70 votes
Accepted

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

No, it is not. First and foremost, there are many languages recorded long before the advent of Sanskrit, and many religions recorded long before the advent of Hinduism. The oldest surviving texts in ...
user avatar
  • 51k
44 votes

Since when did Indo-European languages start associating noun genders with male/female sexes?

Short answer: the association between the grammatical genders and sociological genders happened very early in Indo-European, but it was an association rather than an equivalence and had many ...
user avatar
  • 51k
39 votes
Accepted

Is the Indo-European language family made up?

The claim cited in the quote is definitely wrong. The existence of language families is inferred from the data on extant and ancient languages, and there is a rigorous methodology used in this ...
user avatar
29 votes

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Sanskrit is not the mother of all languages. Sanskrit is not even the mother of the modern Indo-Aryan languages of the Northern India. Neither it is their father or grandfather. In fact, no language ...
user avatar
  • 15.4k
26 votes

Is the connection between 'right' in the sense of direction and concepts like 'correct' limited to Indo-European languages?

In Korean, 오른쪽 wolunccwok "right (direction)" comes from 옳- wolh- "correct" + -은 -un (Attributive) + 쪽 ccwok "direction", literally meaning "the correct direction". Another word for "right side", 바른편 ...
user avatar
  • 506
22 votes

Since when did Indo-European languages start associating noun genders with male/female sexes?

The association was certainly firmly in place already during the time that ancient Greek and Latin grammarians were writing about grammatical gender, so the fact that genus can be translated as "...
user avatar
  • 16.5k
19 votes
Accepted

Which Indo European language best preserves the features of Proto Indo-European?

There are many possible answers to this question. Historically, the comparative method was born from observing the regularity of phonological and morphological correspondences between Classical ...
user avatar
19 votes

Is the Indo-European language family made up?

The Indo-European family is completely made up, yes. But not for the reason cited in that comment. And the fact it's made up doesn't mean it's not real. Sciences often posit the existence of things ...
user avatar
  • 4,348
15 votes
Accepted

Is "Kent" in Tashkent of Turkic origin or Indo-European?

In the monumental Old Turkic Dictionary ("Древнетюркский словарь", Наука, Л., 1969) it is written that Kent/Kənd is really of the Sogdian origin. The dictionary reflects the words found in the Turkic ...
user avatar
  • 15.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Do the words "angst" and "anxiety" share a common root?

Yes, Germanic angst and Latin anxiety are derived from the same Proto-Indo-European root, which was something like *h₂enǵʰ- "constrict, narrow". Philippa (2003-2009) confirm that they are cognates: ...
user avatar
  • 7,818
15 votes

Is the connection between 'right' in the sense of direction and concepts like 'correct' limited to Indo-European languages?

It exists in semitic languages. "ymn" has directional right as its radical sense in the Ethiopian semitic languages but is also commonly used for good news, e.g., Yemane is a common name there, like ...
user avatar
  • 251
14 votes

Earliest recognition that Germanic and Romance languages are related

The question should probably be restated as something like "When did people begin to believe that Romance and Germanic languages were related with some scholarly basis for that belief?" The ...
user avatar
  • 10.5k
14 votes

Since when did Indo-European languages start associating noun genders with male/female sexes?

Some time after the middle of the 4th millenium BC. As discussed in this article by Luraghi, IE did not develop sex-based gender distinctions until the Anatolian branch split off, which is typically ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
12 votes
Accepted

How is it that such varied sounds (in major European Languages) came to be represented by the same letter "j"?

This is a question that probably has a quite straightforward answer: historical development. Various European languages adopted the Latin alphabet through different routes and mapped it differently ...
user avatar
11 votes

What are cognates of "fuck" in other Indo-European languages?

From the Oxford English Dictionary: Probably cognate with Dutch fokken to mock (15th cent.), to strike (1591), to fool, gull (1623), to beget children (1637), to have sexual intercourse with (...
user avatar
  • 22.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Why there is a neuter gender in some Indo-European languages, and others apparently dropped it?

