Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Indo-European Connection

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Hello, everyone. My name is Paul, and I'm from Canada. Oh sh*t...

Hello, everyone welcome to the Langfocus channel, and my name is Paul. Today we'll be going way back to see how we're all connected

...Well, not all of us

But about half of us, around 46% of the people on Earth, speak an Indo-European language as their native language

Throughout Europe, South Asia, the Americas and beyond. The Indo-European language family contains languages as diverse as English, Hindi

Persian, Russian, Armenian, and Greek - languages, which on the surface may seem to have nothing in common, but they actually do.

All Indo-European languages developed from Proto-Indo-European,

According to the most widely accepted theory,

Proto-Indo-European was spoken around

[6500] Years ago on the Eurasian Steppe of Eastern Ukraine Southern Russia and the Caucasus the

Indo-Europeans were the first, or among the first people to domesticate horses which greatly increase their ability to travel and migrate

Over the following three millennia

Indo-European people migrated far and wide

conquering new lands on horseback and bringing their language with them as it developed into different varieties which eventually grew into

different branches [of] the indo-European language family.

The Indo-Europeans first migrated into Europe, Anatolia and Central Asia then later into Northern India and Iran as migration

continued deeper into Europe and Central Asia

There's an alternate theory based more on

archaeological evidence that suggests that the

Indo-European languages began in Anatolia several thousand years earlier and spread with the expansion of agriculture

There are no written records of

Proto-indo-European and it's early offshoots, so the best we can do is to theorize and imagine however they happen to take place during these migrations

Proto-indo-European split into numerous different languages which would gradually develop into entire branches of the Indo-European language family

Those branches are

Anatolian which is now extinct

Tocharian, which is also extinct Italic and Celtic which may share a common, Italo-Celtic

ancestor, Armenian and Albanian which each consists of just one language as far as we know Hellenic,

Germanic, Balto- Slavic which split into the Baltic and Slavic branches and

Indo-Iranian which split into the Iranic and Indic branches

All of these branches and their individual languages have been developing in different regions with different

Influences for thousands of years so they are now very different from each other, but through comparative study

We can see that indo-european languages share a common word stock as well as some phonetic and historically speaking some grammatical

tendencies. There are a significant number of cognate words in

Indo-European languages. By the way the word cognate comes from Latin co+gnatus, which means born together

These words were indeed born together in Proto Indo-european

[and] if we're aware of the sound changes that have taken place we can identify

cognates, for instance the word meaning bear or carry in Sanskrit, [it's] bhar, in Greek

it's pher. In Modern Greek this might be pronounced like an f sound, but in ancient Greek

It was actually an aspirated [ph] sound In Latin

it's fer, in Gothic it's bair, in Old English. it's ber. They all come from Proto-indo-European

bher, and my pronunciation of these different languages is probably not perfect, but I'm just giving it a shot myself

I should point out that the

Proto-Indo-European words are theoretical reconstruction and that there's no way of knowing for sure what they sounded like but these words here are fairly recognizable

Some are a little less recognizable. In English

we have the word work which comes from Old English [wyrcan] in Modern Greek the word for work is ergo

which was [ergon] in Ancient Greek and in some texts there was an alternate form, wergon. They both stem from the proto-indo-European


Indo-European languages can be divided into two classes the Centum languages and the Satem languages

Satem is the word for 100 in Avestan ancient Iranian language

Centum is the word for 100 in Latin These two words illustrate a sound shift that occurred in Indo European languages

Proto-Indo-European had a palatalized [k] sound that was distinct from the regular velar k sound. A palatalized

consonant sounds kind of like it's followed by a [y] sound like kill as opposed to cut. In the Satem languages this

palatalized sound remained a separate phoneme from [cup] and it became a sibilant sound like a suh or a shuh so the

Proto-Indo-European word for 100 [kmtom] became satam in Sanskrit simtas in

Lithuanian and in many Slavic languages, [it's] sto. These words have all developed [and] diverged quite a bit

but if you're aware of the sound shift from a k sound

to an s sound you can recognize these cognates more easily. In the centum languages the 2 k sounds merged together or

in the case of the Germanic branch shifted to an h sound so kmtom became centum in Latin and

hekaton in Greek cant in Welsh and hund in Old English

So let's take a look at these two words in English [hundred] and [cent]

We usually think of hundred as a native Germanic word and cent as a loanword from Latin, but these are actually cognates. First

let's take away the ending of the word -red

which comes from a suffix meaning count or number. Then let's change the h back to a [k] and now you can kind of see

the resemblance see the resemblance

Remember that the C in cent was originally pronounced like a [k] in Latin

Also, remember that d is the voiced equivalent of t, so you can often see these sounds alternating in related languages?

Some core words have been preserved in many or even all Indo-european languages. These include some animals for example

Proto-indo-European ekwos: this means horse- you know that equestrian animal. In Latin

It's equus, in ancient Greek it was hippos, in

Sanskrit, it's ashvaha and in persian

it's asb. The Latin and Greek examples are centum examples, but in Greek

It seems that the k sound

Assimilated to the p sound next to it. The Sanskrit and Persian

Examples are satem examples since you can see that the k sound became shuh and suh. It also seems that the w sound

Shifted to a V sound in Sanskrit and to a B sound in Persian

And those are sound changes that take place

Frequently in various different languages Other frequent cognates include the numbers from 1 [to] 10 words referring to family members

agricultural words and various natural phenomena like the words for tree and wood. In

proto-indo-European [doru] or [dreu-] in old English treo, in Gothic triu, in ancient Greek [doru]

Which actually meant spear in Sanskrit [Daru] in old church slavonic drevo, in Armenian dzar.

This shared vocabulary might be hard to spot when you're not looking for it

But when you start to notice [the] sounds that commonly alternate in those cognates for example the voiceless t and the voiced d,

Then cognates start to be more [obvious]

Indo-European languages have developed so far from proto-indo-European that grammatically

they are very diverse and they have many features [that] other indo-european languages don't share, but because

Proto-indo-European was a highly inflected language all of its descendants are inflected languages to some extent By inflection

I mean that words change form to reflect

Grammatical functions like number person tense mood case One example is the verb endings we find in various

Indo-European languages. In

proto-indo-European the reconstructed singular forms for the verb to bear are bhero or

bheremi, bheresi, bhereti. And in Sanskrit bharami, bharasi, bharati

In Latin fero, fers, fert

In Old English beru or

bero, biris, birith

In many languages including English these inflections have been lost to a large extent in Modern English we only retained the third-person

Inflection he bears or she bears

but English still had the second person inflection until the early modern English period So if you read a King James Bible

You'll see this sentence - thou barest record of thyself. This is the second person form and thou means you


proto-indo-European nouns had inflections for [8] grammatical cases

Sanskrit maintained all eight cases and so did the ancient Iranian language Avestan

Latin retained six cases and Old English had four Modern English nouns

Do not have case endings

And that's also true for many other indo-european

Languages like most of the romance languages When languages no longer have case

Inflections the function of nouns is indicated more by word order and by the use [of] prepositions

But many modern indo-european languages do have numerous cases like most Balto Slavic languages which have six to eight cases

German and Icelandic which have four cases and Modern Greek which also has four

So the connection between the modern indo-european languages may not be obvious

But when we look back [historically] at how those languages have developed in the different stages of those languages, we can find more

connections The question of the day: if you speak an indo-European

Language did you discover any new connections between your language and others during this video Let us know in the comments down below?

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The Description of The Indo-European Connection