These filiations are an attempt to show the semantic relationships of groups of European terms between themselves, and sometimes to non-Indo-European languages, and to relate them to a common denominator, i.e. the semantic value, without recourse to reconstructions. The semantic value attributed to a base is a general, indicative value drawn from the paradigm as a whole. Within it, the local definitions may vary, but the idea remains the same. Anthetically to many Indo-Europeanists who persist in ignoring the reality of dialects, a special effort has been devoted to the collection of dialectal terms, true "fossils" of the vocabulary, that have probably existed long before the advent of the written languages.

It will be apparent that the third element of a base is often part of a suffix. This way of composing the base has the advantage of revealing semantic relations between languages that are otherwise considered to be distant from each other. These relations are not the result of mere chance or convergence. To take just one example, the base m-r + suffix -k (3.6.8) shows the relation among Anc. Greek mórychos, Romanian morico, French moricaud,moraquin, Albanian murrak etc. These relations would have been obscured if all the terms with the m-r base had been grouped together randomly.

There are a few words in the filiations which appear to be unrelated to the bases they are classified under. This is due to the absence of certain "links in the chain". Further dialect studies may be able to fill in the links and thus integrate such words more harmoniously into the paradigms. See the examples Engl. high ð4.1.5., thigh ð4.1.16.1., Germ. hahn "blaze" ð4.1.18.6..

It would be wrong to interpret terms in the filiations as derivatives or metaphors (except where indicated); the filiations contain only terms that are derived from the same root.

The definitions are generally given in English or French. The original definition of most dialectal terms has been retained.

Many of the terms are regional, even when they are not marked as such.

The filiations can provide the point of departure for lexical or semantic resarch. They demonstrate, for example, the following:

1) Certain words that have been given "exotic" etymologies are, on the contrary, of European origin: zebu,zebra,parrot,lory,cockatoo, chess, tobacco,assegai,coffee etc.

2) Names given to dances are usually of kinetic origin, as could be expected: tango,bamba,bamboula,rumba,java, gigue, rumba,samba, guinguette,farandole,fandango,waltz,ballet,swing and the most explicit rock-and-roll.

3) Most terms designating beauty are of chromatic origin: French beau ð3.1., splendeur ð3.1.55., Lat. pulcher ð3.1.38.1., Germ. schön ð3.4.1.8., Engl. fair ð3.2.29.1., fine ð3.5.1.1., Greek kallon ð3.1.41.1. etc.

4) Most words designating sadness or melancholy are of chromatic origin and refer to a dark colour. The best known of these are Anc. Greek melancholía and Engl. blues, but there are many others.

5) In almost all the European languages most words signifying "world" were originally synonyms for "light" (what is lit by the sun). The fact is well-known in the case of the Slavic svet, but not so well-known for the following: Engl. world ð3.2.29.1., French monde ð3.6.40.1., Roum. pamînt ð3.6.40.1., Bulg. mir ð3.6.10., Russian zemljak ð3.3.14.9., Cymry elfydd ð3.1.57.1., Lit. pasaulis ð3.1.62., Tokh arkisosi ð3.2.51.3., Kurdish dinya ð3.3.13.1., Persian `àlam ð3.1.57.1., etc.

6) Peoples are often designated by the colour of their hair, sometimes their skin: Romans ð3.2.55.1., Belgians ð3.1.27., Danes ð3.3.13.1., Finns ð3.5.1.1., Ambrons ð3.2.17., Slavs ð3.1.55., Serbs ð3.2.48.2., Scorus (Romanian for the Serbs) ð3.2.6.1., Arabs ð3.2.14.1., and evidently Negro and Black.

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