Proto-Indo-European language, Phonology

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The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of a common ancestor of the Indo-European languages spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. PIE was the first proposed proto-language to be widely accepted by linguists. Far more work has gone into reconstructing it than any other proto-language and it is by far the most well-understood of all proto-languages of its age. During the 19th century, the vast majority of linguistic work was devoted to reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European or its daughter proto-languages such as Proto-Germanic, and most of the current techniques of historical linguistics (e.g. the comparative method and the method of internal reconstruction) were developed as a result.


The phonology of Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed to a large extent. Some uncertainties still remain, such as the exact nature of the three series of stops, and the exact number and distribution of the vowels.

The notation used here for the phonemes is traditional in Indo-European studies, but should not necessarily be interpreted as the corresponding IPA values. Most saliently, is traditionally used to represent IPA , not any sort of front-rounded vowel. In addition, the traditional names and symbols for the dorsals and laryngeals should not be taken as more than a vague suggestion of their actual values.

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External Links

  • WikipediaAn Overview of the Proto-Indo-European Verb System

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