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I would like to demonstrate here the remarkable phonetic affinity between Sanskrit and Russian taking two dozen of unquestionable cognate pairs as examples. It is well known that all Indo-European languages contain a greater or lesser number of common words but only Slavonic and, to a lesser degree, Baltic languages approximate Sanskrit to such an extent that in me instances the difference between certain Slavonic languages could be greater than between some Slavonic languages and Sanskrit.
Take the word for `spindle’: Sanskrit vartana, Russian vereteno, Bulgarian. vretе́no, Slovenian vreténo, Czech vřeteno, Polish wrzeciono, Upper Sorbian wrjećeno and Lower Sorbian rjeśeno. The phonetic shape of cognates in other Indo-European languages differs considerably.
A good example is the word `alive’: Sanskrit jīva, Russian živ, Lithuanian gývas, Greek bíos, Latin vīvus, Irish biu, Gothic qius, Old High German quес, and English quick.
Sanskrit: ā, ī, ū – long sounds; ṛ = ri (a short i similar to Rus. soft рь/r‘); c=ch; j similar to j in “jam”; ṣ similar to sh; ś a subtler sort of sh, closer to German /ch/ as in ich.
Russian: š similar to sh; č = ch; ž = like g in garage , the vowel y is a sort of ‘hard’ i sounding somewhat similar to unstressed i in Eng. it . the sign ‘ indicates softness and stands for a very short i . Vowels with j are iotated so ju would be similar to Eng. you and Skr. yu etc.
|viś||ves’||viešė||oikos||vīcus||weihs||abode, village, home|
|dvaya||dvoe||dvejì||twaddjē||two of smb.|
|dam, dama||dom||nãmas(?)||dō̂ma||domus||house, home|
Note that we compare the attested languages and not hypothetical `reconstructions’ however, according to Antoine Meillet:
“[..] Baltic and Slavic show the common trait of never having undergone in the course of their development any sudden systemic upheaval. […] there is no indication of a serious dislocation of any part of the linguistic system at any time. The sound structure has in general remained intact to the present. […] Baltic and Slavic are consequently the only languages in which certain modern word-forms resemble those reconstructed for Common Indo-European.” ( The Indo-European Dialects [Eng. translation of Les dialectes indo-européens (1908)], University of Alabama Press, 1967, pp. 59-60).
See also my other posts: