Monday, 23 January 2017

The term 'Aryan' and its Semitic cognates

The term 'Aryan' had a strange history. Derived from the Sanskrit ārya 'noble, member of the three higher classes', Avestan airya, Old Persian ariya 'member of the Iranian people', it was identified by European scholars during the 19th century with all the Indo-Europeans, and ethnocentric racial theories (De Gobineau, etc., see here) identified the term, suggesting nobility and superiority, with an idea of a Nordic superior race, although historical Germanic people did not identify themselves with a term like 'Arya'. I have already spoken about this topic in a previous post, but now I come back to it because I would like to share with you an interesting, even astonishing, connection.
A connection with the alleged antithesis of the Aryans, the Semites.

In the wiktionary entry about arya, after various other etymologies of the word, a last theory is mentioned: "Oswald Szemerényi has suggested[1][7] that *arya- is a loanword from an Ugaritic word meaning "kinsmen", from Proto-Afro-Asiatic *ħər ‎(“free, noble”)"
Actually, the Ugaritic word noted by Szemerényi is ’ary 'kinsman', from a different root (*ʔar-), but if we see the meaning of the terms derived from the Afro-Asiatic root proposed above, one is surprised by their close similarity with the meanings of the Indo-European terms. 
From A. Bomhard's Afrasian Comparative Vocabulary (2014):
Proto-Afrasian *ħar- ‘(vb.) to be superior, to be higher in status or rank, to be above or over; (n.) nobleman, master, chief, superior; (adj.) free-born, noble’:
Semitic: Proto-Semitic *ħar-ar- ‘to be free-born, to be or become free, to set free’, *ħar(r)-/*ħur(r)- ‘noble, free-born’ > Hebrew ḥōr ‘noble’; Arabic ḥurr ‘noble, free-born; free, independent’, ḥarra ‘to liberate, to free, to set free, to release, to emancipate’, ḥurrīya ‘freedom, liberty, independence, unrestraint, license’; Aramaic ḥərar ‘to be or become free’; Ugaritic ḥrr ‘free’; Sabaean ḥrr ‘freemen, free-born men’; Geez / Ethiopic ḥarāwi ‘free-born, nobleman’, ḥarāwənnā ‘freedom’, ḥarənnat ‘freedom’; Tigrinya ḥara ‘free’, ḥarənnät ‘freedom’; Tigre ḥara ‘free; freedom’; Amharic hurr ‘free’; Gurage hurru bālä ‘to become free, to set free’. 
Egyptian ḥry ‘chief, master, overseer, superior’, ḥr ‘on, upon, over’, ḥrw ‘upper part, top’; Coptic hi- [xi-] (< *ḥaryaw) ‘on, in, at’, hray [xrai] ‘upper part’.
Omotic: North Omotic: Yemsa / Janjero herašo ‘chief, ruler’, herašo ‘chieftainship, rule’. 
We can see how the concept of freedom is often equivalent with that of nobility in these cognates, and Hebrew ḥōr 'noble' is also translated 'free man' (see here), but the Hebrew term ḥērūt 'freedom' comes from Aramaic/Syriac ḥēr 'free' (see here). In Arabic ḥurr means 'free' (opposed to ‛abd 'slave') but also 'noble, good'. For instance, ḥurr al-kalām refers to a speech of high literary quality, not to 'free speech'. The feminine ḥurrah may simply mean 'lady' and ḥurr 'gentleman'. As F. Rosenthal observes (here): "This usage of ḥurr had its origin in the general human inclination to ascribe all bad qualities to the slave and his miserable lot, and all good qualities to those who were legally free men."

This picture strongly reminds the Indian concept of ārya. Also in the Indian use, the connotation of ārya as freeman is clear. In the Ṛgveda, ārya is opposed to dāsa, that means 'slave, servant', in other Vedic texts to the śūdra, one who belongs to the low class of labourers, those who must serve the three higher classes. In the Arthaśāstra, a treatise on law and politics, the chapter on slaves clearly contrasts the position of ārya with that of slave (dāsa). And the Vedic term arya with initial short a means 'master, lord'. The Pāli (Middle Indian) derived term ayya means 'gentleman, lord, master'.
The connotation of freedom could also better explain the Buddhist use of Pāli ariya, Sanskrit ārya, for a person on the path to spiritual liberation.

