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328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter Two: "The Indo-European Family of Languages"


Vocabulary: proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, dialect, cognate, root, Grimm's Law, Verner's Law, koine, laryngeals, syntax, OV language, VO language, goidelic, brythonic, Centum, Satem

2.13 What are spoken languages constantly doing as time goes by?
Why is there no such thing as uniformity in a language?
When it comes to pronunciation in the 17th century, what do the rhymes of Alexander Pope illustrate to modern speakers?
2.14 If one community of speakers is geographically isolated or separated from another community of speakers, what tends to appear in that community's speech?
If the difference is only slight, what is the result?
If the difference is great enough, what eventually develops?
How do German and English words illustrate this sort of gradual change?
2.15 What important discovery regarding Sanskrit lead to the revelation that dozens of European, Indian, and Middle-Eastern languages originated in a single lost language?

Lecture Question: Who first made this important discovery regarding Sanskrit? (Click here if you have forgotten.)

In addition to the fact that Sanskrit has many cognates in common with other Indo-European languages, what does its unusual system of declensions and conjugations make clear to scholars of proto-Indo-European?

2.16 What is Grimm's Law?
When it comes to the First Sound Shift (the change Grimm's law discusses), what does the evidence suggest about how late this change may have occurred?
What is Verner's Law?
2.17 What do German philologists call Indo-European? Why do folks outside of Germany have a problem with that?
Excluding Hittite and Tocharian (dead languages), list the nine remaining branches of the Indo-European family of languages.
2.18 The oldest known literary texts in any Indo-European language are called the . . . .? What language are they written in?
2.19 What are the two earliest remaining branches of Iranian languages?
What is the sacred book of the Zoroastrians which provides a name to the first branch?
The second branch of the Iranian languages is preserved only in cuneiform inscriptions. What do these inscriptions discuss?
Modern Persian developed from the official language of the Sassanid dynasty? True or False? What is this official language called?
2.20 What unusual trait involving consonants does Armenian possess that reminds philologists of Germanic languages?
What is unusual about Armenian gender?
What has caused an unusually mixed character to Armenian vocabulary?
2.21 About what year did the Greeks (Hellenes) enter the Aegean penninsula to displace the indigeneous groups?
What are the earliest Greek literary monuments?
Of the five major Greek dialects, which one is "by far the most important" from the eighth to the fifth centuries BCE, according to Baugh?
What is koine? What important Christian documents were written in koine?
In Modern Greek, what is the difference between demotic and "pure" Greek?
2.22 How far back does our knowledge of Albanian go?
2.23 The Italic branch of Indo-European is centered on what part of Europe?
How was the Etruscan language spoken in Italy different than Latin, Umbrian, Ligurian, Venetic, Messapian, or the other languages spoken on the Italian penninsula before the 6th century?
What are Romance languages? (Hint: this has nothing to do with love.) Name three modern languages that are Romance languages.
Medieval French prior the thirteenth-century was divided into two languages--one northern and one southern--based on the word for "yes" in each. What are these two languages? Which language--the northern one or the southern one--achieved dominance by the modern day?
Which comparatively unimportant Romance language is the easternmost of the Romance tongues?
2.24 What are the three surviving Baltic languages? What is the language spoken in Latvia? What displaced the Prussian language and drove it extinct?
Why is Lithuanian particularly important to scholars of Indo-European languages?
East Slavic includes three varieties of Russian. Which is the most important? How did it come to be the official language of the Soviet Union?
Which branch of Slavic includes Polish and Czech?
2.25 What are the two scholarly terms for the ancient branch of Germanic languages that later developed into modern Germanic languages?
What single dead language fits in the East Germanic sub-branch?
List any two languages that developed out of the North Germanic sub-branch.
Of the early Scandinavian languages in the North Germanic sub-branch, which one is "much the most important" according to Baugh? Why is its literature especially useful for medievalists?
What is the poetic Edda and who wrote it?
List any two languages that developed out of the West Germanic sub-branch.
What branch of Indo-European does English fall into?
2.26 What is Gallic?
Where do speakers of Goidelic Celtic languages currently reside? (Click here for a hint if you've forgotten.)
Where do speakers of Brittanic (i.e., Brythonic) Celtic languages currently reside? (Click here for a hint if you've forgotten.)
According to A. C. Baugh, when did Cornish become extinct? When did Manx become extinct? Of Irish, Welsh, and Scots Gaelic, which language has the most speakers today?
2.27 What did the discovery of Hittite tablets prove concerning linguistic claims made by Ferdinand de Saussure?
What did the discovery of Hittite tablets prove concerning the syntax (word order) of proto-Indo-European?
What is strikingly odd about the location of the Tocharian language? (Contrast its location in Chinese Turkestan with the location of every other Indo-European language if you have trouble figuring this out.)
2.28 What is the customary range of dates given for the existence of the original proto-Indo-Europeans?
Why did scholars before 1850 or so customarily assume that proto-Indo-European tribes migrated westward out of Asia? Why has that theory been abandoned?
In addition to archeological, historical, and anthropological evidence, philologists have attempted to determine where the original proto-Indo-European tribes lived in the past by analyzing their reconstructed language. What does the fact that most Indo-European languages have a shared word for "winter" and "snow" suggest about the climate of the original proto-Indo-European tribes' homeland?
What does the fact that Indo-European languages do not share a common word for "sea" or "ocean" suggest about the location of the original proto-Indo-European tribes' homeland?
What does the fact that Indo-European languages have no native words for camel, lion, rice, parrot, crocodile, palm, or bamboo, but they do have words for pine, birch, willow, bear, wolf, otter, weasel, deer, mouse, and bee suggest about the tribes' original homeland? (i.e., is it likely that the first proto-Indo-Europeans developed their language in Africa or Asia or somewhere else?)
Explain the difference between the two main centum and satem halves of Indo-European. Where do these words come from?
What is Gimbutas' argument about the Kurgan culture north of the Caspian sea? (Who does Gimbutas think the Kurgans were?)

 

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