Indo-European as She was Spake

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.
Post Reply
annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Indo-European as She was Spake

Post by annis » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:14 pm

Recently sighted on a blog: Dnghu, an attempt to reconstruct Indo-European as the most suitable common language for the EU. Languagehat described it as "touchingly absurd," which captures my feelings about it perfectly.

You may find a link to the massive grammar here.

My own feeling is that Old Occitan is in line for a revival project. At least we have actual examples of that language in use.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:38 pm

I concur with the absolute absurdity of that notion. Latin, after all, was the European language until just a couple hundred years ago. Stupid French ... And let's throw Greek in there for good measure.
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:41 pm

Wow! holy crap I understand the IE page! Weird! I'm gonna have to read this a little. So, they actually had enough grammar they could reconstruct to form a reasonable syntax? Based entirely on induced evidence? Wow. That was one of my pipe dreams but I never thought anyone would actually do it!
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

Chris Weimer
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 533
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:34 am

Post by Chris Weimer » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:24 pm

In case anyone was wondering, Dinghu is the hypothesized IE form for "tongue, language", both of which are cognates. Language comes from French "langue" from Latin "lingua", the older form being "dingua". I wonder why they didn't mention that. Does no one care about the process behind PIE?

Arvid
Textkit Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:06 am
Location: Seattle WA

Post by Arvid » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:43 pm

How do the Finns, Estonians, Lapps, Hungarians, and Basques feel about this?
phpbb

Tertius Robertus
Textkit Fan
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:05 am
Location: 666 Burning Hotties Road, Ol' Dis by Styx, 5th inner circle, Hell.

Post by Tertius Robertus » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:46 pm

Does no one care about the process behind PIE?
tell me what this be about. how the hell a language is "reconstructed" with so much confidence as to be said "The Proto-Indo-Europeans are the speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language...They are a group of people whose existence from around 4000 BCE is inferred from their language, Proto-Indo-European."

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:29 am

I'm really getting a kick out of this. What exactly is "Old Greek"?

And when was the Latin for EU language project deemed a failure? Didn't it just start?
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:40 am

Arvid wrote:How do the Finns, Estonians, Lapps, Hungarians, and Basques feel about this?
Nostratic or Nothing for the EU!
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

Chris Weimer
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 533
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:34 am

Post by Chris Weimer » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:47 am

annis wrote:
Arvid wrote:How do the Finns, Estonians, Lapps, Hungarians, and Basques feel about this?
Nostratic or Nothing for the EU!
As far as I know, Basque isn't included in Nostratic.

Arvid
Textkit Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:06 am
Location: Seattle WA

Post by Arvid » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:10 am

Right--Proto-World or nothing!

Seriously, though, Schleicher wrote us a little fable in Proto-Indo-European 150 years ago. I thought the consensus was that that was a foolhardy exercise. The more we know, the less we think we know....

P. S. Actually, if Basque IS related to the caucasian languages (the only justification I've ever seen is the common name "Iberian") then it would be included in the Nostratic "phylum."
phpbb

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:49 am

Chris Weimer wrote:As far as I know, Basque isn't included in Nostratic.
Nor are elves related to fairies.

Basque isn't an EU official language, so they're up a creek regardless.
Last edited by annis on Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:49 am

Okay — so after a very careful but quick reading of the entire 300-page Modern Indo-European Grammar, I have decided that the project is absolutely ridiculous.


A very interesting and noteworthy project with fascinating results, but ultimately beyond logic. Latin is an infinitely better choice — at least Latinly we have two and a half thousand years of documented litterature, as opposed to the imagined — excuse me, reconstructed stories of the Indo-Europeans, or Sindhueuropaias† — whoever the hades they were.

_____
†That's another thing; the morphology doesn't seem to account for any assimilation. Very odd... Where's George Bernard Shaw to knock some sense into 'em when you need 'im.
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

User avatar
IreneY
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:27 am
Location: U.S.A (not American though)
Contact:

Post by IreneY » Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:27 am

Old Greek = Ancient Greek? And which period are they talking about when they say "[...] as it happened with Latin (Europe), Old Greek (Greece) [...]". Surely they are not confusing Puristic Greek (Katharevousa) with ancient Greek?
Anyway, Latin may work better for you but I opt for Greek of whichever period you choose :D * if we are going to talk about ideas that will probably never work in practice.