In the Iranian context, Avestan airya is opposed to other populations like tuirya, while in Achaemenid inscriptions, we find pārsa:pārsahyā: puça: ariya: ariyaciça, “a Persian, son of a Persian, Arya, of Arya origin.” In the compound ariya-ciça, where in ciça (Avestan čiθra) 'seed, origin, lineage', we recognize a concept typical of a tribal and aristocratic culture. But in the Dēnkard we find also a social connotation: ērīh ut dahyupatīh “nobility and lordship,” contrasts with arg ut bār hač škōhišn, “labor and burdens from poverty.” (see here).

Out of the Indo-Iranian world, we can compare an Irish term that has been derived from the same root as ārya, that is aire, so defined in an Irish dictionary:
"In Laws used to describe every freeman, 'commoner' as well as noble, who possesses an independent legal status. Occasionally, however, aire is used in the more restricted sense of 'noble' (as oppd. to 'commoner'), which is its usual meaning in the literature"
"In more general sense noble, chief..."
The term is derived from Proto-Celtic *aryos, found in Gaulish names with a first element Ario- like Ariomanus. There is also a dubious Runic arjostez interpreted as 'most distinguished' (see here), that would show that the root was present also in Germanic.
In Greek, aristos is the famous term for 'noble' in the social sense, being a superlative with the meaning of 'best, most excellent'. In Greek there is also a prefix ari- used to intensify an adjective, possibly connected with aristos according to Chantraine.
In Hittite, we find arawa, arawanni 'free', in Lycian arawa 'free' matching in the Greek version  of the same text apeleutheroi 'freedmen' (see here). Forms apparently comparable with the Semitic terms, although with the loss of the initial pharyngeal consonant, that is apparently preserved in Hittite in other comparisons of Afro-Asiatic roots starting with the same sound given by Bomhard (who connects arawa with a root *her- and/or *hor- ‘to escape, to flee, to run away’, with a different laryngeal consonant, see here). In Hittite there is also the verb arai 'rise; raise', inf. arauwanzi, in Luwian ari(ya) is interpreted as 'raise', and a stem *ariyatt- as 'elevation, mountain' (see here). There is also the Hittite adjective aru 'high', the verb arriya 'rouse, stir, awaken; be awake', and ar- 'to stand, remain standing, stand up, stand upright'.
In Armenian the imperative ari means 'stand up!', in the verb yaṙnem 'to rise, to arise, to get up, to rise or stand up, to rise again' (see this entry).
The Indo-European root of the Hittite and Armenian verbs according to Rix is *h1rei 'to rise' ("sich erheben"), but for the Armenian verb he proposed also *h3er- 'to start moving (forward)' ("sich in (Fort-) Bewegung setzen"), giving also Sanskrit iyarti 'to raise', Greek or-nymi 'to stir up, make to arise, awaken, arouse' and Latin orior, oriri 'to rise, originate'. In Wiktionary, the meaning of this root is "to move, to stir; to rise, to spring" and it gives as derived term also Greek oros 'mountain', following the theory of Frisk and Chantraine. So, a connection with upward movement and height seems clear.

The idea of movement and rising, if it was present also in the Afro-Asiatic *ħar-, could explain the idea of freedom, although we have seen that also in Arabic the main connotation originally was rather nobility, and in Egyptian apparently there is no trace of the idea of freedom, rather 'to be above'. On the other hand, the social concept of members of the higher community and freedom are often exchanged: it happened to 'frank', whose name comes from the name of the javelin, but indicated the members of the conquering people of the Franks and finally meant 'free', or to the Latin adjective liberalis (coming from liber 'free'), that indicated the theoretical disciplines studied by free men or the generous behaviour of the noble. Also Persian āzād 'free' comes from a word meaning 'born (into the clan), noble'.

I suspect that also the name Hurri of the Hurrians comes from the same root as Semitic *ħar(r)-/*ħur(r)-, indicating the people of the free or noble ones like the Āryas, and the fact that they had an aristocracy with Indo-Iranian names and deities in the Mitanni kingdom can be a sign of their affinity with that cultural world. There is also an interesting study by Fournet and Bomhard about affinities between Hurrian and Indo-European languages, suggesting, in their view, a common ancestor.
In Elamite, the Iranians are called Harriya, with an initial laryngeal sound. On the other hand, in the Elamite dictionary (in German) we find ari as equivalent of Akkadian rugbu 'loft, room on roof, upper storey', that can be related with the same root in the sense of 'to be above'.

