Hittite ḫandā(i)- ‘to Align, Arrange, etc.’ and PIE Metaphors for ‘(Morally) Right’

In: Dispersals and Diversification


The derivation of Hittite ḫandā(i)- from *h₂ento- ‘weaving, fabric’ vel sim. (Ziegler 2014) is highly illuminating for the Hittite verb, given evidence presented below that the original meaning was ‘to align, make straight’. The sense ‘to warp, begin to weave’, like that in Latin ōrdior which Ziegler properly compares, is derived from ‘to align the threads of the warp’. Both cases provide further examples taken from weaving for a widespread IE metaphor ‘(morally) right’ < *‘made straight’ (seen also in derivatives of *h₃reg̑- ‘to make straight’), which competed with another based on *‘fitting’ from verbs meaning to fit together, *h₁ar- ‘to fit’ (intr.), *tek̑- ‘to fit together, join’ (tr.) (Melchert forthcoming), and *(hx)reith₂- ‘to join, mix’ (tr.) (Weiss 2015). Which if any of these extended uses dates from the proto-language requires further study.

Dispersals and Diversification

Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European