back to article Going viral 9,500 years ago: 'English descended from ancient Turkey'

Linguiboffins have traced the origins of Indo-European languages to Turkey using the same methods developed to track bird flu, HIV and other viruses. "If you know how viruses are related to one another you can trace back through their ancestry and find out where they originated,” said lead researcher Dr Quentin Atkinson of the …

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  1. The Indomitable Gall

    Dubiety...

    I'm always a bit dubious when someone comes up with a theory that isn't supported by current evidence, and then finds another way of interpreting the data that "proves" exactly what they claimed before they had any real reason to believe their claims in the first place....

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch
      Pint

      Re: Dubiety...

      Gotta chime in here too. It sounds suspiciously like they're using phrenology to back up their claims :-)

      Seriously, though, it's all well and good pointing out similar linguistic constructs and then jumping to a conclusion, but a lot of this stuff might be coincidental or maybe a case of parallel development (why is the first day called "Sun" day and the second "Moon" day in so many languages, for example? I don't actually know--just throwing it out there). I'm all for clever theories but the problem with many linguistic theories is that they're not falsifiable. That being said, what's the point?

      Beer, since they seem to have run out of jynnan tonnyx.

      1. horse of a different colour
        Megaphone

        Re: Dubiety...

        The days of the week are named after what the medievals believed were the planets, or so I believe. It is more obvious if you use French rather than English.

        Monday - Lundi - Moon

        Tuesday - Mardi - Mars (Tiw's planet)

        Wednesday - Mercredi - Mercury (Woden's planet)

        Thursday - Jeudi - Jupiter (Thor's planet)

        Friday - Vendredi - Venus (Frige's planet)

        Saturday - Samedi - Saturn

        Sunday - Dimanche - Sun

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Coat

          days of week Re: Dubiety...

          Good thing the medievals named the days before the rest were discovered... the week would be three days longer (and you can guess how long the weekend would be), and we'd be in the middle of an extended argument about cutting a day, since Pluto had been demoted.

          Yes, that is an anachronisticly powerful telescope in my pocket.

        2. Paul Hampson 1
          Pint

          Re: Dubiety...

          As you said this works best in French.

          The English have Nordic Gods in the mix (Odin's Day-Wednesday; Thors' Day -Thursday; Frier's (Odin's wife) Day -Friday)

          BTW Dimanche is the lord's day and stem's from Domus (latin for lord) I believe.

          This is amazing that no real linguists have answered this thread.

          Also, it is interesting to add that Babel is supposed to have been in the Anatolia area so this may have a connection.

          1. Anonymous John

            Re:BTW Dimanche is the lord's day

            One of the Scottish Gaelic words for Sunday has the same meaning. The other translates as Sabbath. Which you use depends on your flavour of Christianity.

          2. Frumious Bandersnatch

            Re: Dubiety...

            This is amazing that no real linguists have answered this thread.

            Yeah, I was hoping for that, hence my tongue-in-cheek post about phrenology and so on. I'm still kind of curious about the names of the days of the week, and it would have been nice to have a linguist give an explanation. It's nice to know that many Europeans have a God/Sun day and a Moon day (along with other planetary namings), but that doesn't explain why Japan has (and apparently China had at one point) pretty much the same system. Is it actually a case of parallel evolution or did knowledge of the planets and the fashion of using them for naming the days spread via language?

            Another coincidence I've noticed between east/west is "-bury" in the UK at the end of place names and "-buri" at the end of place names in Thailand. Is it just coincidence or does it denote a common root language (Sanskrit/Indic languages)? Again, I have no idea, but it would be nice to know...

    2. itzman

      Re: Dubiety...

      actually this fits in with a picture I have been researching of early indo european civilisations. And I would not be surprised of it was broadly correct.

      there are vestiges of a pan european and N Indian culture from about that era - in similarities of speech and various artefacts - even music - not actual nations and races, but a culture of knowledge art and technology.

