"wh" asks and "th" answers...

I'd asked / obsevered this some time back, can't find the thread:

Questions asked with "wh" words (where, when, what, ...) are answered with "th" words (there, then, that...)

With a few exeptions:

why -> th?? (how?)
who -> th?? (thou?)


  • wherefore -> therefore (substitute for "why" above)

Someone had chipped in with the linguistic explanation of this on the earlier thread as well. Which I'm hunting for again...

On wh / th words:

that, this, these, those is another set without clear 'wh' cognates.

Though which -> this and what -> that seem to match.

"these" and "those" are plurals, so probably:

which -> this/these
what -> that/those

English lacks a distinct plural interrogative term.

The "wh" words seem to stem from "*kwo-", which gives:

cheese (n.2) "a big thing;" cue (n.1) "stage direction;" either; hidalgo; how; kickshaw; neither; neuter; qua; quality; quandary; quantity; quasar; quasi; quasi-; query; quib; quibble; quiddity; quidnunc; quip; quodlibet; quondam; quorum; quote; quotidian; quotient; ubi; ubiquity;

And the classich "wh"'s:

what; when; whence; where; whether; which; whither; who; whoever; whom; whose; why.*kwo-

@abliss Excellent, thanks!

I think I'd included those on the earlier discussion. Which I still haven't found...

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