Schleicher's fable

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Schleicher's fable (avis akvāsas ka) is an artificial text composed in the reconstructed language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) published by August Schleicher in 1868. Schleicher was the first scholar to compose a text in PIE. The fable is entitled Avis akvāsas ka ("The Sheep and the Horses"). At later dates, various scholars have published revised versions of Schleicher's fable, as the idea of what PIE should look like has changed over time. The fable may serve as an illustration of the significant changes that the reconstructed language has gone through during the last 140 years of scholarly efforts.

The first revision of Schleicher's fable was made by Hermann Hirt (published by Arntz in 1939). A second revision was published by Winfred Lehmann and Ladislav Zgusta in 1979.[1] Another version by Douglas Q. Adams appeared in the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (1997:501). In 2007 Frederik Kortlandt published yet another version on his homepage.[2]

The Sheep and the Horses[edit]

Schleicher (1868)[edit]

Avis akvāsas ka

Avis, jasmin varnā na ā ast, dadarka akvams, tam, vāgham garum vaghantam, tam, bhāram magham, tam, manum āku bharantam. Avis akvabhjams ā vavakat: kard aghnutai mai vidanti manum akvams agantam.
Akvāsas ā vavakant: krudhi avai, kard aghnutai vividvant-svas: manus patis varnām avisāms karnauti svabhjam gharmam vastram avibhjams ka varnā na asti.
Tat kukruvants avis agram ā bhugat.[3]

Schleicher's German translation[edit]

[Das] schaf und [die] rosse

[Ein] schaf, [auf] welchem wolle nicht war (ein geschorenes schaf) sah rosse, das [einen] schweren wagen fahrend, das [eine] groſse last, das [einen] menschen schnell tragend. [Das] schaf sprach [zu den] rossen: [Das] herz wird beengt [in] mir (es thut mir herzlich leid), sehend [den] menschen [die] rosse treibend. [Die] rosse sprachen: Höre schaf, [das] herz wird beengt [in den] gesehen-habenden (es thut uns herzlich leid, da wir wissen): [der] mensch, [der] herr macht [die] wolle [der] schafe [zu einem] warmen kleide [für] sich und [den] schafen ist nicht wolle (die schafe aber haben keine wolle mehr, sie werden geschoren; es geht ihnen noch schlechter als den rossen). Dies gehört-habend bog (entwich) [das] schaf [auf das] feld (es machte sich aus dem staube).[3]

Hirt (1939)[edit]

Owis ek’wōses-kʷe

Owis, jesmin wьlənā ne ēst, dedork’e ek’wons, tom, woghom gʷьrum weghontm̥, tom, bhorom megam, tom, gh’ьmonm̥ ōk’u bherontm̥. Owis ek’womos ewьwekʷet: k’ērd aghnutai moi widontei gh’ьmonm̥ ek’wons ag’ontm̥. Ek’wōses ewьwekʷont: kl’udhi, owei!, k’ērd aghnutai vidontmos: gh’ьmo, potis, wьlənām owjôm kʷr̥neuti sebhoi ghʷermom westrom; owimos-kʷe wьlənā ne esti. Tod k’ek’ruwos owis ag’rom ebhuget.[4]

Lehmann and Zgusta (1979)[edit]

Owis eḱwōskʷe

Gʷərēi owis, kʷesjo wl̥hnā ne ēst, eḱwōns espeḱet, oinom ghe gʷr̥um woǵhom weǵhontm̥, oinomkʷe meǵam bhorom, oinomkʷe ǵhm̥enm̥ ōḱu bherontm̥. Owis nu eḱwobh(j)os (eḱwomos) ewewkʷet: "Ḱēr aghnutoi moi eḱwōns aǵontm̥ nerm̥ widn̥tei". Eḱwōs tu ewewkʷont: "Ḱludhi, owei, ḱēr ghe aghnutoi n̥smei widn̥tbh(j)os (widn̥tmos): nēr, potis, owiōm r̥ wl̥hnām sebhi gʷhermom westrom kʷrn̥euti. Neǵhi owiōm wl̥hnā esti". Tod ḱeḱluwōs owis aǵrom ebhuget.[5]

Danka (1986)[edit]

Owis ek’woi kʷe

Owis, jesmin wl̥nā ne ēst, dedork’e ek’wons woghom gʷr̥um weghontn̥s - bhorom meg'əm, monum ōk’u bherontn̥s. Owis ek’wobhos eweukʷet: K’erd aghnutai moi widn̥tei g’hm̥onm̥ ek’wons ag’ontm̥. Ek’woi eweukʷont: K’ludhi, owi, k’erd aghnutai dedr̥k'usbhos: monus potis wl̥nām owiōm temneti: sebhei ghʷermom westrom - owibhos kʷe wl̥nā ne esti. Tod k’ek’luwōs owis ag’rom ebhuget.[6]

