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Indoeuropean linguistics?
Thread poster: Deschant
Deschant
Local time: 19:50
Jan 11, 2005

Anybody interested in Indoeuropean? I took two courses on Indoeuropean linguistics for my BA and found it pretty interesting. Any i.e. > Spanish translators here?

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flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 20:50
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Indoeuropean Jan 11, 2005

Eva Moreda wrote:

Anybody interested in Indoeuropean? I took two courses on Indoeuropean linguistics for my BA and found it pretty interesting. Any i.e. > Spanish translators here?


¡Hola Eva!

I doubt it strongly There is no text in Indoeuropean. As you know, of course, the language was sort of "reconstructed" in the form or word roots ("radicales") but there is no written document in Indoeuropean.

Yes, it is very interesting indeed

Love,
Flavio


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Deschant
Local time: 19:50
TOPIC STARTER
Fable Jan 11, 2005

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:

I doubt it strongly There is no text in Indoeuropean.


I was obviously joking However there's actually a text in Indoeuropean. One of the first indoeuropeists wrote a fable about a lamb in the Indoeuropean he had reconstructed... The funny thing is that every indoeuropeist rewrote that fable adding new discoveries each time. So the last fable differs quite a lot from the original one.


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Ioana Costache  Identity Verified
Romania
Member (2007)
English to Romanian
+ ...
IE Jan 11, 2005

i'm in oxford, one of the best places to do IE stuff and i love it. so - yes, there are IE freaks on this forum

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flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 20:50
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Fascinating :) Jan 11, 2005

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing

Flavio


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Gaetano Silvestri Campagnano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:50
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
August Schleicher Jan 11, 2005

Hello Eva

I think you mean August Schleicher, one of the most famous german second-generation Indo-Europeianists. Indeed, he wrote the fable "Avis Akvasas ka", that, in his reconstructed form of Indo-European language, should mean "The sheep and the Horses" (literally: "Sheep Horses and").

I heard about this fable several years ago, during a Linguistics lesson, in the beginning of my Foreign Languages degree course at the "Orientale" University in Naples.

I remember the story of this fable very well, also because I was quite struck by it.

I also remember that, during that lesson, the professor said that the great Ferdinand de Saussure, father of modern Linguistics, defined Scheicher's fable "ridiculous", because of its author's total confidence in reconstructing the "real" form of Indo-European language...

See also these links about Schleicher's fable:

http://www.angelfire.com/tx/eclectorium/indoeuro.html#Schleicher

http://homepage.mac.com/lpetrich/www/writings/NostraticRefs.txt



[Edited at 2005-01-12 09:23]


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Deschant
Local time: 19:50
TOPIC STARTER
Scheleicher's tale Jan 11, 2005

This is the Indoeuropean fable written by August Schleicher and translated into English (by the ways, what do you think should be the rates for a IE > English translation?:


Owis Ekwôskwe
Gwrrêi owis, kwesyo wl@nâ ne êst, ekwôns espeket, oinom ghe gwrrum woghom weghontm, oinomkwe megam bhorom, oinomkwe ghmmenm ôku bherontm.
Owis nu ekwomos ewewkwet: "Kêr aghnutoi moi ekwôns agontm nerm widntei".

Ekwôs tu ewewkwont: "Kludhi, owei, kêr ghe aghnutoi nsmei widntmos: neer, potis, owiôm r wl@nâm sebhi gwhermom westrom kwrnneuti. Neghi owiôm wl@nâ esti".

Tod kekluwôs owis agrom ebhuget.



[The] Sheep and [the] Horses
On [a] hill, [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.


[Edited at 2005-01-11 23:23]


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Deschant
Local time: 19:50
TOPIC STARTER
Syntax Jan 11, 2005

That's the point. When linguists started to research on IE they thought it would be possible to reconstruct its syntax in the same way they had started to reconstruct its morphology and vocabulary. Now most linguists think that only a few general features of Indoeuropean syntax can be studied and reconstructed. However Schleicher's tale is still rewritten again and again, I guess it's a sort of tradition.

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Helmet80
Local time: 19:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Indoeuropean? Jan 12, 2005

I'm familiar with the language family and its origins but I've never heard of it as a seperate reconstructed language.

One thing however - a characteristic of Indo-european languages is the use of indefinite/definite articles (Basque and Finnish being the two European languages excluded from the family as they don't have them) but these examples of Indoeuropean don't seem to have them. How so? Is it something to do with Sanskrit?


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flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 20:50
Spanish to Italian
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Use of articles Jan 12, 2005


One thing however - a characteristic of Indo-european languages is the use of indefinite/definite articles


Not necessarily. Latin does not have articles, for instance

Flavio


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Deschant
Local time: 19:50
TOPIC STARTER
Articles Jan 12, 2005

Indoeuropean research has advanced a lot since Schleicher wrote his fable, so don't trust it too much. In fact, I was told that Schleicher simply put together Latin, Greek and Sanskrit to write this tale, because in the XIXth century many Indoeuropean languages were unknown - for example Hitite and Tocharian helped a lot in the reconstruction of Indoeuropean.

As far as I can remember from my University courses, Indoeuropean had (or is supposed to have had) a demonstrative which developped into an article in some languages (for example Ancient Greek). Some other (for example Latin) have no articles at all, but the ancient demonstrative may be present in other kind of pronouns together with other elements.


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Adam Bartley  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:50
Member (2011)
Latin to English
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Nor Russian Jan 14, 2005

Russian functions perfectly well without an article, too. Mind you, my hunch is that this works better whhen you have an active case system, as both languages do. Greek was down to four cases in ancient times and has only three now.

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:


One thing however - a characteristic of Indo-european languages is the use of indefinite/definite articles


Not necessarily. Latin does not have articles, for instance

Flavio


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Helmet80
Local time: 19:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I thought Greek had 5 cases Jan 14, 2005

Nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, locative.

I think very few languages have articles and cases. Maybe because the grammar becomes too complex if you have too many of both? I don't think cases can replace articles as they serve different functions.

Just to what level of grammar is the human brain capable before it impedes communication?

A thought for the day...


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flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 20:50
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Cases Jan 14, 2005

Mark Salisbury wrote:

Nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, locative.

I think very few languages have articles and cases. Maybe because the grammar becomes too complex if you have too many of both? I don't think cases can replace articles as they serve different functions.

A thought for the day...


Hi Mark.

Ancient Greek had four. Locative is not a case apart, it is included in the dative or the genitive using prepositions (please Adam refresh me on this!)

Latin has some traces of locative in names of cities and similar, but usually uses the ablative.

German has four cases and articles, for an example.

Best wishes,
Flavius


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Helmet80
Local time: 19:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Errrrrrrrrrmmmmmm....... Jan 14, 2005



Hi Mark.

Ancient Greek had four. Locative is not a case apart, it is included in the dative or the genitive using prepositions (please Adam refresh me on this!)

Latin has some traces of locative in names of cities and similar, but usually uses the ablative.

German has four cases and articles, for an example.

Best wishes,
Flavius


Yes, you're right (he said very embarrassedly), I must have been thinking of Basque (for some completely abstract reason - if such a thing can exist!), where you have the 4 German cases plus the ergative.

I must stop believing what other people tell me about languages I don't speak!!!!!

Just call me a lingo-tart....


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