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  • 1. The Comparative Method
    • Reconstructing Pre-Historic Languages
  • 2. Reconstruction of Pre-Historic Languages depends on cognates English Dutch German Norwegian Lithuanian Celtic mother moeder mutter mor mater mathair Latin Italian Spanish French Sanskrit Greek mater madre madre mere matar meter
  • 3. English “two” and Latin “duo” False Cognates: English “day” and Latin “dies” Cognates: similar words in two or more languages that have a common ancestor
  • 4. English “virtue” borrowed from Latin “virtus” Loan Word: A word borrowed from another language, not having the same ancestor or root.
  • 5. Regular Occurrences of Phonemes Unknown Proto-Language: m______r English m_____r German m_____r Latin m_____r
  • 6. “ Regularity of Sound Correspondences” pes foot Latin English pater father caput heafod (Old English) pisces fish Proto-Language p Latin p; English f
  • 7. A Complete Reconstruction From McWhorter, from Watkins Cognates: General Idea of Sister-in-Law Sanskrit snuṣaa Old English snoru Old Church Slavonic sn ŭ kha Russian snokha Latin nurus Greek nuos Armenian nu
  • 8. Initial Sound Easiest to postulate some languages lost an s rather than a few all coincidentally added an s Many other examples of Greek, Latin and Armenian losing the s before an n Therefore, initial sounds in our Proto-Language word were sn
  • 9. First Vowel Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and Armenian all have u Regular Sound Correspondences: Slavic ŭ corresponds with Sanskrit u; Germanic u has evolved into Old English o Therefore, first vowel sound in Proto-Language word is u
  • 10. Next Consonant After u, Slavic has kh where older languages have s After u, Sanskrit s changes to ṣ Under certain conditions, Latin s and Germanic s change to r (e.g., flos, floris; was, were) All point to earlier s
  • 11. Final Reconstructed Proto-word snusos’