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Mapping the origin of Indo-European


“In this paper we identify the homeland of the Indo-European language family by adapting ‘phylogeographic’ methods initially developed by epidemiologists to trace the origins of virus outbreaks. Instead of comparing viruses, we compare languages and instead of DNA, we look for shared cognates – words that have a common origin, such as “mother,” “mutter” and “madre” – across various Indo-European languages. We use the cognates to infer a family tree of the languages and, together with information about the location of each language, we trace back through time to infer the location at the root of the tree – the origin of Indo-European.”

Origin: Anatolia Plateau

Anatolia (from Greek Ἀνατολή Anatolē — “east” or “(sun)rise”; also Asia Minor, from Greek: Μικρὰ Ἀσία Mikrá Asía “small Asia”; in modern Turkish: Anadolu) is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey.

Posted by on August 25, 2012.

Categories: language, origin, species, spoken word

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