Showing posts with label IE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IE. Show all posts

23 February 2016

Proto-Indo-European nominals (PIE grammar)

map: location of various
Indo-European peoples in
Europe & Anatolia, c.
1000 BC
Published, edited, formatted & annotated (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

map: western Eurasia: Indo-European peoples c. 800 BC

(websource: Wikipedia)

Nominals in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) include nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Their grammatical forms and meanings have been reconstructed by modern linguists based on similarities found across all Indo-European (IE) languages. This article discusses nouns and adjectives, while Proto-Indo-European pronouns are treated elsewhere.

13 July 2014

Hunza village, N. Pakistan
Published by Kenneth S. Doig

(from: )
A linguistics researcher at the Macquarie University in Australia has discovered that the language, known as Burushaski, which is spoken by about 90,000 people who reside in a remote area of Pakistan, is Indo-European in origin.

25 May 2014

Proto-Germanic : definition (short)

Published, edited, images added and commentary/annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig


Proto-Germanic (often abbreviated PGmc), Common-Germanic or Ur-Germanic, as it is sometimes known, is the unattested, reconstructed proto-language of all the Gmc languages, including English. 

15 May 2014

Published, edited, images added and comentary (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
the gaulish (celtic) cognate-thundergod, Tiranis

(by the way, the 'anglo-saxons' never called /ð/ . is the icelandic/western-ON name. In OE, its name was ðæt as in that)
In Norse mythology,(Norse should be referred to as northgermanic "NGmc") Thor (from Old Norse Þórr) is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak-trees, strength, mankind's shielding i.e., protection, and also hallowing, healing and bearfullness (fertility).

14 April 2014

Published, edited, some images added by, and annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
(from: Wikipedia)

Classification of indoeuropean (IE) languages. Red: Extinct languages. White: categories or unattested proto-languages. Left half: centum languages; right half: satem languages

The proto-indoeuropean language (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of a common-ancestor of the indoeuropean (IE) languages spoken by the proto-indoeuropeans. PIE was the first proposed protolanguage to be widely accepted by linguists. 

23 March 2014

Telling Tales in Proto-Indo-European

Published, edited, images added & annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
(websource: : article written by By Eric A. Powell)

By the 19th century, linguists knew that all modern Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. 
The question became, what did PIE sound like? 

In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE. 

Called “The Sheep and the Horses,” and also known today as Schleicher’s Fable, the short parable tells the story of a shorn sheep who encounters a group of unpleasant horses. 

28 August 2013

"Indo-European" : a brief synopsis from

Published, edited, formatted, comments/annotations (in redletter) & images added by Kenneth S. Doig

By Richard Nordquist, Guide

A family of languages (including most of the languages spoken in Europe, India, and Iran) descended from a common-tongue spoken in the third millennium B.C. by an agricultural people originating in southeastern Europe.

08 August 2013

Indo-European Languages

Published by Kenneth S. Doig
Written by Warren Cowgill PhD & Jay H. Jasanoff PhD

Indo-European languages, family of languages spoken in most of Europe and areas of European settlement and in much of Southwest and South Asia. 

The term Indo-Hittite is used by scholars who believe that Hittite and the other Anatolian languages are not just one branch of Indo-European but rather a branch coordinate with all the rest put together. 

Indo-Hittite has been used for a family consisting of Indo-European proper plus Anatolian. As long as this view is neither definitively proved nor disproved, it is convenient to keep the traditional use of the term Indo-European.

17 July 2013

Proto-Germanic grammar; part III; Adjectives, determiners & pronouns

Published, edited & images added by K. S. Doig

Adjectives, determiners & pronouns
Adjectives, determiners and pronouns agreed with the noun they qualify in case, number, and gender, although without a separate vocative form. 

Their inflection stemmed from the PIE pronominal inflection, which is used most prominently by the demonstrative-pronoun in other IE languages. Like the nouns, they had various declension-classes, but the classes were less distinct. 

21 January 2013

(some of) The techniques of historical linguistics

Published, edited, images added & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S DoigFrom Logo

The techniques of historical linguistics

In the course of the 19th century when Indo-European (IE) studies evolved as a science in its own right various techniques and methods were developed which help the linguist to arrive at solid facts about previous stages of a language. 

Of all the methods, the two listed at the beginning below are the main ones, the next two representing additional techniques which can be useful occasionally; the last phenomenon quoted below is important when one is considering the plausibility of change.

07 September 2011



Grimm’s law, description of the regular correspondences in Indo-European languages formulated by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Grammatik (1819–37; “Germanic Grammar”); it pointed out prominent correlations between the Germanic and other Indo-European languages of Europe and western Asia. The law was a systematic and coherent formulation, well supported by examples, of patterns recognized as early as 1814 by the Danish philologist Rasmus Kristian Rask. It is important for historical linguistics because it clearly demonstrates the principle that sound change is a regular phenomenon and not a random process affecting only some words, as had been thought previously.

