What Did Proto-Indo-European Sound Like?—And How Can We Know?

Apr 26, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in October 2013] Archaeology magazine recently published an article entitled “Telling Tales in Proto-Indo-European”, which included a recording of a short text in Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the...

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Sounds and Sound Systems Around the World: An Brief Overview

Apr 7, 2015 by

Human languages use great many different speech sounds, but no single language uses them all. To hear various speech sounds and to see International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols that represent them, visit here. Each language...

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Palatalization in Old Church Slavonic

Jan 30, 2015 by

[For a discussion of the image, see the post in the LanguageHat blog.] In our examination of the Old Church Slavonic (OCS) declension system, we have noticed some peculiar consonant alternations, for example: člověkъ ‘man’...

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The Story of Jers

Jan 11, 2015 by

Let’s start with a puzzle that concerns not OCS directly but modern Russian. Consider the following nominative and genitive forms of nouns; in addition to the suffix –a for the genitive, something else happens...

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Aspiration in New Julfa Armenian

Apr 19, 2012 by

A couple of days ago, I attended a very interesting talk by Sebouh Aslanian on New Julfa Armenians and their trade networks, stretching from Amsterdam to Manila in the Philippines. New Julfa is an Armenian settlement in Isfahan, Iran,...

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Atkinson’s theory of language origins

Feb 10, 2012 by

In a number of earlier posts, I’ve discussed the recent work by Quentin D. Atkinson from the University of Auckland on the origin and spread of language. In an article published in Science, Atkinson shows that by applying...

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