The Arabic Origins of "Prepositions and Conjunctions" in English and European Languages: A Lexical Root Theory Approach

Zaidan Ali Jassem


This paper investigates the Arabic cognates or origins of prepositions and conjunctions in English, German, French, Latin, Greek, Russian, and Sanskrit from a lexical root theory perspective. The data consists of  104 such terms like about, at, after, among, amid, before, behind, beneath, beside, between, by, despite, in, on, to, in front of, lateral to, like, anterior to, then, than, near, next to, prior to, posterior to, toward, since, and, or, but, so, for, including, however, moreover, therefore. The results exhibit that all such words have true Arabic cognates, with the same or similar forms and meanings. However, their different forms are all found to be due to natural and plausible causes and different courses of linguistic change. For example, English by and German bei are true cognates of Arabic bi 'in, with, by, for'; English to and German zu come from Arabic kai 'to, in order to' or 2atta 'to' via /2/-loss; English than (then) 'originally the' derives from Arabic dha 'this' via /n/-insertion; English though (although) descended via Old English 'theah (this)' and German doch from Arabic dha(h) 'this'; English however (how + ever) obtains from Arabic kaifa 'how', turning /k & h/ into /h & w/. Consequently, the results indicate, contrary to Comparative Method claims,  that Arabic, English, and all (Indo-)European languages  belong to the same language, let alone the same family. They, therefore, prove the adequacy of the lexical root theory according to which Arabic, English, German, French, Latin, and Greek are dialects of the same language with Arabic being their origin all because of its phonetic complexity and huge lexical variety and multiplicity.

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