August 22, 2007

The Sanskrit language is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek

Greek, Sanskrit, and Closely Related Languages
The Sanskrit language whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined then either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philosopher could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.
Sir William Jones (1746-1794), speaking to the Asiatick Society in Calcutta, February 2, 1786...
"Knowing" Words inIndo-European Languages
The first systematic theory of the relationships between human languages began when Sir William Jones, "Oriental Jones," proposed in 1786 that Greek and Latin, the classical languages of Europe, and Sanskrit, the classical language of India, had all descended from a common source. The evidence for this came from both the structure of the languages -- Sanskrit grammar has similarities to Greek and to nothing else -- and the vocabulary of the languages. Thus, "father" in English compares to "Vater" in German, "pater" in Latin, "patêr" in Greek, "pitr." in Sanskrit, "pedar" in Persian, etc. On the other hand, "father" in Arabic is "ab," which hardly seems like any of the others. This became the theory of "Indo-European" languages, and today the hypothetical language that would be the common source for all Indo-European languages is called "Proto-Indo-European." Home Page Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.

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