Root

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ROOT. That part of a tree or plant under ground from which it draws most of its nourishment from the earth.
     2. When the roots of a tree planted in one man's land extend into that of another, this circumstance does not give the latter any right to the tree, though such is the doctrine of the civil law; Dig. 41, 1, 7, 13; but such person has a right to cut off the roots up to his line. Rolle's R. 394, vide Tree.
     3. In a figurative sense, the term root is used to signify the person from whom one or more others are descended. Vide Descent; Per stirpes.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Linguists agree that the English schwa is not a mere vocalized manifestation of its Articulatory Settings, but rather that "it must have an actively retracted tongue root as part of its target." (10) The active retraction of the root of the tongue is a strong reflex and can prove difficult to undo in singing a schwa.
He examines the vowel inventories and vowel patterns of modern varieties of these languages to determine whether retracted tongue root was the original contrast in Korean, Mongolic, and Tungusic languages; and how these original vowel systems have evolved through time from a retracted tongue root to a palatal harmony as in, for example, some varieties of Mongolic.
Igbo vowels are grouped into two sets which are delineated along an important phonetic parameter, [+ or -]ATR (Advanced Tongue Root).