PIE vs. Proto-World (Proto-Language)

Adam Hyllested adahyl at cphling.dk
Sun Aug 29 12:53:07 UTC 1999

Sorry for bringing up an old subject - I have been on the road for
a while without internet access or time to go through all postings on the

On Thu, 29 Jul 1999, Ralf-Stefan Georg wrote:

(Quoting me:)

>> But if we only knew the modern IE languages, we would still be able to
>> reconstruct words like (...)
>> The same is true for morphological paradigms etc.

> Well, I would love to see morphological paradigms reconstructable on the
> basis of English, Italian and Hindi ...

I was not claiming that we could reconstruct PIE morphological paradigms
_only_ on the basis of these three very innovative languages. But
reconstructing the morphology of a proto-language spoken 5000 or more
years ago on the basis of modern languages is of course possible -
that is what linguists do every day, reconstructing Proto-Austronesian,
Proto-Uralic, Proto-Oto-Manguean etc.

Adam Hyllested

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