The IndoEuropean Language Family
A large group of languages spoken
over most of Europe and also in Iran,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal,
Northern India, Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka. They developed from a parent
language probably spoken
somewhere in eastern Europe or
Western Asia around 5000 years ago.
An Example of the Evidence:
Words for `is’
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German:
ist
Russian
yest
Latin (ancient European language) est
Ancient Greek
esti
Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) asti
Can you guess what the original word
probably was?
An Example of the Evidence:
Words for `is’
•
•
•
•
•
•
German:
ist
Russian
yest
Latin (ancient European language) est
Ancient Greek
esti
Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) asti
Can you guess what the original word
probably was? *esti
What the original language might
have been like
`Ner owiom r wihnam sebhi
Man sheep
‘s wool
gwhermom
to-himself warm
westrom kwerneuti neghi owiom wihna esti.’
clothing
makes
nor
to-sheep wool
Tod kekluwos owis agrom ebhuget.
That having-heard sheep to-plain fled
is
Branches of Indo-European in
Asia
• HITTITE (ancient language once spoken in
Turkey)
• TOCHARIAN (ancient language once
spoken in Sinkiang (新疆 ))
• INDO-IRANIAN
– PERSIAN and similar languages
– INDO-ARYAN (languages of northern India
and nearby countries)
Uriah the HITTITE (赫人烏利亞) was sent to die in
battle by King David so that David could take his
wife - Samuel II, 11 (撒母耳記下)
Hittite Writing Method
Chinese Oracle Bone
Mummified body of a Tocharian
speaker? 1500 B.C.?
A hymn to the god Ganesh from the
Rigveda, written in Sanskrit, an ancient
INDO-IRANIAN language
INDO-ARYAN LANGUAGES
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[SANSKRIT]
HINDI/URDU
NEPALI
Bengali
Gujarati
Marathi
Sinhala
What’s your name (in IndoAryan)
• Sanskrit:
Tava nama kim asti?
• Hindi/Urdu:
Tumhara nam kya hai?
• Nepali:
Timro nam ke ho?
• Gujarati:
Tamarun nam shun che?
European Language Groups
• CELTIC: spoken in small areas of North-Western
Europe
• SLAVIC: spoken in Eastern Europe
• GERMANIC: spoken in Northern Europe
• ROMANCE: spoken in Southern Europe
CELTIC
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WELSH
[Cornish]
Breton
IRISH
Gaelic
[Manx]
SLAVIC
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Russian
Ukranian
Polish
Czech
Bulgarian
SERBO-CROATIAN
GERMANIC
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GERMAN
Dutch
ENGLISH
Danish
Swedish
Norwegian
COMPARING GERMANIC
LANGUAGES
• English: The king slept in my house for two
nights
• Dutch: De koning sliep in mijn huis voor
twee nachten.
• German: Der König schlief in meinem Haus
für zwei Nächte
ROMANCE
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[LATIN]
SPANISH
Portuguese
ITALIAN
FRENCH
Romanian
We love our mother
(in Romance)
• Latin:
nostram matrem amamus
• Spanish: Amamos a nuestra madre
• Italian: Amiamo la nostra madre
• French: Nous aimons notre mère
How Latin may have sounded
2000 years ago
(http://www.rhapsodes.fll.vt.edu/audiofiles/aeneis1.mp3)
• Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
arms man also sing-I Troy’s who first
• Italiam fato
Italy-to
profugus
fate-by refugee
• litora multum ille et
coasts-to much
• vi
Laviniaque
from shores
venit
Lavinian-also came
terris iactatus et alto
he both land-on harassed and sea-at
superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram.
force-by gods’
cruel memorable Juno’s from anger
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European Language Groups - linguae