Before English was cool, there was Proto-Indo-European.

It’s the language that would turn into Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and more. And it’s so old that it has no written records. So how do we know what it was like? And how did it sound?

Linguist Daniel Midgley casts the rune bones and looks deep into our murky past on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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We’re stepping into the time machine, but only about 5,000 years or so. There was no English, but there was Proto-Indo-European. What was it like? Fortunately, a helpful linguist has made a recording.

If that doesn’t trigger enough ancestral memories, then have a listen to the podcast, where I explain it.

Did I mention that the Talk the Talk store is open? Go and buy TtT swag with the distinctive logo.


Show notes

Play the Great Language Game! Try beating my meagre score of 600.
http://greatlanguagegame.com/

Lots of articles about PIE these days. The Huffington Post one was quite complete, but there are others.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/28/proto-indo-european-language-ancestors_n_4005545.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57605301-1/how-did-our-linguistic-ancestors-talk-listen-in/
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/linguist-recreates-language-our-ancient-ancestors-audio#

And another fable about a king and a god.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7179#more-7179

Words for numbers in many languages.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_numbers_in_various_languages#Indo-European_languages

What’s the deal with all those h’s? How do we know they were there?
http://www.quora.com/Laryngeal-Consonants/In-simple-terms-what-are-the-laryngeal-consonants-h1-h2-h3-What-do-they-have-to-do-with-the-word-name-in-various-languages-What-do-they-have-to-do-with-Proto-Indo-European#

A biography of hyperpolyglot Sir William Jones, philologist.
http://www.notablebiographies.com/supp/Supplement-Fl-Ka/Jones-William.html

About a year ago, you began to see articles placing PIE in Anatolia. Not everyone agrees.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/science/indo-european-languages-originated-in-anatolia-analysis-suggests.html?pagewanted=all

Sheep
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sheep&allowed_in_frame=0

Horse
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=horse&allowed_in_frame=0

Warm
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=warm&searchmode=none

Look up ALL the words!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_vocabulary

Don’t drive while intexticated.
http://www.bradenton.com/2013/10/01/4748768/texting-while-driving-now-illegal.html

It’s six times more dangerous than driving drunk.
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/files/Driving-while-Texting-Six-Times-More-Dangerous-than-Driving-while-Drunk.html#.Uk5oBmS600M


Show tunes

‘The Mother We Share’ by CHVRCHΞS
from the album The Bones of What You Believe

‘Derwent River Star’ by the Paradise Motel
from the album Flight Paths