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Appendix:Proto-Indo-European *wĺ̥kʷos

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Rose Tremain
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Latin reflex could easily be an Osco-Umbrian borrowing where PIE */kʷ/ regularly gave /p/ or alternatively, because of a taboo, in Ancient Greek and Latin metathesis of */w/ and */l/ is argued to have occurred: *wl̥kʷos > *lukʷos, but then Latin reflex would have had to have c or qu, not p, and Ancient Greek would have had to have π not κ. Some think that the case of Gothic 𐍅𐌿𐌻𐍆𐍃 (wulfs) and Latin lupus it's not of independant inovations (common */hʷ/ > */f/ in Germanic), but that these words are of PIE variant *wĺ̥pos with */p/ instead of */k/, whence also Hittite ulippana- and Armenian գայլ (gayl).

It appears that the noun *wĺ̥kʷos is a deadjectival form of an older adjective *wl̥kʷós, and the reflex of that adjective can be seen, beside in Hittite and Old Irish, in Sanskrit वृकतात् (vṛká-tāt), wolfishness, rapacity). Nominalization is indicated by stress shift onto zero grade, which is typical of deadjectival nouns; compare Sanskrit कृष्ण (kṛ́ṣṇa), black, dark) as opposed to कृष्ण (kṛṣṇá), blackness, darkness). The same semantic shift can be seen in Germanic; compare Old Norse vargr (wolf; criminal) (Swedish varg (wolf)) but, Old English wearg (criminal; monster; bad), Old Prussian wargan (suffering, evil) and Lithuanian vargas (misery).



  1. wolf


Declension of *wĺ̥kʷos Singular Dual Plural
Nominative *wĺ̥kʷos *wĺ̥kʷoh₁ *wĺ̥kʷoes
Vocative *wĺ̥kʷe *wĺ̥kʷoh₁ *wĺ̥kʷoes
Accusative *wĺ̥kʷom *wĺ̥kʷoh₁ *wĺ̥kʷons
Instrumental *wĺ̥kʷoh₁  ? *wĺ̥kʷōys
Dative *wĺ̥kʷoey  ? *wĺ̥kʷo(y)mos
Ablative *wĺ̥kʷead  ? *wĺ̥kʷo(y)mos
Genitive *wĺ̥kʷosyo  ? *wĺ̥kʷooHom
Locative *wĺ̥kʷey  ? *wĺ̥kʷoysu