Thursday, August 28, 2008

indo-european/proto-indo-european


I just stumbled upon this image and thought I'd post it here in response to some of the discussion about the  origins of language, whether there is on original language, etc. I don't know how accurate this actually is...it is interesting nonetheless.

Make sure to click the image to ENGLARGE IT.

3 comments:

Evolutionary Adaption of Revolutionary Adaptation said...

Awesome! So which came first, proto or indo? And what inspired these I wonder?

I'm glad this was posted.

Grabloid said...

i think 'proto-indo-euro' probably predates 'indo-euro'...maybe they are the same language referred to in both ways?

Rikker said...

A proto language is a language for which no direct evidence exists.

In other words, it is a language which is thought to have existed at some point in history based on linguistic evidence in existing languages that point to a common ancestor.

So really, Indo European and Proto Indo European are the same thing, since there is no extant evidence of any language called "Indo European". So we have to call it "Proto".

Historical linguistics is the field of reconstructing these historical links, and differentiating between contact relationships, where one language influences another because they are spoken by adjacent communities or communities with significant interaction, and genetic relationships, where languages can be shown (or theorized) to have a single common ancestor.

The Proto Indo European family is quite well researched. Principles of historical languages demonstrate that languages as disparate as English and Sanskrit as distant, distant cousins from the same ancestor language.

Those who believe there was a single first language often call it Proto World.