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Questions tagged [proto-world]

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51 votes
5 answers
15k views

Why do most words for "mother", across languages, start with an [m], and for "father" with [p]/[b], but not vice versa?

It has been observed that in general, a word for "mother" tends to be based on a bilabial nasal [m] or similar consonant, and for father it tends to be [b] or [p]. This is found in many language ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
  • 8,551
28 votes
4 answers
4k views

Do the Khoisan languages resemble the world's first language?

I have read somewhere that if there ever was a world's first language*, that language must have had very much in common** with the Khoisan languages. Arguments in support of this hypothesis are: ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there any language which doesn't have "hello", "thank you" or "please"? [closed]

If so, is there seen some relation (origin in the Proto-Human language), or did these phrases arose independently?
Probably's user avatar
  • 597
0 votes
2 answers
345 views

Apparent sound crespondences between Eurasian, Trans-New-Guinean, Pama-Nyungan and Burushaski

It seems to me that there can be regular sound correspondences between Eurasian, Trans-New-Guinean, Pama-Nyungan and Burushaski. I would call the hypthetical proto-language of these "proto-mitian&...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,679
-3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Could the initial d- in the word for tongue be originally a prefix?

I am looking for the most ancient proto-world lemmas and it seems, the word for tongue is shared by many families from over the world. Here are some selected examples: Niger-Congo: * Proto-Heiban: ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,679
-4 votes
2 answers
164 views

What's the reconstruction of the word for fire in proto-Australian?

The word for fire in some modern Australian languages: Tiwi yikwani Djinang junggi Maung yungku Walmajarri yakun This is strikingly similar to that in PIE: PIE h₁...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,679
-4 votes
1 answer
276 views

Could it be that the pronoun *eǵh₂om ("I") in PIE is not an innovation?

I think, it is generally believed that the word for "I" in PIE was an innovation and in more ancient branches the 1st person singular pronoun was similar to the plural one, "min/men&...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,679