Video-Fix Proto-Indo-European, Ep.2: Schleicher´s fable

September 8, 2019 9:35 am

Welcome to the second episode of our small column on Proto-Indo-European (from now on referred to as PIE).  In our previous article we focused exclusively on the Indo-European language family, without taking in account PIE itself. As you surely have already guessed, PIE is supposed to be the ancestor of all Indo-European languages.
There is no certainty in fact that such a language actually existed, even though it is highly probable. What we will never obtain is the complete certainty  that our abstraction reflects accurately the original language, whose traces have irredeemably disappeared.

Below, the English version of the fable, which the scholar August Schleicher decided to translate in PIE in the year 1868.

[On a hill,] a sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: “My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses.” The horses said: “Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool.” Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.

This pioneer of language-restoration has laid the foundation for a huge discipleship, as you can better read in the Wikipedia page referenced below… and the next episode! Stay tuned and keep accompanying us in this exciting discovery of Proto-Indo-European.


Schleicher’s fable, Wikipedia, Accessed date: 07/09/2019
Indoeuropean, Academia Prisca, Accessed date: 07/09/2019

Selected and introduced by Cosimo Palma

I studied philosophy, historical philosophy, philosophical history and history in the redundant Naples, computational linguistics and informatics in the city of Marx.
Language enthusiast and chess player in my free time, until the end of September I will spend my busy time in the Tower A of the European Parliament in Luxembourg, trying to do my best in the communication as well as in the operational department of the Terminology unit.

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