Adams (1997)[edit]

H₂óu̯is h₁ék̂u̯ōs-kʷe

[Gʷr̥hₓḗi] h₂óu̯is, kʷési̯o u̯lh₂néh₄ ne (h₁é) est, h₁ék̂u̯ons spék̂et, h₁oinom ghe gʷr̥hₓúm u̯óĝhom u̯éĝhontm̥ h₁oinom-kʷe ĝ méĝhₐm bhórom, h₁oinom-kʷe ĝhménm̥ hₓṓk̂u bhérontm̥. h₂óu̯is tu h₁ek̂u̯oibh(i̯)os u̯eukʷét: 'k̂ḗr hₐeghnutór moi h₁ék̂u̯ons hₐéĝontm̥ hₐnérm̥ u̯idn̥téi. h₁ék̂u̯ōs tu u̯eukʷónt: 'k̂ludhí, h₂óu̯ei, k̂ḗr ghe hₐeghnutór n̥sméi u̯idn̥tbh(i̯)ós. hₐnḗr, pótis, h₂éu̯i̯om r̥ u̯l̥h₂néhₐm sebhi kʷr̥néuti nu gʷhérmom u̯éstrom néĝhi h₂éu̯i̯om u̯l̥h₂néhₐ h₁ésti.' Tód k̂ek̂luu̯ṓs h₂óu̯is hₐéĝrom bhugét.[7]

Kortlandt (2007)[edit]

ʕʷeuis ʔiḱ:ueskʷ:e

ʕʷeuis i ʕueli nēʔst ʔeḱ:ums uēit:, t:o kʷ’rʕeum uoḱom uḱent:m, t:o mḱ’eʕm porom, t:o tḱmenm ʔoʔḱ:u prent:m. uēuk:t ʕʷeuis ʔiḱ:uos, ʕetḱo ʔme ḱ:ērt ʕnerm uit’ent:i ʔeḱ:ums ʕḱ’ent:m. ueuk:nt: ʔiḱ:ues, ḱ:luti ʕʷue, ʕetḱo nsme ḱ:ērt: uit’ent:i, ʕnēr p:ot:is ʕʷuiom ʕueli sue kʷermom uesti kʷ:rneut:i, ʕʷuēi kʷ:e ʕueli neʔsti. t:o ḱ:eḱ:luus ʕʷeuis pleʕnom pēuk’t.[2]

Lühr (2008)[edit]

h₂ówis h₁ék’wōskʷe

h₂ówis, (H)jésmin h₂wlh₂néh₂ ne éh₁est, dedork’e (h₁)ék’wons, tóm, wóg’ʰom gʷérh₂um wég’ʰontm, tóm, bʰórom még’oh₂m, tóm, dʰg’ʰémonm h₂oHk’ú bʰérontm. h₂ówis (h₁)ék’wobʰos ewewkʷe(t): k’ḗrd h₂gʰnutoj moj widntéj dʰg’ʰmónm (h₁)ék’wons h₂ég’ontm. (h₁)ék’wōs ewewkʷ: k’ludʰí, h₂ówi! k’ḗrd h₂gʰnutoj widntbʰós: dʰg’ʰémō(n), pótis, h₂wlnéh₂m h₂ówjom kʷnewti sébʰoj gʷʰérmom wéstrom; h₂éwibʰoskʷe h₂wlh₂néh₂ né h₁esti. Tód k’ek’luwṓs h₂ówis h₂ég’rom ebʰuge(t).[8]

Voyles and Barrack (2009)[edit]

Owis eḱwōs kʷe

Owis, jāi wl̥nā ne eest, dedorḱe eḱwons, tom woǵʰom gʷr̥um weǵʰontm̥, tom bʰorom meǵm̥, tom ǵʰm̥onm̥ ōku bʰerontm̥. Owis eḱwobʰjos eweket: “Ḱerd angʰetai moi widontei ǵʰm̥onm̥ eḱwons aǵontm̥”. Eḱwos wewekur: “Ḱludʰe, owei! Ḱerd angʰetai widontbʰjos: ǵʰm̥on, potis, wl̥nam owijōm kʷr̥neti soi gʷʰermom westrom; owibʰjos kʷe wl̥nā ne esti”. Tod ḱeḱlōts owis aǵrom ebʰuget.[9]

Melchert (2009)[edit]