Then, the similarity of form and use of the Afro-Asiatic root *ħar/ħur- and IE *Har-ya/o- (with the adjectival suffix -ya/yo-) suggest that these concepts of nobility and freedom developed in a common cultural frame of a society where slavery and social stratification were evolving: this was possible with the Neolithic revolution, that with agriculture required hard labour and produced a surplus that allowed to maintain slaves, and was also associated with conflicts and trade that made possible the acquisition of slaves. The Semitic and the Indo-European cultural worlds appear thus to be parallel developments of the Neolithic of the Fertile Crescent: in this cultural 'tree', the Indo-Iranian branch (differently from the other Indo-Europeans) chose to name itself with the adjective or name connected with that root. As if they did not admit that members of their own people could be slaves (and normally slaves were foreigners), and/or because they believed to be especially noble in their behaviour or lineage.
Thus, the social concept evident in the Semitic, Irish, and also Indian use became ethnic, especially in Iranians, who still use it in the name itself of Iran, while in India it can be used to distinguish speakers of Indo-Aryan languages from Dravidian, Munda and Tibeto-Burman speakers, thus being more linguistic than ethnic, besides the traditional association of ārya with the higher castes and ethical behaviour. 

All this has nothing to do, fortunately, with the disastrous and artificial concept of a Nordic 'Aryan race'. It is time to deepen the ancient relation of the Semites with the 'Aryans', evident in many other terms: the results can question some stereotypical oppositions that may still be present in our received picture of humanity and its history.



  1. Thank you for the post on the important subject!. I also remember that Dravidian root we discussed , let me see..... , here :
    Dravidian: Tamil aram ‘moral or religious duty, virtue, dharma’, aravan
    ‘one who is virtuous, god, Buddha, ascetic, etc.’, aravi ‘virtue, that which
    is holy, female ascetic’, araviya ‘virtuous’, araviyān ‘virtuous man’, aran
    ‘sacrificer’; Malayalam aram ‘law, dharma’; Kannaḍa ara, aru ‘virtue,
    charity, alms, law, dharma’. Burrow—Emeneau 1984:29, no. 311. Tamil
    āru ‘way, road, path, means, manner, method’; Malayalam āru ‘way,
    manner’; Kota -a·r in: o·yṇ-a·r ‘path’, a·ḷ-a·r ‘way, distance’; Toda o·r
    ‘way, entrance into thicket’. Burrow—Emeneau 1984:37—38, no. 405.

    1. These Dr. words look similar to Gr. ἀρετή arete "virtue" (most probably sharing the some etymology with aristos, meaning "best"). I remember also a Sum. word ara meaning "way", "ways", "times", "step".

    2. Thank you ,yes, I agree with you :) .

    3. ἀρετή arete "virtue" is commonly connected with the root *h2er- 'to fit, to fix, to put together':

      Together with aristos and ἀρείων 'better' and many other words in Greek, ṛta in Vedic, and so on. Also Dravidian aram corresponds rather to that root, it reminds closely Hittite āra, “right, proper” that you can find in the wiktionary list.

      Chantraine is dubious about arete and aristos, I have chosen to cite aristos in connection with the other root for its meaning of 'noble', comparing it with the intensive prefix ari- which is clearly not related to the root of 'to fit', but I am not sure it could not derive from it instead. An adjective 'arios' would have been better for the comparison.
      On the other hand, Greek gives ornymi and oros, and other verbs, all with o- sound (like Latin orior). This has brought to the reconstruction of a h3 laryngeal, causing o. Maybe in this case the pharyngeal sound given by Semitic can be considered as promoting a back vowel.
      But then, why aristos with a-? This creates a problem and would push towards the root of arete, although I don't think we can be too rigid with vowels, there are also euphonic reasons. We have also Greek names like Arsinoe and Orsinoe where the different vowel seems a pure dialectal variant. Anyway, I don't exclude that aristos comes from the root 'to fit', something like 'the fittest', therefore 'the best, the noblest'.

