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6,000 year-old language, reconstructed

language linguists proto-indo-european vocabulary

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

Linguists have recently reconstructed what a 6,000 year-old-language called Proto-Indo-European might have sounded like. This language was the forerunner of many European and Asian languages, and now you can listen to what it may have sounded like.

http://io9.com/liste...-6-0-1403832049

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#2    ealdwita

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:31 PM

Very close to Anglo-Saxon!

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)

#3    freetoroam

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

This is pure speculation and is not based on any facts,

Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive.

A sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses." The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool." Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.

http://io9.com/liste...-6-0-1403832049

Talking sheep and horses, a language which can not be agreed upon among the experts, but one group think they know what it may have sounded like?
Can they not find anything thing a bit more closer to home to work on, like what is happening to the English language today, innit!

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#4    kannin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:09 AM

i still find it interesting, same goes as to how we know the color of a dinosaur? guess some of its assumption with fact

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#5    jaylemurph

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:14 AM

View Postealdwita, on 27 September 2013 - 09:31 PM, said:

Very close to Anglo-Saxon!

If by "close" you mean "separated by millennia."

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#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:27 AM

One should not say this sort of work is invalid until one has a good understanding of how it is done.  I find it fascinating and wish the methods were more widely applicable than just to Indo-European languages  -- maybe they are and will someday further link the world's languages.

It may seem speculative, but it is based on sound principles.


#7    The_Spartan

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:44 AM

Who cares about tales of sheep & horses.
The most probable words used most frequently would have been curses.

Wish i knew some PIE curses!

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#8    jaylemurph

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:58 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 28 September 2013 - 02:27 AM, said:

One should not say this sort of work is invalid until one has a good understanding of how it is done.  I find it fascinating and wish the methods were more widely applicable than just to Indo-European languages  -- maybe they are and will someday further link the world's languages.

It may seem speculative, but it is based on sound principles.

The methods and techniques of Historical Reconstruction are perfectly applicable to non-IE languages. Research has been done with Semitic, Afroasiatic, etc. language families. The problem with so many other languages or language families is the lack of historical documents reflecting dead or rare langauges needed for the reconstruction process, or the languages themselves having never had a written form.

Even IE languages have this problem before a certain point, and the dearth of direct data is why there are so many competing theories and disagreement about reconstruction.

Due to this lack of evidence, (I think) we've found about as much as we're likely to about the most ancient languages.

--Jaylemurph

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#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:26 AM

Yes the methods are universally applicable; it is the lack of data points to work with that I bemoaned.


#10    jaylemurph

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:16 AM

Oh! I misunderstood. I'm sorry.

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#11    freetoroam

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

Do accents from the regions get taken into account?
Just look at England, we use the same language , but you would not think so when listening to how different regions pronounce the `alleged` said words.
Each new generation comes out with its own made up words too, like today ie: innit.
Apart from the difference in pronounciation, each region will have its own words for certain things, so how can do they come up with the accent in the voiced tape?

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#12    Kaa-Tzik

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:45 AM

View Postealdwita, on 27 September 2013 - 09:31 PM, said:

Very close to Anglo-Saxon!
It does indeed. Very Germanic, gutural and with glotal stops. Interesting that the research into this was begun, a long time ago, by a German. Some words can be seen as a bit Celtic, but that there seems no trace whatever, to my ears, of any Italic or Slavic, the largest European languange group, shows that this is a rather lame attempt, imo

Edited by Kaa-Tzik, 28 September 2013 - 09:46 AM.


#13    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:02 AM

We are talking about a smallish population somewhere in central Asia from which most of the languages of Europe, Iran (Persia) and much of India came from, as well as some ancient languages like Hittite and Greek.  Accents or dialects are too fine a level to expect, at least that is what I would think.


#14    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:03 AM

I don't think proto-Indo-European is especially closer to English than to Russian or German or Italian or Greek or Sanscrit or Farsi or any of the other divisions it broke into over time.


#15    Kaa-Tzik

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 28 September 2013 - 10:02 AM, said:

We are talking about a smallish population somewhere in central Asia from which most of the languages of Europe, Iran (Persia) and much of India came from, as well as some ancient languages like Hittite and Greek.  Accents or dialects are too fine a level to expect, at least that is what I would think.
Well, I agree that we should not hear any dialects from so long ago. It is that this recording is just far too Germanic to be feasable. In fact to me a lot of it sounds like very bad Swedish mixed with Old English. I think this is one of those things that we will never know, never really re-create other than the words that are common to most IE, like mother in it's probable original form as "ma" and father as "pa", and maybe horse. Other words as well of course.





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