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328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter Two: "The
Indo-European Family of Languages"
proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, dialect, cognate, root,
Grimm's Law, Verner's Law, koine, laryngeals, syntax,
OV language, VO language, goidelic, brythonic, Centum,
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
2.15 What important discovery regarding
Sanskrit lead to the revelation that dozens of European,
Indian, and Middle-Eastern languages originated in a single
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
Modern Persian developed from the official language of the
Sassanid dynasty? True or False? What is this official language
2.20 What unusual trait involving consonants
does Armenian possess that reminds philologists of Germanic
What is unusual about Armenian gender?
What has caused an unusually mixed character to Armenian
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
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
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
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
What is the poetic Edda and who wrote it?
List any two languages that developed out of the West Germanic
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
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'
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
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