Concept of root : residing

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ה ו נ

nawÓ

to reside, dwell

Related English words

Old English wunian

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ה ו נ

nawÓ

to reside, dwell

n . w .

Old English

wunian

to reside, dwell

w . n

German

wohnen

wonen

to reside, dwell

w . n

Dutch

wonen

wonen

to reside, dwell

w . n

 

 

Proto-Semitic *NOÀ < *‛ON --- *WŌN- Proto-Germanic

 

 

Quite a problem we have here, with a Germanic root W N and a Hebrew one N W, but with exactly the same meaning of dwelling and residing . There are two hypotheses.

 

The first one is that the Hebrew initial N also here, as so often, is a confirming prefix, and that Germanic for reasons of pronunciation has added an N to the very short root *W, pronounced " WO" or "WU".
The second one is that in the course of time a metathesis between N and W has taken place on the Hebrew side .

 

We opt for the second supposition, on the basis of a comparison with Entry E 1016 (Hebrew 0209), in which we find a Hebrew root more similar to the Germanic ones . It must be noted that there is a number of cases in which a Hebrew initial "Ayin" corresponds with a Germanic " W ".

 

Note:
  • Germanic languages use this root also to express the concept of "habit", exactly as seen in Latin languages and in the English word "habit" , related with the root of Latin "habitare". The modern word "habitat" for animals corresponds a little with the old Hebrew use of this root in "nawÚ" for "pasture".

     

    There is a tendency among scholars to see the actual meaning "to dwell, reside" as derived from one like "be satisfied, become accustomed". This is one of those turnabouts that do not convince. The first thing is the creating or finding the thing, that here is the place where to stay. And when this is pleasant, further meanings like that of "habit" may come out of it.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. In older Germanic languages we find Old Saxon "wonon, wunon", ONFranconian "wonon", Old High German "wonēn", and Old Frisian "wonia, wunia, unia", that is particularly intersting, as it shows the final version without initial "W", comparable with what happens in Nordic tongues and in Hebrew! Old English had "wunian" and Middle Dutch "wōnen".

     

    The initial consonant is always "W" and the second "N". The vowel is "U" or "O", but as already mentioned the "O" is the earlier one. Proto-Germanic probably had "*W Ō N-".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic There is a cognate in Arabic "nawa(y) = he settled in a place" which refers to nomads. This is an interesting information, that makes it probable that Proto-Semitic in fact may have used this same root already: "* נ ו ה , N W H (accentuated vowel)". Further we repeat the hypothesis explained above:

     

    " The second (hypothesis) is that in the course of time a metathesis between N and W has taken place on the Hebrew side . We opt for this supposition, on the basis of a comparison with Entry E 1016 (Hebrew 0209), in which we find a Hebrew root more similar to the Germanic ones . It must be noted that there is a number of cases in which a Hebrew initial "Ayin" corresponds with a Germanic " W ".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. We have no attendible information towards possible cognates in other groups of Indo-European languages. A link has been seen with a group of words around "love" and "pleasure", with Latin "Venus", German and Dutch "wonne" together with Old Irish "fonn" that says "delight" and Old Indian "vanati = he loves". Alas, "dwelling, residing" is not always a pleasure and has little to do with love and delight. There is no semantic link. Our comparison remains between Semitic and Germanic, with the exclusion of "wonne", that by the way is also, wrongly, given as related with "to win". It is found in Entry E 1018 (Hebrew 0670).

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 15/11/2012 at 10.10.22