Lecture by Dr. Tijmen Pronk on Indo-European and Anatolian languages

Dr. Tijmen Pronk from the Institute for Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Leiden gave a highly exciting lecture on “Indo-European, Anatolian and the Secondary Products” at the invitation of the Luwian Studies Foundation and the Institute for Comparative Linguistics at the University of Zurich on January 31, 2020. The topic coincides perfectly with the foundation’s goal of researching the Middle and Late Bronze Age in western Asia Minor.

The so-called secondary product revolution describes the use of animals without killing them, for example by using milk, wool and animals for traction. This use largely spread in the 4th millennium BC, approximately simultaneously with the dispersal of speakers of Indo-European languages. Most languages of the Indo-European language branch therefore contain words for secondary products and their associated technologies. However, such terms are poorly represented in the Anatolian branch. The Anatolian languages may therefore have split off from Proto-Indo-European before the introduction of the secondary product terminology. Other linguistic evidence also indicates an early separation of the Anatolian branch from the rest of the Indo-European languages.

The lecture dealt with the relevant Indo-European and Anatolian terminology and addressed the related archaeological facts and possible consequences. Ultimately, it is always a question of where and when Proto-Indo-European was spoken.