    4. Thank you Dr. Benedetti for the valuable observations! :).

    5. There is also a ins. particle eri- which intesifies the meaning of a word, just like ari- does; Frisk has connected eri- with ornymi, but as it seems Chantraine doubts about this connection; he also says that eri- cannot be connected with ari-.*e%3Aentry+group%3D251%3Aentry%3De%29ri2

      If I understand it right, Mayhofer states that "arya" must be connected with a Skt. word ari- meaning "enemy". Gr. ari- seems identical to this Skt. ari- though obviously it's different in meaning; but then others connect Gr. ari- to the god of war Ares, who, accordingly to some others, may be connected to the root ar- for ploughing... Also, the word for "lift, raise up" in Greek is ἀείρω aeiro (or αἴρω airo). We have all these similar roots... There is also another root ar- for praying and ἀρητήρ areter means "prelat, priest" in Greek. About arya one can find some interesting remarks at this blog:

      In Greek a possible (unattested) word for a meaning "good person" could be *aros; the comparative could be *arios (or *arion) "better" and of course there is aristos means "the best". The comparative "areion" must reffered, according to the linguists, to a hypothetical adjective "areios" meaning "good"; but areios in Greek means usually "of the god Ares"...

    6. A mess, isn't it? To create some order, IE scholars have adopted the idea of different laryngeals: h1er, h2er, h3er, but it risks to be too artificial. If we see Bomhard's comparison with real Semitic laryngeals, we have a correspondence of pharyngeal ḥ with h2. For instance, Semitic *ħar-at ̈- 'to plow' corresponds to *h2erH- 'to plow', giving Lat. arare and so on. But we see how also in Afrasian we have different roots *ħar with different meanings.

      About ornymi, Bomhard gives a root *ʔor- ‘to move rapidly, quickly, hastily; to set in motion’, but the vowel seems arbitrary, in Semitic we have *ʔar-ax- ‘to go, to journey, to hurry’: Hebrew āraḥ ‘to go, to wander, to journey’, Akkadian arāḫu ‘to hasten, to hurry’. If this is really the root of ornymi, h3er- is wrong, because h1 corresponds to the glottal stop ʔ in the laryngeal theory.

      Anyway, I think ari and eri can be just variants, Greek apparently had the tendency to change short a into e (and long ā into ē for sure).

      There is also Greek ἄρχω archo 'to begin, rule' that can be considered, on wiktionary it is derived from *h₂ergʰ- ‎(“to begin, rule, command”).

      ἀείρω aeiro is clearly derived from aweiro as it is attested, so it is from a different root Hwer-. αἴρω airo maybe comes from war-yo or Hwṛ-yo.

      Thanks for the blog link, I also considered the verb āryati 'to praise', but it does not work for arya 'master' with short a. Of course, also in that verb the idea of elevation is very probable. Oldenberg even proposed that āryati is a denominative verb from ārya 'to treat like an ārya' (als Arier behandeln).
      About Mayrhofer, he cites Thieme's important theory that arya and ārya mean 'hospitable' from ari- 'foreigner'. I don't think it is very likely...

  2. It seems the origin of germans, at least of Teutons, is from denmark, a small piece of land. Considering that the italic languages were confined to a small area of itally, and Celts to Alpas. It could be that prior to 700bc IE was almost absent in europe, save for Greek.

    Whoever was there, I am not sure that they were IE now, at least in the level of post laryngeal IE. If they were, it could be that they were highly divergent, like the hititte. The spread of IE seem to be very close to historical times.
    The actual groups were confined in small places in pre roman times

    My proposal it is that, most IE, save for greek, were confined in Iran, they only spread to europe after the Persian expansions. It was a mirror image of the expansion paths of Alexander, it's just that they went instead east. The expanded with Persians in confederancies, like the Mongols and Turks did 1600 years later with several other people. As the Greeks repelled the waves of invasion, peoples from these trimbes stationed in that were too weak to resist and not very populated.

  3. Thank you once again for choosing an excellent subject.

    Indeed, ever since coming across the wonderful tome of Bomhard, which he has quite generously shared on his page, for free, I have been entertaining the idea of Indo-Europeans & Afro-Asiatics having a common origin.

    Therefore, this post is very welcome. I would also like to add that if Indo-Europeans and Afro-Asiatics shared a common origin which goes back to the start of the Neolithic revolution, it has important implications for their religions as well.

    Hitherto, people, especially like to argue that the Semitic Abrahamic religions are extremely divergent from the Eastern religions of Hinduism & Buddhism. But if you dig a little deep, you'll find some very fascinating parallels.

