Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 13:6 June 2013
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


Click Here for Back Issues of Language in India - From 2001




  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Your articles and book-length reports should be written following the APA, MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2012
M. S. Thirumalai

Custom Search

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

Zaidan Ali Jassem


This paper examines the Arabic cognates and/or origins of time words in English, German, French, Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit from a lexical root theory viewpoint. The data consists of a little over 140 terms such as time, date, hour, day, night, morning, yesterday, now, month, year, annually, eventually, initially, finally, sometimes, often and so on. The results show that all such words have true Arabic cognates, with the same or similar forms and meanings. All their different forms, however, are shown to be due to natural and plausible causes of linguistic change. For example, English time, French temp, and Latin tempus derive from Arabic zaman 'time' through different processes such as turning /z/ into /t/ in all as opposed to merging /n/ into /m/ in English and dissimilating it into /p/ in the other two; English date and German Zeit 'time' come from Arabic waqt 'time' (gate, kate in Palestinian Arabic) via reordering and turning /q/ into /d/ in the former and /z (ts)/ in the latter. Contrary to Comparative Method claims, this entails that Arabic, English and all European languages belong to the same language, let alone the same family. Owing to their phonetic complexity, huge lexical variety and multiplicity, Arabic words are the original source from which the others stemmed. This proves the adequacy of the lexical root theory according to which Arabic, English, German, French, Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit are dialects of the same language with the first being the origin.

Keywords: Time words, Arabic, English, German, French, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, historical linguistics, lexical root theory

1. Introduction

The lexical root theory has been proposed by Jassem (2012a-f, 2013a-h) to reject the classification of the comparative 'historical linguistics' method that Arabic belongs to a different language family than English, German, French, and all (Indo-)European languages in general (Bergs and Brinton 2012; Algeo 2010; Crystal 2010: 302; Campbell 2006: 190-191; Crowley 1997: 22-25, 110-111; Pyles and Algeo 1993: 61-94). Instead, it firmly established in fifteen studies so far the inextricably close genetic relationship between Arabic and such languages on all levels: phonetically, morphologically, grammatically, and lexically or semantically (Jassem 2012a-f, 2013a-h).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Zaidan Ali Jassem
Department of English Language and Translation,
Qassim University
P.O.Box 6611, Buraidah, KSA

Custom Search

  • Click Here to Go to Creative Writing Section

  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknowledged the work or works of others you used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian/South Asian scholarship.