H₂ówis (h₁)ék̂wōs-kʷe

h₂áwej josméj h₂wl̥h₁náh₂ né h₁ést, só h₁ék̂woms derk̂t. só gʷr̥hₓúm wóĝhom wéĝhet; méĝh₂m̥ bhórom; só (dh)gĥémonm̥ h₂ṓk̂u bhéret. h₂ówis h₁ék̂wojbh(j)os wéwk(ʷ)et: (dh)ĝhémonm̥ spék̂joh₂ h₁ék̂ʷoms-kʷe h₂éĝeti, k̂ḗr moj aglmutór. h₁ék̂wōs tu wéwkʷont: k̂ludhí, h₂owei! tód spék̂jomes/n, n̥sméi aghnutór k̂ḗr: (dh)ĝhémō pótis sē h₂áwjōm h₂wl̥h₁nā́h₁ gʷhérmom wéstrom (h₁)wébht, h₂áwibh(j)os tu h₂wl̥h₁náh₂ né h₁ésti. tód k̂ek̂luwṓs h₂ówis h₂aĝróm bhugét.

Byrd (2013)[edit]

H₂óu̯is h₁éḱu̯ōs-kʷe

h₂áu̯ei̯ h₁i̯osméi̯ h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ né h₁ést, só h₁éḱu̯oms derḱt. só gʷr̥hₓúm u̯óǵʰom u̯eǵʰed; só méǵh₂m̥ bʰórom; só dʰǵʰémonm̥ h₂ṓḱu bʰered. h₂óu̯is h₁ékʷoi̯bʰi̯os u̯eu̯ked: “dʰǵʰémonm̥ spéḱi̯oh₂ h₁éḱu̯oms-kʷe h₂áǵeti, ḱḗr moi̯ agʰnutor”. h₁éḱu̯ōs tu u̯eu̯kond: “ḱludʰí, h₂ou̯ei̯! tód spéḱi̯omes, n̥sméi̯ agʰnutór ḱḗr: dʰǵʰémō, pótis, sē h₂áu̯i̯es h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ gʷʰérmom u̯éstrom u̯ept, h₂áu̯ibʰi̯os tu h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ né h₁esti. tód ḱeḱluu̯ṓs h₂óu̯is h₂aǵróm bʰuged.[10][11]

English translation[edit]

The Sheep and the Horses

[On a hill,] a sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses." The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool." Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.[12]

Notable differences[edit]

Some of the differences between the texts are just varying spelling conventions: w and , for example, are only different ways to indicate the same sound, a consonantal u. However, many other differences are to be explained by widely diverging views on the phonological and morphological systems of PIE.

Schleicher's reconstruction assumed that the o/e vocalism was secondary, and his version of PIE is much more closely based on Sanskrit than modern reconstructions.

Hirt introduced the o/e vocalism, syllabic resonants, labiovelars and palatalized velars.

Lehmann and Zgusta introduced a few alternative lexemes (the relative pronoun kʷesjo; the word nēr 'man'), and made some first steps into the direction of accepting laryngeals. Their text features an h (wl̥hnā) for what they seem to accept as a single laryngeal of PIE.

Adams was the first one to fully reflect the laryngeal theory in his version of the fable. Judging from the text, he seems to assume four different laryngeal phonemes. Consequently, Adam's text does not show long ā anymore.

Kortlandt's version is a radical deviation from the prior texts in a number of ways. First, he followed the glottalic theory, writing glottalic plosives with a following apostrophe (t’) and omitting aspirated voiced plosives. Second, he substitutes the abstract laryngeal signs with their supposed phonetic values: h1 = ʔ (glottal stop), h2 = ʕ (pharyngeal fricative), h3 = ʕʷ (pharyngeal fricative with lip rounding). Kortlandt also has a different opinion about ablaut grades in many verbal and nominal forms, compared to the other scholars.

In popular culture[edit]

