Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language

Written in Stone A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language Half the world s population speaks a language that has evolved from a single prehistoric mother tongue A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times on the steppes of central Eurasia years a

  • Title: Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language
  • Author: Christopher Stevens
  • ISBN: 9781605989075
  • Page: 275
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Half the world s population speaks a language that has evolved from a single, prehistoric mother tongue A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times, on the steppes of central Eurasia 6,500 years ago It was so effective that it flourished for two thousand years It was a language that spread from the shores of the Black Sea across almost all of Europe and much of AsiaHalf the world s population speaks a language that has evolved from a single, prehistoric mother tongue A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times, on the steppes of central Eurasia 6,500 years ago It was so effective that it flourished for two thousand years It was a language that spread from the shores of the Black Sea across almost all of Europe and much of Asia It is the genetic basis of everything we speak and write today the DNA of language.Written in Stone combines detective work, mythology, ancient history, archaeology, the roots of society, technology and warfare, and the sheer fascination of words to explore that original mother tongue, sketching the connections woven throughout the immense vocabulary of English with some surprising results.In snappy, lively and often very funny chapters, it uncovers the most influential and important words used by our Neolithic ancestors, and shows how they are still in constant use today the building blocks of all our most common words and phrases.

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      Christopher Stevens

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    One thought on “Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language

    1. This is not a popular science book on Proto Indo European language, as I hoped it would be Very little is said about how we know what we know about Proto Indo European and how historical linguistics works There is one sentence about Grimm s law well, maybe two sentences, but that s all The author begins from a short introduction about ancient Arian people and how their language had sprung out of onomatopoeic roots This is followed by an extra short overview of scientists who contributed to the P [...]

    2. Disappointing I was expecting a journalistic overview of linguistic reconstruction Nothing doing You get a pretty shallow introductory chapter full of unexamined assumptions and unchallenged assertions about the proto indo europeans and what they may or may not have been like Very problematic, by the way, which I will not go into here However, if you d like to have a reference around with a list of I E roots, I suppose this could work, but I d wait till it comes out in paperback There s probably [...]

    3. I think I was expecting something different from this book There was probably less fact and research in these pages, and opinion and conjecture And while I enjoyed some of this book, and found parts quite interesting, overall, it just wasn t my favourite investigation into the origins on language.

    4. I am always fascinated by the origins of language This book examines the evolution of Indo European, language that has underpinned many disparate languages throughout the world, identified by back engineering taking a modern concept and tracing it s evolution in reverse to arrive at the origin Origin comes down to us from Gn to beget, for instance it is involved in beginning, Genesis, genes, generate, homogeneous, genealogy etc In French we have gens, in Latin genus, in Greek gnosis Whatever com [...]

    5. I see this hasn t been loved by readers I admit, it s not exactly a read straight through book, but of a browse a few minutes at a time book And the author will walk a long ways to make a pun or funny wordplay And it s kind of like a drive by shooting method of explaining how our words are related to certain basic proto Indo European roots But I still liked it, and had a lot of fun reading and sharing We have a number of languages spoken by someone in the family and we found it lots of fun to t [...]

    6. Interesting topic but the book is mostly a relentless instant gratification list of random facts explaining little and annoyingly peppered with awkward jokes and pop culture references I m also surprised how the etymologies are presented as fact and without any caveats of being guesswork or there being any controversy around them.

    7. Interesting, without being particularly entertaining or enlightening It is not looking at recent origins to words, but rather trying to source everything back to a VERY ancient proto language And I think it s pretty speculative A lot of guessing going on Pretty dry, and NOT something you can read than a few pages at a time Pick it up and put it down But just ok.

    8. The search for the Mother Tongue has been going on for a long time.Babel is an attempt to explain the diversity of languages spoken by man Linguists and anthropologists have been especially intrigued by the subject.Indo European, the language addressed in Written In Stone, is not the one and only original language But it is one believed by many to be the root of most European languages, save for a few exceptions such as Basque.Stevens gives a brief history of the search for the origin of this la [...]

    9. Since when menas in Lithuanian is understanding The closest meaning to Latin mens probably is m stymas , so it s probably far complex than you think, where understanding supratimas or mind protas have somewhat different word roots with m stymas.And since when rabota Russian Ukrainian is forced labor It s still just labor.Memetics, unlike genetics, probably can t be reconstructed from information available today Not enough data, just some coincidences or several relicts.OK, despite those minor o [...]

    10. Full of incorrect folk etymologies.I stopped reading when Stevens claimed Ephesus derived from the old IE word for to suckle Reality It probably comes from the Greek ephesos, or overseer, though that may be folk etymology In any case, it does NOT come from where Stevens claims.

