Re: Indo-European Studies

Gerold Firl (
7 Jul 1995 16:17:02 -0700

In article <> (H. M. Hubey) writes:

>For some strange reason it seems to be Indo-European speakers who
>seem to think that they possessed something which others allegedly
>did not. For example, Russians called Germans nyemtsi (mute) because
>they did not speak Russian. Greeks called others barbarian. Even in
>Iran in modern times we find them callling a Turkish tribe Farsi-madan
>(those who don't know Farsi). For some strange reason these people
>thought themselves center of the universe, or their language to be
>some kind of a divine gift (which nobody else had) or else like many
>really primitive people did not know that others existed.

This seems to be pretty common. I believe the name "cheyanne" is derived
from the name used by the dakota sioux, meaning "they don't know how to
speak". The cheyanne had a different name for themselves, which meant

Ethnocentrism is not unique to indo-europeans. It seems to have been
something of a necessity, in fact, in a time when many cultures have gone
extinct. A robust sense of identity, and beyond that, superiority, can keep
a culture together after a lost war or devastating plague or famine.

Without their ethnocentrism the jews would have disappeared long ago. The
same could be said for virtually every tribe on earth.

>I keep thinking that the best place for this in Inner Asia someplace
>from which they burst forth and reached Europe, Iran, India and further
>east all around the same time.

The homeland of the IE peoples is still debated. It seems likely to have
been somewhere on the open grasslands between hungary and lake baikal;
whether it was a restricted subset of this vast expanse, or even the entire
length and breadth of the eurasian steppes, is still unknown.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf