- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (June 15, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226079376
- ISBN-13: 978-0226079370
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages: A Contribution to the History of Ideas 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The entries are from basic vocabulary, grouped by topic (food, familial relations, etc.), though there's an alphabetical index in the back. For each entry, Mr. Buck gives the word (sometimes a couple different words) in Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Latin, the Romance languages, the Celtic languages, the main Germanic languages (incl. Old, Middle, and Modern English), Balto-Slavic, and usually Indo-Iranian (occasionally Armenian).
But the cool thing is that then he gives an always-enlightening discussion below on how they are related, what ideas lie behind different word-choices, how they've changed, and so forth. This discussion is usu. about 2-3 times the length of the list and is the best part.
This book used to be a big hefty lieberry book, but the University of Chicago has reprinted it into a handy paperback, with four of the old pages on each new one. One reviewer said you'd need a magnifying glass, but I have terrible vision and I can read it just fine.
It's a great book to read on the toilet, or whenever you're just sittin' around waitin' for somethin' to happen. You'll learn something every time you read it, and at this price it's one of the best book-deals you'll get anywhere.
I see another reader complaining about underrepresentation of non-European IE languages. He's not bad on Sanskrit, but point taken on Iranian (which he seems to regard as a minor dialect of Sanskrit). Hittite and Tocharian, Albanian and Armenian are underrepresented too. At the same time, some Western languages are underrepresented, such as Portuguese and Catalan. Maybe not a problem where forms are cognate with Spanish/French/Italian, but it is when they aren't.
My main problem with Buck, however, is that he by and large ignores connections with other language families, assuming that everything can be explained within IE. This sometimes pushes him into absurd assertions - he can't find an Old Irish word for dancing, so he claims that there was no dancing in Ancient Ireland.
Granted, this work was written at the end of the 1940s, before the work on long-distance comparisons of Brunner, Ilyich-Svitych, Greenberg, Bomhard et al. Not a defect in itself, but his etymologies can no longer be taken at face value.
I can't think what made the U of C Press take the 1515 pages of the original edition of this book, reduce them to microscopic size, and cram 4 of these reduced pages on each single page of this cheaply produced (though not cheaply priced) glued spine paperback. Is there a world shortage of paper I haven't heard about?
If Hackett Publishing Company can give us a clothbound 1808-page 'Complete Works of Plato' (ISBN 0872203492), a book in a clear and legible typeface which is not a mere reprint and which is sewn in the traditional manner so that it opens flat, and do all this for little more than the price of this U of C paperback - what's wrong with the U of C Press?
Unlike Hackett Publishing, the U of C Press didn't have to pay anything for editing, typesetting, proof-reading, etc., since all they've done is to run off extremely poor reduced copies of a book first published almost sixty years ago. All they really had to pay for was the paper and ink.
Content-wise the book is interesting enough and deserves 5 stars, but since the format is atrocious and an insult to readers and the world of learning I have given it only 1 star and I will be returning my copy to Amazon today for a refund.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Carl Darling Buck was getting old, and took time out towards the end of his unbelievable career to put together this absolutely original book. You have to see it to believe it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Awesome book for those interested in indo-european languages and their root words.Published 14 months ago by Garrison56
Pristine condition and swift arrival. I am quite pleased with this book.Published 17 months ago by brian walsh
Buck's Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages was once an unwieldy tome. Read morePublished on November 7, 2012 by D. Sivad
Are you the sort of person who likes reading etymologies in dictionaries? Do you enjoy it when an etymology points you to a similar word in French or Latin or German, and you... Read morePublished on July 1, 2011 by Athanasius
I'll defer to others on the value of the content of Buck. But the paperback edition from Chicago is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Read morePublished on May 16, 2005 by R. W. Brannan
I have been able to have only a cursory glance, so far, but the remarkable contents of this book have enabled me to confirm a theory on which I am working, relating to the... Read morePublished on December 16, 2001 by Brian Barratt