Question About Root Word

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Question About Root Word

Postby mpeoples20 » 2020-06-03, 21:46


This is a random question, and I have a lot of similar questions, and it's in regards to the root of the word for sex in Arabic (جنس). I was just wondering why the word for nationality (جنسية) is related to the word for sex. I have a lot of questions about root words in general that are more or less along the lines of this one (for instance, is the word for bear (دب) related to the word for tank (دباب)), hopefully it isn't too frivolous. Thanks for your time!

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Re: Question About Root Word

Postby eskandar » 2020-06-04, 16:00

It's best to think of roots as semantic fields or constellations of related meanings. So the root جنس has to do with classifying or being similar, thus جنس (sex) and جنسية (nationality) are both ways of grouping or classifying similar things (groups of people belonging to the same sex or the same nationality). The verb دبّ has to do with proceeding slowly or crawling on all fours, so دب (bear) and دباب (tank) are both things that move similarly and are both derived from the same root.

Consulting a good Arabic dictionary like Hans Wehr should resolve some of these questions for you.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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