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Lecture | Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (CIEL) Seminars

Indo-European, Anatolian and the Secondary Products Revolution

Friday 14 February 2020
Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (CIEL) Seminars
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


During this lecture, we will discuss the Indo-European terminology relating to the so-called Secondary Products Revolution. The Secondary Products Revolution is a concept that describes the rise of the exploitation of animals for products that do not require killing the animal, like milk, wool and traction. Much of the spread of secondary product technology took place during the 4th millennium BCE, around the same time that most Indo-Europeanists would date Proto-Indo-European. Proto-Indo-European is usually reconstructed as having words for secondary products and for the associated technologies. It is remarkable, however, that while this Indo-European terminology is relatively well-preserved in most branches of Indo-European, it is represented quite poorly in the Anatolian languages. A possible explanation for this fact is that the Anatolian languages had split off from the rest of Proto-Indo-European before the introduction of most of the Indo-European secondary products terminology. This would tie in nicely with other linguistic evidence for an early split between Anatolian and the rest of Indo-European. The lecture will address the relevant Indo-European and Anatolian terminology, the associated archaeological facts and possible consequences for the question where and when Proto-Indo-European was spoken.

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