Friday, June 24, 2011

the etymology of Tao

I'm reading a book on Confucius right now.
It touches on alotta Taoist concepts.

Tao or Dao (道, Pinyin: About this sound Dào (help·info) ) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion

The etymological linguistic origins of dao "way; path" depend upon its Old Chinese pronunciation, which scholars have tentatively reconstructed as *d'ôg, *dəgwx, *dəw, *luʔ, and *lûʔ.

Victor H. Mair proposes a Proto-Indo-European etymology for dao 道, supported by numerous cognates in Indo-European languages, and semantically similar Arabic and Hebrew words.

This links it to the Proto-Indo-European root drogh (to run along) and Indo-European dhorg (way, movement).

The most closely related English words are "track" and "trek", while "trail" and "tract" are derived from other cognate Indo-European roots.

D - well how about that.


Dino Snider said...

I noticed that the Toki Pona symbol bears a resemblance to the Tao symbol in Chinese.
As well as being really cute!

Baloo said...

Hi. I can't figure out how to contact you from the blog, so, off-topic I wanted to let you know that Ceqli is active again. I have a Ceqli Wiki HERE. Be sure to click the links "Ceqli Through Pictures" and "Ceqli Blog." Thanks!

kconorfoxx said...

The oldest usage of 'dao' by sinologists is as a simple 'path' traverse or bridge across; it is a man manufactured 'dike' trek a flooded rice field. Too often the reversal of 'taoism's philosopical constructs being backwards applied as a 'way' or journey...this further muddied by modern 'established' usages. a tao is not a taoism.