    Everyone is quite aware of the story of Noah in the Abrahamic faiths. Whoever has a bit of knowledge of Indian Puranic/Epic lore, cannot fail to see the very similar nature of Manu Vaivasvata's story. Infact, Noah and Manu Vaivasvata appear to be the same person known by different names in the two different faith groups. In Arabic, Noah is called Nuh and we know from the Puranas that one of the early descendents of Manu Vaivasvata was called Nahusa. The suffix -sa may infact have been used similarly to how it is used for Manu in the Rigveda where he is called as Manusa several times. 'Nahu' & 'Nuh' sound very similar.

    If we go a little further, we can see that there is also a parallel for Adam in Indian literature, Swayambhuva Manu. Unlike the later Manus, we are explicitly told regarding Swayambhuva Manu that he did not have any human parents but was directly created by the Self-Created Lord (Brahma ?). We are also told that Swayambhuva Manu & his wife were created from the division of a single body. Isn't this quite similar to the Semitic belief ?

    Could these very close similarities in their religious beliefs, be because of their shared origins dating to the Early Neolithic ?


    I may add here something which strikes me as very curious and difficult to explain. As you have quite beautifully shown, the word 'arya' seems to have a shared origin between the Indo-Europeans & the Afro-Asiatics and its meaning seems to tie with the idea of freedom. But, among several languages of the Finno-Ugric group, the word (likely borrowed from Indo-European languages), means 'slave', which is exactly the opposite of what it would have meant to the Indo-Europeans. What explains this perversion of meaning among the Finno-Ugrics ?

    1. Ever since reading the first book of Diodorus Siculus' universal history, I've thought that the Indo-Europeans and the Afro-Asiatics share a common origin. Here it is:*.html

    2. Thank you Ivan Contreras for sharing this beautiful introduction by Diodorus Siculus. He reports here an Egyptocentric view, where indeed Egyptians, Semites (Mesopotamian and Jews) and Greeks all spring from the same source, in Egypt. Today we know that agriculture did not start in Egypt but in the Fertile Crescent, but the idea of a common origin is remarkable, although expressed in mythical and ethnocentric terms. I am especially impressed by the idea of tripartition of society that Egyptians see in Athens as in Egypt: priests/learned elite, warriors (but also farmers) and artisans. Something like the famous Indo-European tripartition of Dumézil, that according to Diodorus was present in Egyptian ideology: I wonder if there are some traces of it in Egyptian sources.

    3. Dear Jaydeep, your observations about similarities in the myths of the Flood and the creation of man are precious, but I would exclude Nahuṣa who is not related to the Flood. His name is identified with Skt. nahus- 'neighbour, fellow-creature, man', which interestingly is close to Germanic *nēhw 'near'. *

      Instead, the name of Noah means 'rest' or 'comfort':

      The myth of the Flood of Manu can be related to the Mesopotamian and Jewish one, maybe really through a common origin. Interestingly, in the Avesta instead of a flood we have a snow storm, a sort of ice age, but the pattern is very similar to the idea of Noah's ark, because animals and plants are placed in a Vara, a symmetrical underground enclosure to protect the best living beings from the winter created by Yima son of Vivanhant (=Yama Vaivasvata).

      About the meaning 'slave' of Finnish orja, it is often explained with the hypothesis that Uralic people had āryas as slaves, which is maybe not impossible if we think that Iranian Scythians lived close to Uralic people, but I do not know if Scythians call themselves ārya. For Avestan people the steppe people were rather "tuirya".
      And if we see other Uralic languages, slave is war, var, uŕe, so it seems that the similarity is just a coincidence. Here an interesting debate, where there is even the hypothesis of a relation with IE root *werǵ/worǵ- 'to work'.

    4. Dear Giacomo,

      Thank you for your gracious remarks.

      Regarding the name Noah, as you can see from your own link, the meaning of the name as 'rest' or 'comfort' is speculated and not clearly proven.

      I do not mean to argue that Vedic Nahusha has anything to do with Semitic 'Noah'. But I think it is possible that the words have a common origin.

      One more interesting thing is that the word 'Nahushya' which would mean a descendent of Nahusha also means in general terms a 'man' or a 'human', similar to Manushya.

      As for the Iranian flood myth, it is interesting how among all Indo-Europeans, the Iranians alone seem to have such an inverse & different mythology. While the Vedic myths/religious beliefs seem to go back to PIE or perhaps even earlier, the Avestan is totally in opposition in so many respects.

