Used at the beginning of a footnote, especially if it is the only one on the page, and after a word, phrase, or sentence that this footnote relates to.
(historical linguistics)Used before or after a term to denote that it is only hypothesized and not actually attested, conveying several distinct notions:
(when used before a term) That the term is reconstructed on the basis of comparative method by linguists, as the plausible ancestor form of existing, attested term in one or more languages, or by comparing other reconstructed terms.
(when used after a term) That the term is actually attested, but not in its citation form that is being mentioned.
PIE *ḱonk- yielded Vedic śaṅk-ate "worries, hesitates", as well as pre-Germanic *kank-, whence also Gothic hāhan* "to hang".
(when used before a term) That the term is reconstructed by linguists as the etymon of some of the attested words, but in a more uncertain, speculative way, usually hypothesizing not on the basis of regular sound correspondences of the comparative method, but on the basis of some far-fetched prehistoric relationship that cannot be neither proved nor disproved, or otherwise scientifically falsified.
His theory of the Proto-Slavic *kъniga being ultimately derived from Chinese, via the middle form *kūinig, reflecting ancient routes of cultural influx from the East, has not gained a firm ground in the Slavicist circles in the last century.
(when used before a symbol representing a phoneme) That the specified phoneme is reconstructed on the basis of comparative method.
Proto-Germanic had three unvoiced fricatives: */f/, */þ/, and */h/.
(when used before a symbol representing a sound value) That the specified sound value is being guessed.
Proto-Germanic had three unvoiced fricatives, possibly representing *[ɸ], *[θ], and *[x].
(descriptive linguistics)Used before a term (word, or a sentence or phrase) to show that it is grammaticallyincorrect, or in some other way ill-formed.
English prepositions come before the associated noun: we say She lives in Rome, not *She lives Rome in.
Roots like **bep- were not allowed in Proto-Indo-European.