Indo-European studies

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Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics and an interdisciplinary field of study dealing with Indo-European languages, both current and extinct.[1] The goal of those engaged in these studies is to amass information about the hypothetical proto-language from which all of these languages are descended, a language dubbed Proto-Indo-European (PIE), and its speakers, the Proto-Indo-Europeans, including their society and Proto-Indo-European mythology. The studies cover where the language originated and how it spread. This article also lists Indo-European scholars, centres, journals and book series.


  • Several people who have examined Indo-European scholarship have drawn parallels between research about the Proto-Indo-European world and myths, in the sense of narratives about origin. Indo-European research has, in many ways, been an attempt to write the origin narrative of the bourgeois class - a narrative that, by talking about how things originally were, has sanctioned a certain kind of behavior, idealized a certain type of person, and affirmed certain feelings. Certainly, there have been some scholars who have not identified themselves with the Proto-Indo-Europeans, but they are few.
    • Arvidsson, S. (2006). Aryan idols: Indo-European mythology as ideology and science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.319-320
  • Competent authorities have warned against the “semi-conscious prejudices on original genetic characteristics of the Indo-Europeans: they are supposed to be blond and blue-eyed”.
  • To be sure, neither Jones nor anyone else was wrong to perceive strong and systematic similarities among Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and the rest. The question is what one makes of these similarities, and one steps onto a slippery slope whenever analysis moves from the descriptive to the historic plane of linguistics. In specific, reconstructing a "protolanguage" is an exercise that invites one to imagine speakers of that protolanguage, a community of such people, then a place for that community, a time in history, distinguishing characteristics, and a set of contrastive relations with other protocommunities where other protolanguages were spoken. For all of this, need it be said, there is no sound evidentiary warrant.
    • Lincoln, B. (1999). Theorizing myth: Narrative, ideology, and scholarship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.95

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