Words inherited by different languages / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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In historical linguistics, cognates or lexical cognates are sets of words in different languages that have been inherited in direct descent from an etymological ancestor in a common parent language. Because language change can have radical effects on both the sound and the meaning of a word, cognates may not be obvious, and often it takes rigorous study of historical sources and the application of the comparative method to establish whether lexemes are cognate. Cognates are distinguished from loanwords, where a word has been borrowed from another language.
The term cognate derives from the Latin noun cognatus 'blood relative'.