I am just curious about the comparative method, and how a simple tool could be so powerful. So, I want to ask if internal reconstruction could be applied to the oldest IE languages (Pre-Latin, Pre-Sanskrit, etc.) to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European. So, here is what I was thinking:

attested languages -> unattested pre-attested language -> proto-language

1 Answer 1


Yes, and internal reconstruction has been used to great effect in IE studies. Saussure's laryngeal theory was discovered using internal reconstruction, at a time when no direct reflexes of the laryngeals were known. Later, reflexes in Hittite were discovered, showing that internal reconstruction was a valid method. See laryngeal theory.

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