Grimm described two consonant shifts involving essentially nine consonants. One shift (probably a few centuries before the Christian era) affected the Indo-European consonants and is evident in English, Dutch, other Low German languages, and Old Norse. The other shift (about the 6th century ad) was less radical in scope and affected the Germanic consonants, resulting in the consonant system evident in Old High German and its descendants, Middle High German and Modern High German (standard German). According to the law, the ancient unvoiced p, t, k became the English unvoiced f, th, h and the Old High German f, d, h, producing such correlations as that between the initial consonants of

15 August 2011

Indo-European Languages : PIE to IE Family Evolution

Published by Kenneth S. Doig

The evolution of Proto-Indo-European summarized here began approximately 6,000 years ago; our summary covers 2,000 years or more of pre-history and early history, ending ca. 2,000 B.C. G&I provide very little in the way of dates for their seven (7) stages of PIE-IE language evolution, and here we hazard no further guesses of our own: we simply use their numeric Stage identifiers. It is interesting that G&I use their findings to infer a homeland in eastern Asia Minor or northern Mesopotamia, rather than in the Pontus as so many others have concluded. The reader is referred to G&I for details.

In the table below, each entry in stages 1-7 refers to an unattested proto-language that later evolved into a set of related languages. In their own diagram, G&I do not use the prefix "Proto-" (except in "Proto-Indo-European") and we likewise avoid its use here; thus each table entry may simultaneously be viewed as a language and as a group/family. In discussion, below, we may use the term "macro-family" to refer to a proto-language plus its descendants. For the reader's convenience, macro-family names may be reiterated in the Stage 7 column.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
PIE minus
Helleno-Armeno-Aryan Hellenic... Hellenic
Armeno-Aryan Armenian
Balto-Slavic-Germanic Balto-Slavic... Balto-Slavic
Germanic... Germanic
Italo-Celtic-Tocharian Italo-Celtic Italic... Italic
Celtic... Celtic
Tocharian ... Tocharian
Anatolian ... ... ... Anatolian
Stage 1 represents a time when Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is a single language, spoken in the homeland. Stage 2 represents a time when PIE, while still a single language, has begun to evidence signs of emerging dialects (G&I label them Area A and Area B, not shown here) that would show their effects in later macro-families.

In stage 3, (Proto-)Anatolian has emerged as a distinct macro-family, with all other PIE dialects remaining less differentiated. In stage 4 the latter group has split, one subgroup comprising Italo-Celtic-Tocharian and the other comprising all the rest (later to become Hellenic, Armenian, Aryan, Balto-Slavic and Germanic).

In stage 5, the two groups that emerged in stage 4 have themselves split, resulting in Helleno-Armeno-Aryan, Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Italo-Celtic, and the Tocharian macro-family.
In stage 6, the Hellenic macro-family has split from Armeno-Aryan, the Germanic macro-family has split from Balto-Slavic, and the Italic& Celtic macro-families have diverged. Also in stage 6, "satemization" is observed in Armeno-Aryan and [geographically adjacent] Balto-Slavic.

In stage 7, Armenian has split from Aryan (a.k.a. Indo-Iranian). G&I do not pursue the evolutionary lines any further; for example, they do not show the split of Aryan (Indo-Iranian) into the Indic & Iranian families, nor the split of Balto-Slavic into the Baltic & Slavic families. Thus they trace the emergence of 9 IE language families from PIE.

G&I pay little attention to the Balkan languages -- though, to be fair, this does not distinguish them from the vast majority of linguists: there is simply not enough data to support hard conclusions. However, most of the Balkan languages fall into the Satem category and it is easy to see places where they might possibly be located in the table above, e.g. just above Armeno-Aryan in stage 6, which allows one to infer some things about their earlier evolutionary histories. 

by Jonathan Slocum

29 June 2011



by K.S.Doig

It is recorded that Julius Caesar was confused about the origin, "race" and linguistic classification of the ancient (presumably) Celtic people who were called "Belgae". Caesar said that while the Celts were blond, "the Belgae were much blonder, taller, (more Nordic) and far fiercer warriors". 

Both traits considered by Caesar and his contemporary Romans, as being more "Germanic". Caesar was puzzled as he could not understand the speech of the Belgae and the other "Belgic" tribes from the northern third of Gaul, "Gallia Belgica". Any Latin-speaker could easily understand the Celtic Gaulish tongue as both Latin, from Proto-Italic and Gaulish, from Proto-Celtic are putatively from an earlier mutual "parent", Italo-Celtic.

14 April 2011

The Comparative Method and IE Languages

  The (Proto)Indo-European Language

Bucknell University's Linguistics Dept.)

    ancient IE art from India
  1. The original *IE language was spoken around 5,000 BC by a people who either lived between the Vistula River in Poland and the Caucasus Mountains in the Southwestern USSR (traditional) or in Anatolia in modern day Turkey (Renfrew, see "The Origins of the Indo-European Languages" in this book.)
  2. As the tribe grew larger and spread throughout the region, dialects arose which, over time, became more and more mutually incomprehensible. When different dialects become mutually incomprehensible, they are different languages. Then dialects developed in the new languages as the tribes prospered and expanded until a tree of related languages and dialects developed and all the languages spoken throughout the IE area.

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