Indo-European Lexicon

PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes

Below we display: a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) etymon adapted from Pokorny, with our own English gloss; our Semantic Field assignment(s) for the etymon, linked to information about the field(s); an optional Comment; and Reflexes (derived words) in various Indo-European languages, organized by family/group in west-to-east order where Germanic is split into West/North/East families and English, our language of primary emphasis, is artificially separated from West Germanic. IE Reflexes appear most often as single words with any optional letter(s) enclosed in parentheses; but alternative full spellings are separated by '/' and "principal parts" appear in a standard order (e.g. masculine, feminine, and neuter forms) separated by commas.

Reflexes are annotated with: Part-of-Speech and/or other Grammatical feature(s); a short Gloss which, especially for modern English reflexes, may be confined to the oldest sense; and some Source citation(s) with 'LRC' always understood as editor. Keys to PoS/Gram feature abbreviations and Source codes appear below the reflexes; at the end are links to the previous/next etyma [in Pokorny's alphabetic order] that have reflexes.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

Pokorny Etymon: (s)pel-   'to speak aloud, tell with emphasis'

Semantic Field(s): to Speak, Talk


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: gōd-spel(l) n.str.neut gospel W7
lāð-spell n.str.neut painful/grievous story, lit. ill-news ASD
spell n.str.neut tale, speech, story GED
spellian vb.wk to spell, speak, narrate GED
Middle English: gospel n gospel W7
spell n tale, speech, story W7
spellen vb to talk, speak, tell a story W7
English: gospel n lit. good news AHD/W7
Láthspell prop.n Grima's epithet for Gandalf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
Morgul-spells evil sorcery in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
spell, spelt vb.wk to read slowly (letter-by-letter) AHD/W7
spell n incantation, words thought to have magical power AHD/W7
West Germanic  
Old Saxon: god-spell n gospel ASD
spel(l) n.str speech, story ASD/GED
Old Low German: spell n tale, story ASD
Old High German: got-spel n gospel ASD
(got-)spellōn vb.wk to speak, narrate GED
spel(l) n.str speech, story ASD/GED
spelza n spelt, corn ASD
North Germanic  
Old Icelandic: spjall n.str speech, story GED
spjalla vb.wk to speak, narrate GED
Icelandic: guð-spjall n gospel ASD
East Germanic  
Gothic: *spill n myth GED
spilla n.masc announcer GED
spillōn vb.wk.II to tell, relate LRC
Old French: espeller vb to tell, speak AHD
Latvian: pel̃t n slander GED
Greek: ἀ-πειλέω vb to boast, threaten GED
ἀ-πειλή n.fem boast, threat GED
Armenian: aṙa-spel n fable GED
Tocharian B: pāl- vb to praise GED
Tocharian A: päl- vb to praise GED


Key to Part-of-Speech/Grammatical feature abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
II=class 2
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
pl=plural (number)
str=strong (inflection)
wk=weak (inflection)

Key to information Source codes (always with 'LRC' as editor):

Code Citation
AHD=Calvert Watkins: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (2000)
ASD=Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (1898)
GED=Winfred P. Lehmann: A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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