William Jones wrote a book, ■→The Sanscrit Language, to tell that ■→Greek and ■→Latin had common roots with ■→Sanskrit, and there must have been a Proto-Indo-European language from which to derive human speech.
Mr. Jones learned Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and basic Chinese, says ■→Wikipedia to sum up that he knew 13 languages thoroughly, and another 28 reasonably well; in total, some 41 languages.
His Proto-Indo-European, PIE as a cookie in short, was to have given origin to European tongues as English or Polish.
Coming from the same source, the languages would have a PIE root vocabulary. Reasonably good knowledge of a language has words as woman, man, child, and house. Let us compare these words in English, Latin, Greek, Russian, Polish, German, French, and Sanskrit.
I do not know Sanskrit. I can only compare resources. The morpheme ■→–man, quoted by supporters of the PIE, yet refers to thinking and not to gender, whereas it is common lore that masculinity is not strictly synonymous with pensiveness.
Vir or andros, child or riebienok, woman or kobieta ― the words do not resemble one another, and they are the basic vocabulary that hardly ever changes and gets compared for language grouping. Groups can work better than “language families”, as those derive tongues one from another.
Polish and Russian could make a group. We may compare the words ■→muzshtschina and ■→mężczyzna. There is not much point deriving Polish from Russian or Russian from Polish, however. We can compare ■→riebienok and ■→dziecko, or ■→zshenshtschina and ■→kobieta.
It has been doubted if Sanskrit ever got to be spoken as a natural language, that is, as speech and writing acquired in childhood. Ancient Indian teachers might have made it of ■→Prakrits, to go apart from lower castes also in spoken and written behavior.
It would have been with regard to elite dowry and heirloom that Sanskrit introduced “children of men”, ■→nrpraja. To deny a child, a woman shouts “napraja”, in ■→Manu Smriti. We could not say, let us look for a common root with the PIE, because it must have been a beautiful culture.
As an idea to read and write, the Latin alphabet looks a work of genius in comparison with Far Eastern systems. A child may begin to tell between Latin characters at ages 2 or 3. Aged 5, he or she would tell between most letters. Benjamin Franklin wrote he did not really remember any time in life he could not read, as he learned on his own and began early. It is believable.
With ■→ideographic writing, people depend heavily on teachers. The Common Sense by Thomas Paine or USA Declaration of Independence never would have had the hold in an Eastern culture: too many people would not have been able to read them. Western cultures have made better progress in living standards and that owing to an alphabet to allow reading at a glimpse. Of course, the below is not a picture for such ability.
The Spoken Sanskrit word list here is disgraceful. The Sanskrit spelling would not tell between being alive, being able to move about, being of an opinion, or having a reason actually to do something.
Maybe ancient Indian lower caste troops received such teachings. Sacetanapraja was also to denote viviparous, in Sanskrit. Western cultures have made their better way owing to democratic ideas of equality as well.
Oldest does not mean wisest
I am not enthusiastic about ancient content generally. Quotient has always been more of an individual matter (also with intelligent people meeting up), and ancient living conditions or health standards were not better than today.
More, ■→proto-languages are man-made constructs for the sake of theoretical “families”, whereas natural languages do not provide any rationale for probabilistic forms of speech. Machine or otherwise built, a code is not a natural language, and word shapes are not forgotten cousins.
Evolutionary frameworks are more plausible: languages would have emerged on Earth in result of human cognitive progress. People shared knowledge, and similarities as domus or dom, as well as house or Haus evidence urban progress and contacts; they are not used in language grouping.
If to have Russian, Polish, English, or German for kindred, it would be by marriage. English has four verb ■→Aspects, the Simple, Progressive, Perfect, and Perfect Progressive. By grammatical standards as well, German, Russian, and Polish would have only the Simple or, some people would say, there are no Aspects.
Most translation will tell that German, Russian or Polish have three tenses, the present, past, or future. The word is really time, in all those languages: grammatikalische Zeit, грамматическое время, czas gramatyczny. English does have the grammatical time too, but the time is one. To talk about the present, past, or future, we choose a part in that grammatical time.
The difference shows the languages evolved independently. Vocabulary could only prove there has been contact between the cultures. Actually, the contact does not require proving. Trade routes and geographical neighborhoods remain a fact.
At the same time, all the languages show to be clever yet human inventions. Despite the differences, people have no problem translating the grammatical time between English, German, Russian, or Polish. Though human cognitive variables must have worked different in picturing the world and constructing grammars, these same human variables stay and allow translation. Let us compare English and Polish.
English: I’m reading.
Polish: Teraz czytam.
In Polish, an adverb tells the sense the Progressive Aspect brings in English.
