Course 1, Question 1

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Course 1, Question 1

Post  Marc on Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:27 am

Provide as comprehensive a description as possible of the characteristics of Proto-European (sounds,grammar, words, etc) and explain which characteristics we can still see in modern English.

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Re: Course 1, Question 1

Post  Admin on Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:24 am

The Proto-European language is an old language that died and left no writing trace of it’s passage. As such scholars had to work backwards from more recent and better documented languages to recreate this piece of history.

I will break the characteristics of the Proto indo European language (PIE) into five categories Lexicon, phonology, syntax and accent. I will provide a description of each and explain how we can still see it in modern English.

Lexicon
Words that originated from PIE are common in a number of modern languages: numerals from one to ten or the sum of ten times ten. (Latin "centum," Avestan "satem," English "hundred") words for certain bodily parts (heart, lung, head, foot); words for certain natural phenomena (air, night, star, snow, sun, moon, mind); certain plant and animal names (beech, corn, wolf, bear). Also the English slang word “Fuck” perhaps derived from PIE “Peig” or “Pu” meaning “evil minded” or to “soil” “defile”.

Phonology
Many stops, voiced, voiceless, and aspirated ([bh] [dh])
Poor in fricatives (only [s] and [z])
Several laryngeal (h-like) consonants (could double as vowels)
Nasals [n], [m], and liquids [l] and [r], and glides [y] and [w] (also could double as vowels)
Vowels: [a], , [i], , [u],
Syntax
Indo-European had a flexible word order, tendency to Subject-Object-Verb (SOV)
Accent
Indo-European accent could be on any syllable and was characterized by pitch rather than loudness

PIE influenced a great many deal of language from modern ones like English to dead languages like Latin. It is at the origin of Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Balto Slavic,Balkan, Hellenic, Anatolian, Armenian, Indo-Iranian and Tocharian.


Biblio
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Words04/history/index.html#chron
http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/general/IE.html
http://www.intersolinc.com/newsletters/Language_Tree.htm
http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/english/fajardo/teaching/eng520/indoeur.htm

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Re: Course 1, Question 1

Post  Sandie on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:24 am

The Celtic language is a branch of the indo-European languages.
There are many languages composing this family for the simple reason that every language is a mix of the original Old Celt and words that were borrowed from the aboriginal languages already existing on the territory.
In fact Celts are known to have integrated with the people inhabiting the land instead of trying to assimilate them.
The distinction in order to trace the family tree of those languages is whether they were Continental or Insular.
Continental are those who developed on the European continent, such as the Broton and the Gaulish.
All the languages included in this category are extinct, for all their speakers died about one thousand years ago.
Insular languages are those spoken on the Islands such as Irish, Scottish and Manx.
We can linguistically divide Insular Celtic languages into two categories: Goidelic(also known as the Q-Celtic) or Brytholic (or P-Celtic.)
Among the extinct Celtin languages we find the Gaulish, the Celtiberian (spoken in Aragon and spain), The Leoponik and the Pictish and recently, the Manx (on the Man Island)
In the still living Celtic languages there are the Irish(in Ireland), the Scots-Gaelic (in Scotland), the Breton (in Britania, Francia) and the Welsh (in Whales)

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