      In the same way that today Japan is remarkably similar to Europe, when compared to - say - Central Africa.

      So I wouldn't dismiss this out of hand. But I wouldn't either say it proves much about the actual movement of people.

    3. LarsG
      Meh

      If I'm Turkish

      Then I'm a flamin Dutchman.

      1. Bumpy Cat
        Headmaster

        Re: If I'm Turkish

        You're not Turkish. The Turks only arrived in Asia Minor about 1000 years ago. The area was inhabited before them by Greeks and Armenians, and before them by various peoples like the Cappadocians, Lydians etc.

        1. eulampios

          Re: If I'm Turkish

          And even some time later by Hittites, before Lydians.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dubiety...

      As I am both half English and half Northern German, with a smattering of Bavarian, Yorkshire, Notts and East Anglian, I don't tan, have blonde hair and blue eyes I doubt that I have any connection to Turkey having not even had a holiday there.

      My ancestors the Vikings were responsible for part of my linage, as we're the Teutonic Knights.

      I doubt it is possible for language to be used as a bench mark as language is so changeable and fluid. Nice try but no cigar.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Dubiety...

        For all you feeling so bad about being accused of having a turkey in the family three remember we are all African from the beginning. So just call your self African and get over it. The important thing to remember is that you are not American as the possibility for the Americans to reach the islands in those days is so remote.

    5. JimC

      Re: Dubiety...

      The trouble I always have with these pop science summaries is knowing what bits of the conclusions are really new and what aren't... The less hard science papers are sometimes easier because they seem to spend the first few paras trashing their predecessors. In this case the basics are what I understood to be very roughly the case anyway, but how much does the details vary from all the other detailed ideas there have been over the years? To me it seems there's no way of knowing unless you have good knowledge of the subject, in which case you're way beyond the pop sci summary anyway.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: what bits are new

        That's my feeling, too. Colin Renfrew was pushing this idea at least twenty years ago. Presumably the thing with this new paper is that they've somehow delivered the coup de grace to rival theories.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Interesting

    Can anyone lend me $20 so that I can read the full report?

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: Interesting

      Can anyone send me on a nice holiday fact-finding mission to Turkey so I can catch some sun check the evidence for myself?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I call...

    Quote of the Weak:

    "...traced languages such as English and German to Anatolia, [. . .] where they were first used about 8,000 to 9,500 years ago."

    ("Guten Tag, haben Sie hier schon Emmer oder essen Sie noch Wildgras?")

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I call...

      That's pretty much the technique.

      If the word for wild grass, horse, sky is similar in different languages, but the words for ocean,forest, snow etc are different then you can assume that they originated somewhere in central asia.

  4. Nightkiller
    WTF?

    This is news?

    Jared Diamond, in his book "The Third Chimpanzee" wrote about this in 1993-1994 and this was a "popularization" of the research available back then. Are these guys looking for a holiday in Turkey?

    1. SkippyBing

      Are these guys looking for a holiday in Turkey?

      Not if they've got any sense. Incidentally I have firm evidence that English is descended from the language of the Carib people and merely need a trivial amount of funding to finalise my research through some field work in their ancient homelands...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    9500 years from now when civilization begins to rediscover itself, the word "viral" will be traced back to You Tube. And the word "turkey" will be traced back to the person who coined the term viral.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or ...

      ... etymologists will be puzzled to find that 'turkey' traces back to the seemingly unrelated word 'metro'.

      1. JimmyPage
        Joke

        Re: or ...

        Maybe it's an anagram ? No reason to believe Microsoft are any good at them either ?

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          @JimmyPage

          You mean "morte"?

          -A.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many commentators have paid their $20

    How many commentators have paid their $20, or are their critiques merely based on the abstract & El Reg?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many commentators have paid their $20

      I would expect zero, and that's the problem with having to pay for the report.

      I went as far as the abstract and found that I needn't have bothered : the Reg article was much more informative.