PIE is used in a short dialogue between the human astronauts and an alien "Engineer" in Ridley Scott's movie Prometheus.[13] In an early scene, the android 'David' (played by Michael Fassbender) practices reciting Schleicher's fable to the interactive computer, in preparation for first contact with the "Engineers".[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ EXCURSUS : Une fable en indo-européen [COMPARAISON 23]
  2. ^ a b Kortlandt F. (2007). "For Bernard Comrie" (PDF). Frederik Kortlandt: Other electronic publications. Leiden: Leiden University, Department of comparative linguistics: www.kortlandt.nl. pp. [243e]. Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  3. ^ a b Schleicher A., Eine fabel in indogermanischer Ursprache. // Beiträge zur vergleichenden Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der arischen, celtischen und slawischen Sprachen. Fünfter Band. — Berlin: Ferd. Dümmlers Verlagsbuchhandlung. Harrwitz und Gossmann, 1868. — VI, 506 s. — SS. 206—208.
  4. ^ Hirt H., Die Hauptprobleme der indogermanischen Sprachwissenschaft. / Herausgegeben Und Bearbeitet Von Ahelmunt Arntz. — Halle/Saale: Max Niemeyer, 1939. — VII, 226 s. — (Sammlung kurzer Grammatiken germanischer Dialekte. B. Ergänzungsheft 4).
  5. ^ Lehmann W. P., Zgusta L., Schleicher’s tale after a century. // Studies in diachronic, synchronic, and typological linguistics: Festschrift for Oswald Szemerényi on the occasion of his 65th birthday. / Ed. by Bela Brogyanyi; [contrib. by Olga Akhmanova … et al.]. — Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 1979. — 2 dl.; XIV, 994 p. — PP. 455—466. — (Amsterdam studies in the theory and history of linguistic science. Series IV; Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, vol. 11. — ISSN 0304-0763). — ISBN 9-027235-04-X, ISBN 978-9-027235-04-6.
  6. ^ Danka I. R., Od zaczątku wiedzy o języku do rekonstrukcji języka indoeuropejskiego. // Międzynarodowa komunikacja językowa : materiały konferencyjne — VI. / Red. Tadeusz Ejsmont; tł. streszczeń Halina Ejsmont; Uniwersytet Łódzki. Zrzeszenie Studentów Polskich, Studenckie Koło Naukowe Esperantystów UŁ. — Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 1986. — SS. 44—61. — S. 59. — ISBN 8-370162-05-3, ISBN 978-8-370162-05-4
  7. ^ Adams D. Q., SCHLEICHER’S TALE. // Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. / Ed. by Mallory J. P., Adams D. Q. — London-Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. — XXXVII, 829 p. — PP. 500—503. — ISBN 1-884964-98-2, ISBN 978-1-884964-98-5.
  8. ^ Lühr R. (2008-01-09). "Von Berthold Delbrück bis Ferdinand Sommer: Die Herausbildung der Indogermanistik in Jena" (PDF). Vortrag im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung zur Geschichte der Altertumswissenschaften. Jena: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität: www.indogermanistik.uni-jena.de. pp. P. 4. Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  9. ^ Voyles J. B., Barrack C., An Introduction To Proto-Indo-European And The Early Indo-European Languages. — Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2009. — P. 31. — viii, 647 p. — ISBN 0-89357-342-3, ISBN 978-0-89357-342-3
  10. ^ Sheep And Horses
  11. ^ Is This How Our Ancestors Sounded? Linguist Recreates Proto-Indo-European Language (AUDIO) // The Huffington Post. — 09/28/2013 11:16.
  12. ^ Beekes R. S. P., Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An introduction. — 2nd ed. — Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamin’s Publishing Company, 2011. — xxiv, 415 p. — P. 287. — ISBN 9-02721-186-8, ISBN 978-9-02721-186-6.
  13. ^ "Proto-Indo-European in Prometheus?". Languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  14. ^ Stu Holmes, The Linguistics of Prometheus — What David Says to the Engineer. // THE BIOSCOPIST. thebioscopist.com. — JUNE 20, 2012
  15. ^ Quiles C., López-Menchero F., A Grammar Of Modern Indo-European: Language & Culture, Writing System & Phonology, Morphology And Syntax. Version 5.20 Prometheus (October 2012). — Prometheus ed. — Badajoz/Sevilla: Indo-European Language Association, 2012. — P. 8. — 546 p. — ISBN 1-4800-4976-X, ISBN 978-1-4800-4976-5

Bibliography[edit]

  • Arntz, Helmut (ed.), Hirt, Hermann: Die Hauptprobleme der indogermanischen Sprachwissenschaft. Niemeyer, Halle a.d. Saale 1939 (Sammlung kurzer Grammatiken germanischer Dialekte. B. Ergänzungsheft 4)
  • Kortlandt, Frederik. 2007. For Bernard Comrie.
  • Lehmann, W., and L. Zgusta. 1979. Schleicher's tale after a century. In Festschrift for Oswald Szemerényi on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, ed. B. Brogyanyi, 455–66. Amsterdam.
  • Lühr, Rosemarie Von Berthold Delbrück bis Ferdinand Sommer: Die Herausbildung der Indogermanistik in Jena
  • Mallory, J. P. and Adams, D. Q.: Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London, 1997. S. 500ff.
  • Schleicher, August: Fabel in indogermanischer Ursprache. In: Beiträge zur vergleichenden Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der arischen, celtischen und slawischen Sprachen. 5/1868. Dümmler, Berlin, S. 206-208

External links[edit]