Voices and calls

After writing yesterday’s post I was thinking about the Czech word hlas [ɦɫas] (voice, vote) and realised that it is quite similar to the Welsh word for voice, llais [ɬais]. I wondered it they share the same root.

Hlas comes from the Proto-Slavic *golsъ (voice), from the Proto-Balto-Slavic *galsas (voice), from the Proto-Indo-European *golHsos, from *gels- (to call)

The words for voice in other Slavic languages come from the same root: Old East Slavic: голосъ (golosŭ); Belarusian: голас (hólas); Russian: голос (gólos) and глас (glas – archaic/poetic); Ukrainian: голос (hólos); Old Church Slavonic: гласъ (glasŭ); Bulgarian: глас (glas); Macedonian: глас (glas); Serbo-Croatian: гла̑с; Slovene: glas; Kashubian: głos; Polish: głos; Slovak: hlas; Lower Sorbian: głos; Upper Sorban: hłós.

Also from the same root are the Latin gallas (cockrel); Romani glaso (voice); Romanian glas (voice, vote); Old Norse kalla (to call); English call, Dutch kallen (to chat, talk); German kallen (to scream, talk loudly, talk too much); Lithuanian galsas (sound, echo); Welsh galw (to call) and llais (voice); and possibly the Irish and Scottish Gaelic glaodh (to cry, shout).

Sources: Wiktionary

2 thoughts on “Voices and calls

  1. This made me curious if German Hals “throat/neck” (whence lauthals “at the top of one’s voice”) was also a cognate of Czech hlas. However it comes from Proto-Germanic *halsaz which comes from Proto-Indo-European *kólsos, a derivative of *kᵘel “turn round; move back and forth.”

    Kallen is extremely rare in German, but in Ripuarian it is the usual word for “speak.”

  2. Parts of my comment on the previous topic would probably have been more appropriate here. To repeat a small part of it, the Latvian for ‘voice’ is balss. This is interesting in that, whilst it is apparently related to all the words listed above, it is the only example that has undergone a g to b change (analogous to the p/q contrast in the Celtic languages). Even its closest relative, Lithuanian, retains the g – as does Welsh, a P-Celtic language, in galw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *