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Hi,

I was looking for the origin of the words "aggression/aggressive". These words, when translated in Bengali (my native language), sound very similar to the original English words. In Bengali, they are translated as "Aa-gra-son/Aa-gra-see". I was once told that these Bengali words were derived from Sanskrit. But the similarity in pronunciation is quite surprising.

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TK

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It comes from the Latin aggress-. The PIE root is ghredh-. Perhaps zmjezhd could give us an informed opinion on the chances of it being similar in the Indic languages.

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According to Pokorny, *ghredh- doesn't have a reflex in Indic, if I'm reading it right. So aggression and আগ্রাসন are not related.

Last edited by goofy; 08/18/11 01:51 PM.
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Off-hand, I'd say they're probably loanwords from English. I couldn't find "aggression" or "aggressive" searching in Monier-William's Sanskrit dictionary.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
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This dictionary has what looks like an etymology.

Last edited by goofy; 08/18/11 02:38 PM.
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Hey, goofy. I was hoping you'd show up. Can you interpret your dictionary link for us mere mortals? I'm sure it answers things to Tapas's satisfaction but not all of can read that devanagari, if that's what it is.

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No, I don't know enough Bengali to read it. I was hoping Tapas would have a look at it.

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Thank you all for your comments.

@Goofy: I read the bengali dictionary you had referred to. First it says that 'আগ্রাসন' is in noun form. Next it means "an intention (may be intention is not the right word, should be 'a state of having intention') to attack or conquer a foreign land". As aggression does not exactly coincide with what is written in Bengali, I guess it includes the English word 'aggression' to suggest that it is the closest possible match in English.

In the second part, it is written that 'আগ্রাসী' is the adjective form of 'আগ্রাসন'.

The dictionary, unfortunately, does not give any information about the origin of this word.

More specifically, I was actually trying to find whether or not আগ্রাসন (bengali meaning of aggression) is borrowed/derived from Sanskrit. Around 95% of Bengali words are either (re)borrowed from Sanskrit, or cognates of Sanskrit words. The rest are influenced by other languages, including Euroepan languages. Connection to English and other Euroepan languages are surely not uncommon because of colonial history. But if আগ্রাসন is a word that is derived/borrowed from Sanskrit, then such a resemblance would be surprising.

On the other hand, if it is simply borrowed from English, and developed in the last 300 years, I guess it resolves my confusion. But I do not have a proof of that either.

I am actually not an expert in this topic, and in fact I could even be wrong in my short description of the Bengali vocabulary; so if you can comment, I would highly appreciate it.

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What about this part
[সং. আ + √ গ্রস্ + ণিচ্ + অন]
The root symbol makes it look like an etymology. But গ্রস্ gras seems to mean "swallow".

Last edited by goofy; 08/19/11 12:45 PM.
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Well, I'm not really an Indic scholar, but I did have a year of Sanskrit at University. It's not really Devanagari, Faldo, it's Bengali script. I would transliterate the word as āgrasan. (I am not really sure how the consonants changed from Prakrits to Bengali, but if the word was a learned borrowing from Sanskrit it should be easy to look around in a Sanskrit dictionary for a word that looks similar. Some near-hits: agraśana 'eating before another', agrāsana 'seat of honor'. The fits are not perfect, especially with regards to the length of the vowels, and the meanings seem distant, but I think your best beat would be to talk with an Indian historical linguist.


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