An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages

An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages

An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages

An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages

Synopsis

This comprehensive linguistic survey of the Indo-European groups synthesizes the vast amount of information contained in the specialized handbooks of the individual stocks.

The text begins with an introduction to the concept of the Indo-European language family, the history of its discovery, and the techniques of analysis. The introduction also gives a structural sketch of Proto-Indo-European, the parent language from which the others are descended. Baldi then devotes a chapter to each of the 11 major branches of Indo-European (Italic, Celtic, Indo-Iranian, Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Baltic, Slavic, Germanic, Tocharian, and Anatolian).

Each chapter provides an outline of the external history of the branch, its people, dialects, and other relevant history. This outline is followed by a structural sketch of the most important language or languages of the branch (e.g., Old Irish for Celtic, Sanskrit and Avestan for Indo-Iranian, Latin and Osco-Umbrian for Italic). The sketch also contains the phonology, morphology, and syntax of each language. There is lastly a sample text of each language containing both interlinear and free translation. In those branches where there are special issues (e.g., the relation of Italic to Celtic and Baltic to Slavic, or the problem of archaism in Hittite), additional discussions of these issues are provided. Baldi's final chapter gives a brief outline of the "minor" Indo-European languages such as Illyrian, Thracian, Raetic, and Phrygian. Adding further to the usefulness of the book are extensive bibliographies, an up-to-date map showing the geographical distribution of the Indo-European languages throughout the world, and a detailed family tree diagram of the members of each subgroup within the Indo-European language family and their interrelationships.

Excerpt

This book began as a chapter of a much larger work that I undertook in the fall of 1979. That work, "An Introduction to Indo-European Comparative Linguistics," is still underway.

My original plan was to include in the larger volume a treatment of the Indo-European stocks that provided more information than the usual cursory mention found in most introductory works. in attempting to avoid such a superficial treatment in my own volume, I discovered that in the process I had written a book that surveyed the Indo-European stocks. I believe that the present volume fills a long-standing need in Indo-European and general linguistic studies for a comprehensive linguistic survey of the Indo-European groups that synthesizes the vast amount of information available in the specialized handbooks of the individual stocks.

This book is intended primarily for students, and it is my hope that it will prove useful in general courses in Indo-European languages and linguistics. and though little in this volume will be new information for specialists in the field of Indo-European studies, I believe that the synthesis of information available on the different stocks, together with the extensive bibliography, makes it something more than a classroom text.

I am pleased to thank the following people who aided me throughout the production of this book: Gordon Fairbanks of the University of Hawaii, who helped me with details of Indo-Iranian; Rama Sharma of the University of Hawaii, who shared his immeasurable knowledge of Indic, especially Sanskrit; Walter Maurer of the University of Hawaii, who provided much-needed information on the Avestan text; Alfred Bammesberger of the Katholische Universität Eichstätt, who helped with some details of Old Irish; Ernst Ebbinghaus of the Pennsylvania State University, who read and commented on a draft of the manuscript and provided invaluable assistance on Germanic; Antanas Klimas . . .

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