Proto Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Common Slavic


Languages; Area; Centum and satem branch; The structure of Proto Indo-European; Common Balto-Slavic features; The Structure of Common Slavic

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HW # 2 (due end of Week 2): Part 1: Go here and find five common Indo-European roots. Identify phonetic correspondences between Slavic and Germanic languages. Then, go to Vasmer's dictionary and identify correspondences between at least five Slavic languages in those five roots you have selected. If you have problems with downloading the pages, e-mail me at: and I will send you the materials; Part 2: Study the table of Indo-European Languages and read Indo-European roots to get a general idea about Proto Indo-European. Also, read the sections about Proto Indo-European, Balto Slavic and Common Slavic from either of your two textbooks.

Map Quiz - in class

Q # 1 (first 10 minutes of Week 3): Map quiz. You will be asked to identify IE families and Slavic Languages on a map.

Proto Indo-European (PIE)

Balto-Slavic (BS)

Click here to learn more about Lithuanian and its dialects. Click here to learn more about Latvian.

Common Slavic (CS)

  • Lasted from the dissintegration of the IE community at the end of the third millennium BC until 4-6th century AD, when today's Southern Slavs begun to move southwards

  • Homeland location disputed, most commonly in today's Belarus and NorthWest Ukraine: a rectangle delimited by the rivers of Bug (on the West), Priprjat (on the North), Don (on the East) and Middle Dnepr (on the South)

  • The following three branches of Slavic Languages have evolved from the CS:

    The present-day distribution of these languages is as follows (the map taken from

  • Main structural features of CS: vocalism simplified as compared to PIE (esp. monophtongization), quality is tied to quantity, consonantal oppositions are moving toward the front of mouth cavity, syllables have to be open, still rich inflection