Tracing the Roots of Indo-European Language: The Hittite Influence from the Armenian Highlands

The rich tapestry of language often holds clues to our ancient past, revealing the migrations and innovations of early civilizations. One of the most intriguing linguistic lineages can be traced back to the Hittite-speaking farmers from the Armenian Highlands, who, as new research suggests, have left an indelible mark on the very words we use for the most fundamental of concepts: black and white.

The Birthplace of Agriculture and Language

Around 9,500 years ago, these innovative farmers from the Armenian Highlands not only invented agriculture, forever changing human society, but also spread their language, and with it, the words that form the bedrock of the Indo-European language family. These pioneers of cultivation took with them more than seeds and farming techniques; they carried the roots of a language that would blossom across continents.

Dr. Russell Gray’s Linguistic Research

Dr. Russell Gray at the University of Auckland embarked on a comprehensive study, analyzing 2,449 words from an array of 87 languages. Through meticulous comparison, Dr. Gray constructed a linguistic family tree, mapping out the connections and origins of these diverse tongues. His groundbreaking research led to a striking conclusion: the original language spoken by the natives of the Armenian Highlands laid the foundation for the Indo-European languages.

The Hittite Influence and the Language Tree

The language of these ancient highlanders, a form of Hittite, gave us words such as “pahhur” (fire) and “pad” (foot), showing the direct lineage of our modern words. The language tree built by Dr. Gray offers a visual representation of how these words, and the language itself, fanned out like branches from their Hittite roots, taking hold in new soils as the farmers spread across Europe and Asia.

The Dawn of Indo-European Languages

According to Dr. Gray’s research, the birth of the Indo-European languages can be dated to around 7,500 BC. It was during this era that villagers speaking a form of Hittite would gather around the “pahhur” before venturing out on “pad” to share their language with the world. This period marks a significant epoch in human history, where the confluence of agricultural development and language expansion set the stage for future civilizations.

The study of language is much more than an academic pursuit; it is a journey into human history. The findings of Dr. Russell Gray and his exploration into the Indo-European words for black and white provide a remarkable window into the lives of the Hittite-speaking farmers who ventured forth from the Armenian Highlands. They remind us that the words we speak are not just tools of communication but are also the enduring legacy of those who walked before us, the echoes of their innovations, migrations, and the very fires they kindled under the starlit skies of ancient lands.


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