      While the Zarasthustran religion appears to have been a breakaway religion from the traditional Vedic/IE belief system, it is difficult to understand why it led to Zoroastrian beliefs becoming adversarial to Vedic & IE beliefs.

      Regarding the Uralic word, what I do not understand is this - is it that Indo-Iranians at any stage become slaves of the Uralics in the steppe ?

      This looks rather improbable because, going by the other borrowings from Indo-Iranian into Finno-Ugric, it appears that it was the Indo-Iranians who were more sophisticated and advanced.

      Thanks for the link. I agree that the Finnish term might not have come from Indo-Iranian 'arya' but something else. Such an explanation though a little uncertian, looks more plausible.

  4. Talking about similarities between Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic, I would like to make a few more observations:-

    I agree with the idea that the separation of Afro-Asiatic (AA) from the Indo-European (IE) groups should have taken place every early on during the onset of the Neolithic. This co-incides well with the reconstructed date of Proto-Afro-Asiatic (PAA).

    Now we have aDNA from atleast 3 different early Neolithic groups from the Near East. Therefore it is tempting to think that one of these early Neolithic group might have been the speakers of Nostratic or Afro-Asiatic.

    Between the Levant Neolithic, Anatolian Neolithic & the Iranian Neolithic, it is Iranian Neolithic that looks as the most ideal candidate for the Nostratic.

    The reasons are :-


    Between the 3, Iranian Neolithic shows no signs of admixture from either the Anatolian_N or the Levant_N. On the other hand, Levant_N shows signs of admixture from Anatolian_N, while Anatolian_N shows signs of admixture from both the Levant_N as well as Iran_N. This therefore suggests that a population related to Iranian_N should have influenced (including linguistically) the Anatolian_N directly and also the Levant_N indirectly but was not influenced by these groups in turn.

    We know that the separation of Iranian_N & South Asian Neolithic happens very early. If South_Asian_N came from Iran, it likely came before the Anatolian_N or Levant_N, were able to make any impact on Iran_N. If the early Neolithic groups in South Asia did not speak PIE, they would have spoken Dravidian - a third possibility looks very improbable.

    Therefore, if unadmixed Iran_N like groups brought Dravidian or PIE into South Asia, it is evidence that Anatolian_N or Levant_N cannot have anything to do with Nostratic.


    According to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov's theory, also supported by Joanna Nichols, PIE & PAA were also in close contacts with Proto-Kartvelian groups. CHG is the ancestral component that dominates the Kartvelian groups. And among all the 3 early Neolithic groups, it is Iran_N which is, by far, the closest group to CHG.

    Ofcourse, in this scenario, Iran_N would not be speakers of Nostratic but Afro-Asiatic.

    According to Gamkrelidze & Ivanov,

    "The Proto-Indo-European linguistic area must be placed in the Balkan Turkmenia
    region proposed above, in some part of it where interaction and contacts between Proto-Indo-European and the Semitic and Kartvelian (South Caucasian) languages could have taken place, since these languages show layers of interborrowings and a number of structural traits pointing to interaction over a long period."

    " Proto-Indo-European, Kartvelian, and Semitic show a distinctive isomorphic
    structure in their consonantism, which displays three series of stops, defined as
    glottalized (or pharyngealized, for some of Semitic), voiced, and voiceless . Kartvelian and Indo-European have identical systems of sonants, with syllabic and non-syllabic variants depending on position in the word. Also identical are the structural canon for root and affixal morphemes and the rules for combining them which involved ablaut alternations of vowels. Such similarity, complete down to isomorphism of structures and root canons, would be the result of long interaction of these languages in a linguistic area, and their allogenetic association with one another."


    "These Kartvelian-lndo-European lexical sets exhibit a strikingly broad semantic spectrum, including not only cultural terms but also a number of basic vocabulary items: 'give birth', body parts, and so on. This points to especially close contact of these two languages within a linguistic area, which also accounts for the structural isomorphism established between Indo-European and Kartvelian."

  5. Great post! Semantically at least this would make more sense than the 'skillfully assemble' root. I'm curious, what are the arguments Szemerényi presents against a derivation from the root *ar? I've been meaning to get my hands on copy of his book on PIE kinship terminology for a while now.