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History of the English Language: The IndoEuropean Family of Languages

Chissano, L.P. (201185024)

Language Constantly Changing

A language is subject to constant changes.

Each individual is constantly, though

unconsciously, making slight changes in his/her speech.


the 18th century some words were pronounced as: join jine, tea tay, full rule; give believe ; glass place ; ear repair ; lost boast; thought fault; obliged besieged; and reserve starve.

Dialects Differentiation
Individual differences merge in the speech of

the community, and conformity prevails If separation takes place for a long time, such differences increase If the separation is slight, the differences are also slight and we have merely local dialects if the separation is considerable, the differences are great, and we generally have separate languages.

Dialects Differentiation, cont...

However, it is possible to recognize a number

of features which the resulting languages still retain in common; English and German have common words milk and milch, bread and brot, flesh and fleisch, and water and wasser. English and Latin: father and pater, and brother and frter, vader (Dutch), fadar (Gothic), fair (Old Norse), vater (German), patr (Greek)

William Jones
(September 28, 1746 April 27, 1794)
Greek, Latin,

Persian, Arabic, Chinese Knew 13 languages; familiar with 28 1768 Oxford 1773 law degree 1783 Supreme Court judge in Calcutta

Discovery of Sanskrit
1786 Sanskrit is a language of ancient

India. The literature of India preserves features of the common language Similarity between the English word brother and the Sanskrit bhrtar Sanskrit also preserves a full system of declensions and conjugations by which it became clear that the inflections of these languages could be traced to the same origin

Grimms Law
4 January 1785 20 September 1863)

Grimms Law, Cont..

Grimm formulated a systematic explanation of the

correspondences between certain consonants in the Germanic languages and those found in Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, among other languages

Verners Law
Gothic: German:

brar Bruder brother

fadar Vater father

Verner: voiceless intervocalic stops become voiced when the preceding vowel is unaccented.

Sanskrit, Greek show father originally had an unstressed first syllable.

(cf. http://mr-verb.blogspot.com/2009/10/verners-law-


Indo-European Family, cont..

refers to a postulated language or group of dialects

out of which the Western and Eastern European, Indian, and Iranian languages developed. These languages are believed to have descended from a common language spoken by a group of people who lived in the 4th or 3rd millennium B.C. in southeastern Europe, probably in the area around the Black Sea

Indian Branch
Literary texts preserved in any Indo-European

language are the sacred books of India, known as the Vedas. The language in which the books are written is known as Sanskrit, or Vedic Sanskrit. The use of Sanskrit was later extended to writings outside religion - Classical Sanskrit There were many, colloquial dialects, used in literary form, for example Pli, which became the language of Buddhism (6th century B.C.) Form these dialects have descended the present languages of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh

Iranian Branch
It covers northwest of India and the great

plateau of Iran. Migration carried Iranian languages to southern Russia and central China. The oldest remains of the Iranian branch fall into two divisions : Avestan and Old Persian Other languages are today in use:Afghan & Baluchi in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Kurdish in Kurdistan.

Armenian Branch
Armenian is found south of the Caucasus

Mountains and the eastern end of the Black Sea. Armenian is known from about the fifth century through a translation of the Bible in the language Vocabulary shows strong Iranian influence to the extent which was classified as an Iranian language

Hellenic Branch

Aegan was occupied by people who differed in race and in language from the Greeks 2nd millennium B.C. the eastern Mediterranean was dominated by a Semitic people, the Phoenicians, who influenced the Hellenic world greatly great literary monuments of Greek are Homer's poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, dating from the eighth century B.C. The conquests of Alexander (336-323 B.C.) established Greek in Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt

Albanian Branch
This small branch is found northwest of

Greece on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Knowledge of Albanian generally extends back as far as the fifteenth century. It has a vocabulary mixed with Latin, Greek, Turkish, and Slavonic elements

Italic Branch
The center of the Italic branch is Italy, where

Latin was one of a number of languages Latin extended to Spain, Gaul, northern Africa, the islands of the Mediterranean, and even to Britain. The various languages are known as the Romance or Romanic languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian Romance languages are not derived from Classical Latin, but from Vulgar Latin

Balto-Slavic Branch
East/Baltic: Russia, Ukrainian, and

Belarusian Russias dominance during cold war West/South: Polish, Czech, and Slovak Czech and Slovak very similar Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia

Germanic Branch

West Germanic

North Germanic

East Germanic

Frisian German Yiddish Dutch Afrikaans

Danish Norwegian Icelandic

Vandal Burgundian

Celtic Branch

Hittite Branch
Existence of at least one laryngeal sound

represented the Object-Verb structure of

Indo- European Hittite vocabulary comes form a non-IndoEuropean source

Trocharian Branch
Trocharian is the name of the language in

which some incomplete texts were discovered early in the twentieth century in western China Trocharian belongs to the Hellenic, Italic, Germanic, and Celtic groups, rather than with the eastern groups

Character, Time, and Home of the Indo-Europeans

Practically nothing is known about their physical

It is generally believed that the Indo-Europeans were

an agricultural population living in southeastern Europe in the 4th and 3rd millennia B.C.
The Indo-Europeans moved into central Europe and

central Asia, then engaged in a series of later migrations.

The End