from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The reconstructed language that was the ancestor of the Indo-European languages.
- adj. Of, relating to, or being Proto-Indo-European or one of its reconstructed linguistic features.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. The hypothetical ancestor language or protolanguage of the Indo-European family of languages, which includes most European and Indian languages.
- proper n. A person who spoke the Proto-Indo-European language.
- adj. Of or pertaining to the Proto-Indo-European language, or the people who spoke it.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a prehistoric unrecorded language that was the ancestor of all Indo-European languages
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That common source first imagined by Sir William is none other than the one we now refer to as Proto-Indo-European.
Like laugh, out and loud are native English words with reconstructed roots in Proto-Indo-European.
Specialists call this entirely unrecorded but partly reconstructed language Proto-Indo-European, as in “the common ancestor of all the Indo-European languages.”
Speakers of Proto-Indo-European raised cows and sheep and sacrificed animals to gods.
Speakers of Proto-Indo-European observed the heavens, had names for seasons of the year, times of day, and numbers.
All such kek-sounding and cook-related words derive from the related Proto-Indo-European root *pekw-, preserved in Greek words that also have to do with “cooking” and “ripening,” as well as “digesting,” and heard in some English words taken from Greek, like pumpkin and dyspepsia.
For a short but engaging overview of Proto-Indo-European language and culture, see DIR, vii–xxxv.
The simplified version of the Proto-Indo-European root for “star” is given as *ster-.
Global English too preserves many relics of Proto-Indo-European, often simply referred to as PIE, in words whose roots can be traced back to that early language.
While a “start date” as early as ten thousand years ago has been proposed, a more widely accepted working date for Proto-Indo-European is seven thousand years ago.
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