      Much as I'd like to be more informed when entering the debate, $20 a shot is a bit too steep a price to pay.

    2. J 3

      Re: How many commentators have paid their $20

      Indeed... Anyway, in another, less lazy site I read earlier today a bit more of detail that could have helped assuage some of the commentards' anguish: the researchers tested the method in a more "obvious" case as a positive control, so to speak: they used it only on Latin languages to see what would be the chosen location, and the method spat out central Italy. From that they then assume that the method is working, which might be an overreach but I have no way to tell at the moment.

      Now I have to log into the university network to get the original paper and read it myself, to see if they are not pulling our collective legs. Anyway, using phylogenetic methods in linguistics is not news; actually, many of the original phenetic methods started in linguistics about a century ago and were then adapted to biological research.

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        @ J 3 (Romance languages as test case)

        The problem with using the evolution of Latin into the Romance languages is that:

        A) the model of language expansion is totally different -- the Roman Empire was aggressively expansionist, with a settled and well-defended centre.

        B) there has been no major invasion or new civilisation in the territories where Romance languages are still spoken.

        Meanwhile the Germanic tribes have migrated many many times and encountered several other civilisations (Celts, Romans, Slavs and other unknown extinct ones)

      2. Jtom

        Re: How many commentators have paid their $20

        Interesting. But of course if you plowed in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and a few other languages into that program, it would spit out the United States as the origin, since the US language is such a polyglot of all the other languages. It seems to me that would be true in the past of any locale that was at a cross-roads of trade, which is exactly what Turkey was (the Silk Route, where Europe and Asian trade routes met). All that would be required would be the advent of widespread trade at an earlier time than presently documented. If those who lived in the area adopted words from various languages, it could appear that they were the source, and the language spread from their.

  7. Joe User
    Holmes

    Alternate theory

    It was actually Turkish door-to-door salesmen. That accounts for the spreading of the language and the "genetic contribution".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternate theory

      Nice catch, Joe

      One thing about the Pontic steppe region, you never know who else they've been steppeing.

  8. DJ

    What we need here is a women's perspective...

    about those cunning linguists.

    Or would that be fallacious?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What we need here is a women's perspective...

      Not unless it's written with ph instead of letter f....

      1. SoaG

        Re: What we need here is a women's perspective...

        Either way, it's viral so be certain to isolate the control group before getting too deep into the research.

  9. Anonymous John

    Kurgan semi-nomadic pastoralists

    That's not my recollection from Highlander 1.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kurgan semi-nomadic pastoralists

      Although he did have something to say, as I recall.

  10. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Bleeding obvious!

    Where can I, as a Brit, get a Turkish Kebab on a Friday night???

    Oh, wait. It's Friday...I'll cut this drivel short, gotta nip over the road to the kebab shop...

  11. Alan Firminger

    Not quite

    English is the language we have now. It is mostly derived from French brought here by William the Bastard.

    Over fifty years I have challenged people to suggest a French word that is not represented somewhere in English and I haven't been beaten yet. Play here if you like.

    Old English was brought to the island by Saxons, it is present in our language as a few hundred words. I don't understand why we are so hung up about it. Perhaps because it gave us the name.

    Other languages have also contributed.

    Our only indigenous language is Welsh.

    1. Anonymous John

      Re: Not quite

      Merde?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Alan Firminger

        Merde

        Good one. Provisional score 0 -1 .

        I am off for the day. Anyone can propose, anyone can steal my fun and answer..

      3. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Not quite

        Merde.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/merde

        -A.

    2. Alister

      Re: Not quite

      >>Our only indigenous language is Welsh.

      This is not the case, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Manx and Scots and Irish Gaelic are all derived from the same origins, Celtic peoples who migrated from Eastern Europe.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Not quite

        Scots isn't part of the Celtic family of languages. It is very similar to English.

        1. Alister

          Re: Not quite

          @jonathanb

          >>Scots isn't part of the Celtic family of languages. It is very similar to English.

