Linguist Recreates Language Of Our Ancient Ancestors (Audio)

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A linguist at the University of Kentucky recreated what our ancient ancestors might have sounded like 4,500 to 2,500 BCE.

Scientists theorize that 6,000 years ago the people of Europe and Asia spoke the same mother tongue. The dead language is referred to as Proto-Indo-European (PIE). But there is no definitive version of PIE. Much like Latin, what it sounded like is anyone’s guess.

Professor Andrew Byrd, a PIE scholar, used three centuries of scholarly work on PIE as well as Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit to compose a short story in this language. He recited the story and published it in Archeology magazine.

The story, “The Sheep and the Horse” is a parable written in 1868 by German linguist Dr. August Schleicher. Byrd’s version is informed by the latest insights into reconstruction PIE and the modern work of linguist H. Craig Melchert.

English, Swedish and Farsi are all derived from the same PIE language. It is the building blocks of all languages, from Sanskrit to classical Greek, Latin, Gaelic, Hindi, Portuguese, Nepali, Sardinian, etc.

"Farsi and English were 6,500 years ago the same language," Byrd told Huffington Post. "That's pretty cool, and it kind of gives you a sense of unity."

In order to get a more definitive version that this, Byrd said, you’d need a time machine.

While he dated PIE language back to the Eurasian steppes 6,500 years ago, he said there is controversial new theories that posit it dates back several thousand years earlier in Turkey.

Sources: Newser, Huffington Post