From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Europic, or Macro-Indo-European, is a hypothetical language family proposed by Jörg Rhiemeier. It consists of Indo-European and various smaller language groups of Europe which are all extinct and lost in history (in the real world; in the world of the League of Lost Languages, some of them are still alive).

Proto-Europic may have been spoken about 8,000 years ago in southeastern Europe, perhaps by the group of people known to archaeologists as the Starčevo culture. (If the Black Sea Flood, which is controversial, actually happened, it may be connected to the spread of Europic.) From there, one branch of Europic spread northeastward into the Pontic Steppe and became Indo-European. Another branch spread northwestward into Central Europe in connection with the Linear Pottery culture and left its traces in the Old European hydronymy. A third group may have been established in the Lower Danube region and become the language of the Vinča culture. That language may have been the world's first written language, if the Vinča symbols are indeed writing, but that is controversial. The language of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture would also have belonged to this group.

The main reason for this hypothesis is that the cultures mentioned above are those Neolithic cultures of Europe which apparently spread by demic diffusion, i.e. by migrations of farmers and assimilation of the indigenous hunter-gatherers, which would have entailed the spread of a new language. As the Old European hydronymy appers to be related to Indo-European, a relationship of these languages to Indo-European appears plausible.

Classification (including LLL conlangs)

Proto-Europic Phonology

The main feature that distinguishes Europic from the other branches of Eurasiatic is its vowel system, which included only three vowels: *a, *i and *u, of which *a was much more frequent than the others. This system is the result of a sound change, the Great Vowel Collapse (GVC), a merger of all Proto-Eurasiatic vowels except *i and *u into *a. Before the GVC, pre-Proto-Europic underwent another change in the vowel system: Resonant-Conditioned Lowering (RCL). Under this rule, high vowels followed by resonants were lowered. The lowered vowels then fell victim to the GVC. This explains the apparent lack of *CeiR- and *CeuR- roots in PIE. Also, velar consonants bear traces of the original vowels in that velars next to former front vowels are fronted and velars next to rounded velars are labialized.

As an example of these changes, one my take the PIE root *kʷel- 'to turn', which appears to have cognates of the shape *kulV- in Uralic and Altaic languages:

Proto-Eurasiatic *kulV- > *kol- (RCL) > *kʷol- > Proto-Europic *kʷal- (GVC) > PIE *kʷel-

This three-vowel system is attested in the Old European hydronymy and can be reconstructed for pre-ablaut Indo-European. In PIE, *a became *e/*o/Ø, *i became *ei/*oi/*i and *u became *eu/*ou/*u. In West Europic, the Proto-Europic vowel system was preserved, as evidenced by the Old European river names. It apparently also remained intact in East Europic long enough to influence the Eastern (Indo-Iranian) subbranch of Indo-European in which PIE *a, *e and *o all merged into *a - it appears as if Eastern IE had undergone the GVC twice.

The consonant inventory of Proto-Europic is essentially that of Proto-Indo-European as it is posited by the adherents of the glottalic theory, i.e. the (traditional) PIE voiced stops evolved from glottalized (ejective) stops. Also, in Proto-Europic, palatal consonants as found in other Mitian languages appear to have merged with dental ones. This is accordance with the sound correspondences proposed by Allan R. Bomhard between Proto-Nostratic and Indo-European.

See also

This article is one of quite a few pages about Natlangs.

Indo-european natlangs:

Balto-Slavic Natlangs: Czech * Russian
Celtic Natlangs: Revived Middle Cornish * Pictish
Germanic Natlangs:
North Germanic Natlangs: Norwegian
West Germanic Natlangs: Anglo-Saxon * Dutch * English (Old English * Middle English * Modern English * Scots) * German (High German * Low German)
Indo-Iranian Natlangs: Pahlavi
Italic Natlangs: French * Italian * Latin * Spanish
Debated: Cimmerian

Uralic Natlangs: Finnish * Khanty * Mansi * Mordvinic * Proto-Uralic
Altaic (controversial): Japanese
Sino-Tibetan Natlangs:
Uto-Aztecan Natlangs: Nahuatl


Isolate Natlangs: Basque * *
Hypothetical/debated Natlangs and Natlang families: Danubian * Europic

Personal tools