Language Nerds on the Proto-Indo-European Language
Stumbled across this today and thought some of you might be interested. It looks at the reasons why it is believed Proto-Indo-European existed and gives some language trees. http://thelanguagenerds.com/how-do-we-know-that-proto-indo-european-actually-existed/
I'm a huge fan of the History of the English Language podcast which you posted some time ago. Now I'm looking forward to this one. Many thanks. Here's the link to The History of English by Kevin Stroud
Very interesting. I'm currently studying Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic (root of Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian, etc) as well as the Indo-Uralic hypothesis which attempts to link them together. Very fascinating the links between Ancient Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit however.
Hey there, I'm a Linguistics grad student in New York. There are a lot of good books about it, as well as information online. I'm currently reading Seven Sisters of the North: The Languages of Scandinavia by Ruth H. Sanders, which has a lot of information about Proto-Indo-European. Donald Ringe is another great author who wrote a lot about it as well. :)
Ringe is indeed great. It's an older book, but I'd also recommend Lyle Campbell's Historical Linguistics: An Introduction for a quick, very readable overview into how linguistic reconstruction works and how we know what we know regarding Proto-languages.
I am currently trying to learn Sanskrit, through various sources. I also had this strange feeling of familiarity. You learn a completely different language from the ones you already know and yet there are some very familiar things. Not just words, but also the way thinks work. F.i. the root system I know from Hebrew. And putting an 'a' in front of a concept to negate it.
And my Hebrew Teacher said this along. Languages are logical. There are no exceptions that do not follow the rules. What looks like an exception follows a linguistic rule of change. If you know the linguistic laws of change you don't need to learn anything by heart.
What I really want is a PIE phrasebook so that I can ask questions in PIE about luggage, passports, and hotels.
Proto-Indo-European isn't really a language in that sense though. It doesn't work the way languages like English or French, or even dead languages for which we have actual tangible evidence like Latin or Sanskrit work. It's a Proto-Language: that is, it's an abstract aggregation of roots which we can surmise given identified relationships between existing, theoretically related languages for which we have evidence.
It's not really intended to be read, written, or spoken in the sense that real languages are spoken. And even if we found evidence for something which looks very similar to the PIE which we have reconstructed, that discovered language wouldn't be called Proto-Indo-European, it would be called something else. Again: proto-languages are an abstraction which historical linguists use to demonstrate relationships between the roots in related, existing languages, not a real language in a functional sense.
Happy Mother's Day
"Word History: It is most appropriate that the word for "mother" in Proto-Indo-European originated in the first recognizable syllable uttered by babies: ma. This syllable was attached to a kinship suffix, -ter, which also turns up in brother, father, and sister. The original form, mater-, later evolved into the current words for "mother" that we now find in all the Indo-European languages: Latin mater, Greek meter (as in metropolis, the mother city), German Mutter, French mère, Serbian majka, Russian mat', materi, Italian and Spanish madre, Portuguese mãe, Danish moder, Dutch and Afrikaans moeder, Norwegian and Swedish mor, Icelandic móðir, Irish máthair, Hindi mataji, Gujarati maataa, Farsi (Persian) madar, and Pashto (Afghanistan) mor. If you are a mother, may this day be as beautiful and exciting as your name in all these languages."
For all word nerds you need this:
A very interesting article, thanks! It makes me hungry to learn more languages (even though I should probably focus on the ones I'm already learning).