In natural language, the context does part the work:
English: What are you doing? ~ Reading.
Though the adverb is not there in Polish, the sense is clear from context.
In another context, the same Polish form will tell the person always or usually reads. Should there be ambiguity, the adverb will show.
English: What do you do evenings? ~ I read.
Polish: Czytam (zazwyczaj, zwykle).
Sanskrit looks an artificial construct also because it multiplies verb forms as if to speak out of context. An ■→influence in Wikipedia betrays, the phrase verb tense is “a very inexact application”, as Sanskrit tells more distinctions than simply tense. Sanskrit tenses would be organized into four ‘systems’ as well as into gerunds and infinitives (?), along with creatures (?) as intensives & frequentatives, desideratives & causatives, and benedictives, based on different stem forms “derived from verbal roots”.
Eskimos have plenty of words for snow, but they have snowfall. Otherwise, things would be unwisely complicated. There is no need to have matters for more complex than the present, past, and future somehow to make a cognitive reality. Grammar does not need to do anything more than grammar.
The mixup of grammatical time and Aspect above, to mistake nouns and verbs as well, might have a purpose: to impose a pretense of superiority. I mean the people are certainly aware that living against gravity could not be good and cozy lifestyles on Earth.
“Our First Sanskrit Word” is a lesson online. The first “word” turns out to be,
The reader is offered an observation. “For one, the English version takes two words, but the Sanskrit needs just one. gacchāmi exists as a single word!”
To compare “another verb”, the reader is to look to gacchāmaḥ. It means We go. “Actually, these verbs are all complete Sanskrit sentences”, concludes the lesson.
Let me think about Polish. The 1st person present indicative singular of the verb to go, idę, gets compared for the plural, idziemy, and dual, dwoje z nas idzie. There is nothing really exotic about Sanskrit. The reader is yet to get the impression this very ancient language has a multitude of words that are more concise than English and only the very wise could comprehend them. The word shape “buddha” appears already in lesson 2, which is suggestive of indoctrination.
Generally, translations from Buddhist sources tend to expand phrases in English, as purportedly English would be inexact otherwise. Buddha is the Enlightened One, whereas the sense really is Awoken or even just Awoke, if to neglect differences between parts of speech.
Feel welcome to read the ■→Siddhartha’s rainbow: a Buddhist would say you are delusive to think you have a mind, the Awoke teaching to say the human self does not truly exist. The ■→historiosophy here would be that British was not the cruelest rule that Far East Indian people ever experienced.
Sanskrit might have been influenced
■→Marco Polo was not even probably the first visitor to the Far East. Let us think there is language A. Some people come around and adopt some grammar for verbs from A, even in a considerable extent. They do not refer to language A for everything, however. They already have a language, B.
The people who talk B make progress; they begin to come up with new words, and language A begins to adopt from language B: if we find a phrase or word in Sanskrit today, it does not mean the wording has been there since the beginning of time.
There is not even one language on Earth without borrowings from other tongues. The matter is never even touched upon for Sanskrit, with which regard Sanskrit teachers are delusive themselves: the thing will not go because you do not talk about it. Further, Sanskrit being a construct, the actual olden Indian variables for verb forms and time might have been preserved in a neighboring dialect.
Evidence and dating
Decent linguistic work requires evidence. The ■→Rosetta Stone was absolutely unique, yet it covered only ■→Ancient Egyptian ■→glypics and ■→demotics, along with some ■→Ancient Greek. It did not have etymologies.
The best source for comparative linguistic evidence in human history so far, the Rosetta Stone allowed translation, but not word derivation. There never was even a stone like the Rosetta, for “Indo-European” languages.
Rosetta ■→granodiorite does not allow carbon dating. Researchers have followed the dates as inscribed in the stone. Where possible, linguistic evidence should be ■→carbon-dated. There is no philological method to affirm on originality beyond evidence. Writings were copied in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and later, hand style and pen craft.
The ■→ Hidden Character Stone most probably got made in the 20th century. Scientists have been able to tell the age of the rock, but not the time of the markings. It remains unlikely for the Chinese Communist Party to have come from the 270 million years ago, Permian period.
There is no C14 for the Proto-Indo-European. A few researchers have claimed evidence, but their data are questioned for poor quality (■→Wikipedia, PIE history of research). Supporters of the “Proto-Indo-European family” have yet gone into making the ■→Proto-Indo-European religion. There is no PIE root for planet Earth and life.
It seems there was a pie rather than the the PIE, in the times of Mr. Jones, and that pie was ■→the Company rule in India. It began around 1500, and there was much rivalry.
Space 1999 would accurately show Proto-Sanskrit reading…