The Indo-European Language, Pt. 1 | Curious Minds

William Jones - Curious Minds PodcastJoin authors Ran Levi & Kelly O’Laughlin as they explore a surprising discovery in the field of linguistics. William Jones, a British judge in India, uncovered the existence of an ancient language, the ancestor of an amazing variety of modern languages – from English and French to the Persian Farsi and Indian Sanskrit.

Curious Minds is a podcast about Science, Technology, and History. Check out more of our episodes.

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7 thoughts on “The Indo-European Language, Pt. 1 | Curious Minds

    1. This episode is almost verbatim with one of the first episodes of Kevin Stroud’s podcast, History of English Podcast.

      1. It is most definitely not. The content is similar, since this is an historical topic and we can’t invent history – but if you listen to Kevin’s episodes on the subject, you’ll immediately notice the differences in style between us: his writing is more academic in nature, while mine is more narrative. Also, Kevin himself is a guest in those episodes (his work is an obvious inspiration for this episode), so it would be silly of me to copy his work verbatim…

  1. In this podcast, you state that the English word “feather” has its origin in Latin, coming to English via German which borrowed it prior to the sound shift described by Grimm’s law. This is false, as English’s “feather” evolved from proto-Germanic *feþrō, itself derived from PIE *péth₂r̥ ~ pth₂én-, which is itself the source of the Latin “penna.”

    Many argue that Grimm’s law, among others, marks the boundary of proto Germanic, which occurred in the first millennium BC. Thus neither “German” nor “Latin” existed, and the PIE dialect that would become Germanic would have to have borrowed a word from a language that hadn’t yet differentiated yet.

    1. Hi, Phill! You are correct – I misspoke when I said that feather has it’s origin in Latin. The word ‘Pen’ came to English from Latin (via French) – but ‘Feather’, which is Germanic in origin, does not. It’s worth noting that still, both words have the same origin in the Proto Indo-European Language, from the root *pet – ‘to fly’ or ‘to rush’.

      Thanks for the correction! I’ll mention it in the next episode.

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