L'indo-européen n'est pas un mythe

Abstract : The commercially successful book by archaeologist Jean-Paul Demoule (Seuil, 2014) casts doubt on the existence of an ancestral language of the Indo-European family on the ground of criticisms directed at Indo-European linguistics, and at historical linguistics in general. We show here that these criticisms are based on a biased documentation, and that they contain numerous errors and misinterpretations, of which we present a selection. We examine the potential alternatives to the idea of an ancestral language : pidginization, creolization, interactions within a Sprachbund, formation of mixed languages through prolonged mutual contact, and show that all fail to account for the verbal, nominal and pronominal inflections common to the various branches of the family. Finally, we reject the equation between Indo-European linguistics and racist ideologies. We reaffirm the scientific and non-ideological nature of Indo-European historical linguistics.
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Thomas Pellard, Laurent Sagart, Guillaume Jacques. L'indo-européen n'est pas un mythe. Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris, Peeters Publishers, 2018, 113 (1), pp.79−102. ⟨10.2143/BSL.113.1.3285465⟩. ⟨hal-01871582⟩

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