    11. Fascinating dip into the origins of modern languages Not a book to be read cover to cover but definitely worth browsing through Author has a nice dry wit that shows up here and there in the narrative Nice to find the linguistic origin of Darth Vader.

    12. Did you know that mal means bad And that small is actually a contraction of It s small, as in small animal right here not as good as bigger animal over there Now you learned one of the five interesting things in this book.

    13. Definitely fun to read in snippets an entry or two a day or so though his glib style would quickly grow tedious if you tried to read much than that in a single session it feels like a collection of quips, one liners and mnemonics which, I gather the author has also written than a coherent narrative Still,overall, worth it.

    14. This was an interesting, light weight read rather than an in depth look at Proto Indo European and was really suited to dipping in and out of than sitting down and reading from cover to cover An entertaining overview and not too scholarly at all.


    15. Kingdoms have risen and fallen in the time it took me to get through this book I too had the seemingly common misunderstanding that this book would be in some way informative about the construction and evolution of Indo European languages, instead of the anecdotal dictionary it actually was Perhaps that s my fault, but opportunities were severely missed.The author will go a long way to make a pun or a pop culture reference that still usually isn t funny when it s not entirely nonsensical readers [...]

    16. I was hoping for a book about the history of the Indo European languages and how they evolved the book instead talks about common roots of words among these languagesa dry book with some interesting facts here and there though these interesting points has nothing to do with the languages,,

    17. This is a delightful little book, and along the journey promised by the subtitle are many interesting detours and tangents But it s not something you want to read straight through in one sitting, or even in a dozen don t think of it as a history but rather as an encyclopedia, something to dip into one or two articles at a time Perfect bathroom reading I particularly enjoyed seeing how a single root turns into seemingly far flung words Indo European bhrag both fragile and osprey , and conversely, [...]

    18. Happy birthday to me from my BFF Kathy Taylor And what a great birthday gift it was Stevens presents a line up of the important paleolithic words as discovered through reverse linquistic and anthropological engineering The words, all single syllable, date back approximately 8,000 years were in use for approximately 4,000 years, and form the foundations of modern language Stevens does a good job of showing how the earliest words were morphed and adapted over the years to modern English he looks [...]

    19. Christopher Stevens s Written in Stone is a fascinating look at the Indo European basis of many words in the English language and many other languages No doubt many an etymologist has contributed years of research and syllables to Stevens s well written, interesting, at times humorous compilation This book, though, is one to have on the coffee table or in the bathroom it s much better read in small increments rather than trying to digest in large doses.If it seems at times like trying to read t [...]

    20. Fascinating to see how much further we have got in research in etymology since my college days We heard intimations of stone age vocabulary then, but this book shows, in a most entertaining way, how much of our present vocabulary has its roots in a language many thousands of year old A must read for anyone with an interest in the development of language I just wish it had included a bit on the Slavic versions of many of these words Germanic, Celtic, and Romance versions are all included.

    21. I can see that this book hasn t been loved by readers Probably because is not a read straight through book, but it is of a browse a few minutes at a time book It s kind of like a drive by shooting method of explaining how our words in English are related to certain basic proto Indo European roots Basically, this book is a handful of Indo European roots for each letter of the alphabet, then a list of some of the words primarily in English that derive from them A dictionary of sorts It can be fun [...]

    22. The book looks at a relatively limited number of Indo European roots, and shows or suggests how they lead to a wide variety of words in fact, almost all used in today s English and how they came to be through various roots Germanic, Latin, Greek, French etcQuite a fascinating topic, but the somewhat dictionary like setup of the book makes it a bit exhausting, even though the descriptions are mostly of a witty light hearted nature Recommended for a bathroom, I suppose

    23. This book is about words derived from the Indo European language It names root words and tells us what words are derived from the roots, mostly through Latin and Greek If you love to read about obscure words this is the book for you My only complaint is the author concentrated so much on the European he left out most of the Indian I would have liked to have been told how these Asian tongues relate to our own.

    24. Very interesting book for people interested in linguistics and language history Does not get particularly deep on any of it, but covers large swaths of the English language It think this would be great as a vocabulary builder since the focus is on ancient root words which shows how words are connected.

    25. A laundry list of words that have come down to us from the Indo Europeans on the Eurasian Stepper learners of English this would be engaging, but for English speakers it is often tedious Worth a look for amateur linguists Rating 3 out of 5 stars

    26. Whether you re a linguistics geek like me, or just like learning where words come from, you ll love this tour of the hundred or so most common words spoken during the Stone Age by our Indo European ancestors Written in a breezy non technical style with many surprises and laughs.

    27. If you like English, writing and words, this is a must read So entertaining No way I can cram it all in with one read.


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