The three genders are found in all the oldest Indo-European languages we know (Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Gothic, Old Irish, Old Church Slavonic, Old Norse) with the exception of Hittite. Hittite had two ...
user avatar
  • 6,279
10 votes
Accepted

Two and Three; Four and Five; Six and Seven are paired by their first letters T, F, S

These words show no signs of sharing a common suffix, let alone one that we can identify as meaning "add one." Actually, there is another explanation often used for this kind of thing: sound changes ...
user avatar
  • 16.5k
10 votes

s / h change in Indo-European languages

This is a common sound change. [h] has no constriction above the larynx, and involves spreading the glottis so that any noise generated is turbulence as the air flows through the glottis. Most of the ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Noun inflection in which IE language is close to PIE noun inflection?

A simply approach to the question is to find which language (if any one language can be determined) has the most similar noun paradigm to PIE. The phonology of the suffixes can also be concidered. ...
user avatar
  • 116
10 votes

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Not at all. Sanskrit, Latin and a few other languages had a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-European, which was prevalent around 2500 BC on the southern steppes of Russia. It is a fact that ...
user avatar
  • 363
9 votes

What did the Greeks and Romans believe about language relationships?

As I've posted in The Other Place, there was indeed a notion of Latin being a dialect of Greek, which a recent paper has described as "Aeolism". The locus classicus for it is Dionysius of ...
user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Subtypes of Standard Average European

1st, Latin is not part of Standard Average European (SAE): the sprachbund is thought to have emerged through language contacts during the early middle ages and later, at a time when (classical) Latin ...
user avatar
9 votes

Which Indo European language best preserves the features of Proto Indo-European?

To be honest, I think this is a useless question. All IE languages have preserved certain features of the hypothetical parent language and have lost others. All IE languages need to be taken into ...
user avatar
  • 22.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

No, it isn't. Spanish and Greek are both part of the Indogermanic language family and therefore historically connected. However, this historic connection is rather old, the split between proto-Greek ...
user avatar
9 votes

Does Linear A potentially have the oldest Indo-European text that we know of?

Potentially, but probably not. It's true that the oldest Linear A inscriptions (c 1850 BCE) are older than the oldest cuneiform Hittite inscriptions (c 1750 BCE). However, many linguists over the ...
user avatar
  • 51k
9 votes
Accepted

Are Germanic languages closer to Italo-Celtic languages or Balto-Slavic languages?

The best answer is: There is no consensus about this. In the big tree of Indogermanic languages there are only two intermediate groupings that are generally accepted: Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic. ...
user avatar
9 votes

Where did the Greek consonant cluster "ps" come from

It's important to note that whilst Greek does spell /ps/ with a single letter, it does not represent a single phoneme, but a sequence of two. In native vocabulary, Greek /ps/ continues the Proto-Indo-...
user avatar
  • 4,492
8 votes

Is there any agglutinative Indo-European language?

The Lydian language was distinct from all other Indo-European languages for its agglutinative features. I don't know all the details, but there was an extensive usage of infixes. Generally, all Indo-...
user avatar
  • 2,544
8 votes

What's the relation between Germanic suffixes -ly, -lich, -lijk, ... and Turkic suffixes -lik -liq

Duden and other sources state that -lich is a grammaticalized form of the Middle High German līch ["body"] (which also gave rise to Leiche). -ly, -lich, -lijk (and Scandinavian forms) are actually all ...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Are Armenian գունդ (gund) and Sanskrit गिन्दुक (ginduka) related?

Hindi gẽd does indeed descend from Skt. genduka-. The latter is considered to be a loan from Dravidian (see Turner 4248). Armenian gund is a borrowing from Parthian or Persian gund < Iranian *gṛnda-...
user avatar
  • 22.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible