An etymological comparison of English fist and Polish pięść: how they both descended from the pie root for ‘five’
Languages of publication
The focus of the paper is the historical comparison of E fist and P pięść from the perspective of diachronic phonology. The paper specifically addresses the issue of the phonological development of this pair of cognates. The main aim is to explain the relatedness and differentiations of the modern reflexes of the original Proto-Indo-European roots and to account for their different phonological developments in both languages with a view to understanding the connection between the contemporary cognates. These aims are realised by means of searching for sound changes that explain the discrepancy in the phonological shapes of modern cognates and collecting other pairs of cognates that demonstrate the effect of theses sound changes. As the result of the historical and comparative analysis, it is argued that some of the Proto-Germanic reconstructions are more likely than others and in conclusion the most probable development of the two cognates is outlined in the chronological order. It is remarkable that the cognates of the compounds pięść / fist are to be found almost exclusively in Slavic and Germanic and the effect of their development resembles blending.
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