- (Wiktionary, 2011) ⇒ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/etymology Retrieved: 2011-11-10
- 1. (uncountable) The study of the historical development of languages, particularly as manifested in individual words.
- 2. (countable) An account of the origin and historical development of a word.
- 1. A source word of a given word.
- (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology
- Etymology is the study of the roots and history of words; and how their form and meaning have changed over time.
- In languages with a long detailed history, etymology makes use of philology, the study of how words change from culture to culture over time. Etymologists also apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information (such as writing) to be known. By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found which can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family.
- Even though etymological research originally grew from the philological tradition, nowadays much etymological research is effectuated in language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.
- The word "etymology" derives from the Greek ἐτυμολογία (etumologia) < ἔτυμον (etumon), “‘true sense’” + -λογία (-logia), “‘study of’”, from Template:Polytonic λόγος (logos), "speech, oration, discourse, word". The Greek poet Pindar (b. approx. 522 BC) employed creative etymologies to flatter his patrons. Plutarch employed etymologies insecurely based on fancied resemblances in sounds. Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae was an encyclopedic tracing of "first things" that remained uncritically in use in Europe until the sixteenth century. “Etymologicum genuinum is a grammatical encyclopedia edited at Constantinople in the ninth century, one of several similar Byzantine works. The fourteenth-century Legenda Aurea begins each vita of a saint with a fanciful excursus in the form of an etymology.
- (Heller, 1965) ⇒ Louis G Heller. (1965). “Lexicographic Etymology: Practice versus Theory.” In: American Speech, 40(2).