* provided they were actually spoken at one period or another so Homer is out.

Gonzalo
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 505
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:58 am

Post by Gonzalo » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:36 am

annis wrote:
Arvid wrote:How do the Finns, Estonians, Lapps, Hungarians, and Basques feel about this?
Nostratic or Nothing for the EU!

:D
Last edited by Gonzalo on Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Maximus
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:42 pm
Contact:

Post by Maximus » Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:28 pm

Have a look at this sentence from Question 14 of the FAQ:
... it wouldn't be very clever to write it in a language only spoken by those who speak it already.
The author is to logic, what Uri Gellar is to spoons. I don't need to read any further.

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:20 pm

Maximus wrote:The author is to logic, what Uri Gellar is to spoons. I don't need to read any further.
Hilarious.
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:22 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Latin is an infinitely better choice —
Since Cantor we are permitted to distinguish different sizes of infinities. Dnghu and Latin are frankly in the same cardinality of infinities, both in terms of practicality and likelihood.

What is this project to use Latin in the EU? I tried the expected searches, and got mostly news about the Finnish presidency of the EU.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:47 pm

It was only that in the major arenas, Will — that Finland made Latin one of the languages of the EU under its presidency, a precedent to a single EU language, it is hoped, more ardently by some than others.

More:

http://www.atrium-media.com/rogueclassi ... 04167.html
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul
Contact:

Post by mingshey » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:17 am

Arabic took most of the area once hellenized. So there's no hope Greek to be discussed as a candidate for the language of Middle-east. Latin's lucky. Alexander the Great took the wrong direction for his expedition.

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Post by annis » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:34 pm

mingshey wrote:Latin's lucky. Alexander the Great took the wrong direction for his expedition.
Well, there wasn't much interesting going on that way at the time.

If we're going to dabble in impossibilities... I can't imagine the Eastern European countries with long Orthodox histories being happy to adopt the language of the Catholic Church. So the EU can get two working languages — Latin for the West, Classical Greek for the East. :) Turkey, the former Sultinate of Rum (i.e., Rome) can use Latin if they ever stop shooting themselves in the foot on EU membership.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2019
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:41 pm

Good deal, Will, I'm all up for that.
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

User avatar
Amadeus
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 764
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:40 pm
Location: In a van down by the river

Post by Amadeus » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:29 pm

annis wrote:So the EU can get two working languages — Latin for the West, Classical Greek for the East. :)
That would be a dream come true! :D
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

Arvid
Textkit Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:06 am
Location: Seattle WA

Post by Arvid » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:37 pm

OK, well, I downloaded their Grammar and have been taking a look at it. It's an interesting read, regardless of what you may think of the reasonableness of the project. I must say, since Esperanto has been accused of being "too complicated" for retaining an accusative marker (always "-n",) I'm skeptical of the prospects of a European interlanguage with 8 cases, 3 numbers, and a congeries of weird and wonderful declensions, but this is the kind of insane proposal that it's hard not to like!

The introductory matter is disappointing in a way. I thought Marija Gimbutas' Kurgan theory of Indo-European origins was surely dead by now, but it's given pride of place (first mention, anyway) while Colin Renfrew's theory that Indo-European spread out of a homeland in eastern Anatolia, bringing agriculture with it, much more slowly and much earlier than previously suspected, is given very short shrift. I think it's time to leave those ax-wielding barbarians so beloved of 19th century scholars behind.

The section on phonology was also something of a surprise. I haven't read anything in this area for a while, but I was hoping that sanity might have returned in recent years. I mean, really: 3 (or is it 4, or is it 9?) "laryngeal" consonants that have all disappeared from all the daughter languages, and for none of which do we have any idea of their value? In reconstructing any other proto-language notions like this would be laughed to scorn. Whatever it was, Proto-Indo-European was a human language, and had to be spoken by humans!

Just my two cents, but thanks, Annis, for finding this and bringing it to our attention.
phpbb

Post Reply