Schleicher’s Fable in Proto-Indo-European and its proto-languages: Anatolian, Indo-Iranian, Greek, Tocharian, Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Armenian, Baltic and Slavic

There has been a growing interest in our Schleicher’s Fable, especially in the different known Indo-European proto-languages, as they appear in our Indo-European Grammar.

I personally just wanted to show the different (mostly phonetical) evolutions in Indo-European, in the differentiation among early dialects, and I used the Schleicher’s fable in Proto-Indo-European just to show the possible early outputs.

This weekend we received 3 more mails correcting it, and these made up ten already, which is a lot taking on account the limited interest shown in other, more controversial parts of the grammar.

It is obviously not the best part to correct and contribute to, for Modern Indo-European to be revived, but it’s still an interesting starting point, as people seem to feel more comfortable with the immediate ancestor of their own languages than with Proto-Indo-European itself.

New versions have been made with the indications of an Indo-European expert, and the latest corrections and additions have been uploaded to the Schleicher’s Fable: The Sheep and the Horses (PDF).

It is now opened as a separate document, with its own versions, and with its link from the homepage. We hope to keep correcting it, to add versions in Proto-Albanian, Proto-Daco-Thracian, Messapian, Ligurian, and even Indo-Uralic, Eurasiatic, etc.

Thank you for your comments and corrections, sorry for not being able to answer you personally.

Carlos (the Indo-European Language Team)


  1. Etienne, Wednesday, February 6th, 2008, 1:39 am

    In the proto-Italic version you have forms such as OINUM, OWJUM and AGRUM, which exhibit the raising of IE syllable-final short /o/ to /u/: this is certainly too recent to be proto-Italic (indeed, we have Old Latin texts with -OM, -OS). Also, I don’t quite understand on what basis you assume aspirate /bh/ to have become voiceless in PHERONTEM and remained voiced in WIDENTBHUS.

  2., Wednesday, February 6th, 2008, 6:47 pm

    Hi, thank you for your comment!
    I’ll post it (and the answer) in the Reader Reviews section of our Indo-European forum instead, so that others might read it and collaborate in the thread.


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