The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World

The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World

3.98 (67 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This book introduces Proto-Indo-European and explores what the language reveals about the people who spoke it. The Proto-Indo-Europeans lived somewhere in Europe or Asia between 5,500 and 8,000 years ago, and no text of their language survives. J. P. Mallory and Douglas Adams show how over the last two centuries scholars have reconstructed it from its descendant languages, the surviving examples of which comprise the world's largest language family. After a concise
account of Proto-Indo-European grammar and a consideration of its discovery, they use the reconstructed language and related evidence from archaeology and natural history to examine the lives, thoughts, passions, culture, society, economy, history, and environment of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Our
distant ancestors had used the wheel, were settled arable farmers, kept sheep and cattle, brewed beer, got married, made weapons, and had 27 verbs for the expression of strife. The subjects to which the authors devote chapters include fauna, flora, family and kinship, clothing and textiles, food and drink, space and time, emotions, mythology, religion, and the continuing quest to discover the Proto-Indo-European homeland.

Proto-Indo-European-English and English-Proto-Indo-European vocabularies and full indexes conclude the book. Written in a clear, readable style and illustrated with maps, figures, and tables, this book is on a subject of great and enduring fascination. It will appeal to students of languages, classics, and the ancient world, as well as to general readers interested in the history of language and of early human societies.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 760 pages
  • 170 x 245 x 39mm | 1,229g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Numerous tables
  • 0199296685
  • 9780199296682
  • 80,199

Table of contents

List of Maps ; List of Figures ; List of Tables ; List of Abbreviations and Acronyms ; Introduction: How to Use This Book ; 1. Discovery ; 2. The Elements ; 3. Reconstructing Proto-Indo-European ; 4. The System ; 5. Relationships ; 6. A Place in Time ; 7. Reconstructing the Proto-Indo-Europeans ; 8. The Physical World ; 9. Indo-European Fauna ; 10. Indo-European Flora ; 11. Anatomy ; 12. Family and Kinship ; 13. Hearth and Home ; 14. Clothing and Textiles ; 15. Material Culture ; 16. Food and Drink ; 17. Society ; 18. Space and Time ; 19. Number and Quantity ; 20. Mind, Emotions and Sense Perception ; 21. Speech and Sound ; 22. Activities ; 23. Religion ; 24. Grammatical Categories ; 25. Comparative Mythology ; 26. Origins - The Never-ending Tale ; Basic Sound Correspondences Between PIE and the Major IE Groups ; A Proto-Indo-European-English Word-List ; An English-Proto-Indo-European Word-List ; References ; Index of Languages ; Index of Subjects and Places
show more

Review Text

All chapters are well written and indeed the pleasingly readable style of the whole book must be applauded. Linguist List
show more

Review quote

All chapters are well written and indeed the pleasingly readable style of the whole book must be applauded. * Linguist List *
show more

About J. P. Mallory

J. P. Mallory is Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Queen's University of Belfast. He holds a PhD in Indo-European Studies (1975) from the University of California. His books include In Search of the Indo-Europeans (1989) and, with Victor Mair, The Tarim Mummies: The Mystery of the First Westerners in Ancient China (2000). He is currently the editor of the Journal of Indo-European Studies and was elected to the Royal Irish Academy
in 1996.

D. Q. Adams is Professor of English at the University of Idaho. He holds a PhD in Linguistics (1972) from the University of Chicago (1972). His published work includes An Introduction to Tocharian Historical Morphology (1988), A Dictionary of Tocharian B (1999), and numerous articles on Indo-European and especially Tocharian topics.

J. P. Mallory and D. Q. Adams are the co-editors of the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (1997).
show more

Rating details

67 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 34% (23)
4 40% (27)
3 18% (12)
2 4% (3)
1 3% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X