Thursday, October 2, 2008


I have been reading a lot recently about the derivation of European languages and trying to tie in the whole idea of a "proto-language" with the fairly well-established findings of Prof Bryan Sykes on our genetic links. The PIE (proto-Indo-European) camp has it that our language (and that of just about everybody from Bantry Bay to Bangladesh) stems from a common source. There have been some excellent attempts to reconstruct PIE from the common threads of many words and "a trained linguist" can see the commonality immediately (they say).
The genetic story is very different. PIE - in mitochondrial-DNA terms - must have come from the "Jasmine" clan that moved out of Syria into Europe and India, bringing their farming techniques with them. Europe was, by the time the "Jasmines" arrived, populated (albeit sparsely) with "Ursulas", "Xenias", "Helenas", "Taras", "Katrines" and "Veldas". These were all hunter-gatherer people and, although they might have absorbed some of the "Jasmine" words (especially farming-related), I can see no reason why they would take a language hook, line and sinker when they will have had their own, possibly interrelated, and quite ancient languages.
I personally think the PIE people might, in fact, be talking "bhel-oks" as the "Jasmines" might say.

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