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Ancient language recorded for first time in 4,000 years

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Proto-Indo-European, or PIE language was spoken throughout Europe and Asia about 4,000 years ago and formed the basis of the English language. The sound of this archaic tongue is set to be recorded for the very first time, thanks to modern day linguists, using ancient texts.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thanks to decades of research, Dr. Andrew Byrd, a linguistics expert from the University of Kentucky will read the parable of the sheep and the horses in an the long-disused tongue.

There is no written record of the PIE language. Dr. Byrd was able to recreate an approximate version based on knowledge of ancient texts in Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Greek and Sanskrit. PIE was last spoken between approximately 4,500 and 2,500 B.C by our ancestors from all over Europe and Asia.

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Written in 1868 by German linguist Dr. August Schleicher, the parable itself was translated into PIE as a way to experiment with the vocabulary. Byrd notes that there is no way to create a definitive version of the language and Byrd says his pronunciation is "a very educated approximation.

"Languages differ on how they pattern their sounds together, and they use those sounds to create new words. Proto-Indo-European is very guttural," Byrd told journalists.

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Byrd says that he has no intention to create any more recording, partly because he would first have to create new stories as no written examples exist.

English, Swedish and Farsi are some of the many modern languages that stem from the Indo-European family include.

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

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Because of the lack of available information, PIE is a debated topic among researchers. Byrd thinks PIE was probably spoken on the Eurasian steppes around 6,500 years ago. Other researchers recently introduced a controversial new theory that it was spoken several thousand years earlier in Turkey.

The world will probably never know what PIE actually sounded like. Byrd jokes that the only way to create a definitive recording was to invent a time machine.

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