          I wrote "Scots and Irish Gaelic" not Scots (which wouldn't mean anything, anyway, if anything, Scottish is the brand of English spoken by Scots)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can we play with other languages ?

      "Schadenfreude" is my favourite word of all time, but has no single equivalent in English. Also the Germans have 2 different words for random, IIRC "zufall" and something else ....

    4. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Not quite

      cow, sheep, swine, table, coffer, arm breast, hand finger

      Oh, sorry you wanted French words. If you're going to claim "mostly derived from French" I think you have to try both ways. Germanic-derived words are probably far more common in everyday speech, especially the swearwords.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        @Allan George Dyer

        Er, table is a French word, of Latin origin.

        Still, loads of French words are Germanic in origin. All the ones starting with an aspirated H, for example. And the Normans were Vikings.

        -A.

    5. PJI

      Re: Not quite

      Nonsence. Of the 100 commonest everyday words, 70 or so are Anglo-Saxon. Most of the rest are Norse. then come lots of Norman French, Latin and Greek as well as German etc. of course the N. European languages are closely related and overlapping. The various Celtic languages are scarcely represented apart fro place names. Latin and Greek tend to be used in technical, scientific and legal contexts. But the basics, with grammar simplified as Saxon and Scandinavian invaders and settlers mixed, are not French. food and art are heavily French and Italian.

      USA English vocabulary and grammar are strongly influenced by their main immigrant sources, such as ex slaves, East Europe and Yiddish, Hispanic languages and German, resulting in tendencies to new speech patterns, intonation and words as all the immigrants adapt English to their familiar patterns, with a curious retention of some archaic English and Irish forms through separation until modern times.

      1. Anonymous John

        Re: Not quite

        There are a handful of English words from Gaelic.

        Bard, bog, brogue (shoe), cairn, crag, dune, galore, shanty, slogan, smashing!, trousers, and, whisky.

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch

          Re: Not quite

          Shenanigans galore smashing doors (via doire, for oak?) into smithereens with a shillelagh after drinking whisky and blathering on with a thick Irish brogue about seeing banshee and leprechauns.

    6. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Not quite

      OK, I'm playing. Souhaiter. Jouer.

      Or does it have to be nouns?

      -A.

    7. Paul Johnston
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not quite

      Er Pictish?

      1. Alan Firminger

        Re: Not quite

        Thank you all, I am grateful for the interest.

        All the references to common words passes me by, My interest is the dictionary. It is fact the common common words are there because for four hundred years England had two separate languages, the toffs spoke French and the lower orders spoke what we now call Old English, or Saxon. That is why English often has two words for the same object, one being the basic version and the other deluxe.

        I am grateful to the players, I don't allow shadenfreude as that is not French. For the rest well done, carve notches on the bed posts to record your triumphs. I hope it is apparent from the game that very many French words, in common usage the other side of the water, are with us.

        And I am struck that most of the two and three letter French words did not make it into English, like si, on, il, du ... . There is a clear reason but the result is striking.

      2. Anonymous John

        Re: Er Pictish?

        Pictish was an indigenous language, not "is".

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not quite

      So English got it's name from "Saxon?" English got its name from the Engle, or Angles. And they, with the Saxons and Jutes, bought over more than a "few hundred" words, I can assure you. I'm a linguist, and know these things. The Normans influence on English, which was speaken by the majority who the Normans lorded it over, wasn't as big as you make out. Latin words were already being introduced into Old English back in the seventh century.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not quite

        Not to mention the fact that my born and bred Yorkshire grandmother used "lak" for "play", which I then heard in Iceland.

        Apparently, the Vikings raped, pillaged and got so drunk they couldn't find their way home and ended up in Yorkshire.

    9. Joe User

      Re: Not quite

      > English is the language we have now. It is mostly derived from French brought here by William the Bastard.

      English is derived from French? Connerie!

