1. It is generally accepted that traditional Proto-Indo-European reconstructs late PIE to the exclusion of Anatolian, whether intentionally or not. We may call this PIE for simplicities sake. Some declare they mean core, proto-nuclear, etc. when saying PIE throughout.

  2. The earlier stage respectively with Anatolian evidence taken into account may also be called PIE. Kloekhorst suggested the terminus Proto-Indo-Hittite instead, because tree models of PIE branches generally agree that Anatolian branched off first, and because PIE is often used in the first definition.

  3. The prefix pre- as in pre-PIE generally suggests an older, not savely determined node of the language. pre-proto- is to be distinguished from a mere pre- that suggests unidentified substrates.

In sum, 1 and 2 are often conflated, but 3 is held strictly distinct. So far so good?

The pertinent question though, if we have to work strictly backwards in time, concerns what may be called a late Proto-Indo-European dialect continuum. The idea is known, but I don't think there was a substantial theory to take that name. Is it to be subsumed under "late PIE" or is it yet too early for this?


You're asking a very interesting question.
Before the discovery of Hittite, things were quite clear: Indo-Europeanists had reconstructed a fairly satisfactory model for PIE.
To a large extent, the discovery of Hittite before WW2 has thrown Indo-European Studies into a kind of crisis, because Hittite does not fit into the old model, especially as regards verbs.
At one point, it was proposed to consider Hittite to be a separate family and call the whole thing Indo-Hittite. This was unfortunately rejected.
So the current situation is that the words "Indo-European" and "PIE" are ambiguous (nearly to the point of being fraudulent). In practice, you never know if the words "Indo-European" and "PIE" refer to the whole family (Anatolian and Non-Anatolian) or only to the Non-Anatolian branch.
Terms like core PIE, late PIE or disintegrating PIE, etc. are all smokescreens that try to hide the basic fact that the old (pre-WW2) model is fundamentally not representative of PIE, understood as the mother-tongue for both Anatolian and Non-Anatolian.
It's as if there were no distinction between Uralic (FU + Samoyedic) and Finno-Ugric. That's the fundamental epistemological issue with Indo-European Studies: a pervading and nearly fraudulent ambiguity.

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