      English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria.

      http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/English_language

      I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

    10. Tom 13

      Re: Not quite

      As I recall from my language classes way back when, Anglo-Saxon is still the base from which English derives and what gives us the rare characteristic of not having genders for our nouns. Apparently Anglo and Saxon were close enough in pronunciation that if you dropped the gender article from the word you could understand each other. French is the largest romantic language contributor at about 40%, but there's plenty of German, Spanish, and Italian thrown in.

  12. Euripides Pants
    Trollface

    Obligatory Four Lads reference

    Istanbul was Constantinople

    Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople

    Been a long time gone, Constantinople

    Why did Constantinople get the works?

    That's nobody's business but the Turks

  13. John Savard

    Hittites

    And it is a fact that the language of the Hittites was an Indo-European language, even though earlier studies claimed that, due to the nature of the common words for foodstuffs and trees and so on in modern Indo-European languages, they must all have descended from a language spoken by people living around modern-day Lithuanian.

    The Turks, who wandered in from Turkmenistan back in the Middle Ages, speak a language that is not Indo-European.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hittites

      You are making a similar mistake to those Turk fanatics who thinks everyone magically disappeared when they set foot in Anatolia.

      Their culture, language and believe or not, large parts of their religion merged with Turkish culture.

      As he had the power, Ataturk could easily state this fact. If things didn't go berserk thanks to Churchward and Maya etc. Junk, we would be talking about very interesting things today.

      Oh, lets not forget to state one thing. With the Islamic-fascist government who hunts Arabic history to find their Arabic descendants, don't expect any scientific breakthrough from Turkey about this anymore. Whatever you dig in Anatolia, you will find things which won't be fancied by 3 religions who holds the power.

      1. Paul Johnston

        Re: Hittites

        Hence Kurds are actually "Mountain Turks".

  14. Paul Renault

    A more important question, IMHO...

    Are the Linguiboffins Pastafarians?

  15. Richard Kettlewell

    It doesn’t seem particularly likely that a single paper is going to shift the views of large numbers of linguists on this point!

    (If anyone’s interested in more detail) a good recent presentation of the kurgan hypothesis is David Anthony’s _The Horse, The Wheel And Language_ (ISBN 0691058873); a (compressed) summary of the argument against the anatolian hypothesis is that the relationships between wheel-related words in IE languages indicate that PIE speakers had the wheel, and that this is inconsistent with the timeline of the anatolian hypothesis on archaeological grounds. The argument in favour of the steppe origin in particular is based on (according to my notes l-) farming-related vocabulary and relationships with other eurasian language groups.

    Colin Renfrew has a decent book holding the opposing view, though it’s getting on a bit now - I don’t know if there’s anything more recent.

  16. Bernard

    So I'm descended from an ancient turkey?

    I've been telling the wife for years that the double chin isn't my fault.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: So I'm descended from an ancient turkey?

      No, only the language.

      People don't seem to realise that the British Isles weren't so much "invaded" by the Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons and Normans as "taken over" by them. What were considered major battles at the time often consisted of just a single percentage of the land's actual population. What happened was that a band of thugs came over, beat up the resident thugs, and took over the reins of power, imposing their own cultural preferences on their subjects.

      The Ancient Britons spoke a language very similar, but not identical, to Welsh for the most part, although there would have been some very strong variations in accent and dialect even back then due to the lack of good communications. (Think of the difference between Geordie, Scouse, Brummie, etc. today. And those exist despite the invention of mechanised travel and both radio and TV.) Similarly, when the Romans "invaded" and usurped the land from the Ancient Britons, the Celtic cultures slowly faded away in favour of the Roman one.

      That does not mean millions of Italians came to England and kicked all the locals into Wales. Instead, the cultural changes spread organically throughout the land—in part, because running water, underfloor heating, sewage and other infrastructure, and very lucrative trade, were a major step up from the cold, muddy, Celtic stockaded villages full of hovels they replaced.

      The locals simply compared what they had with the new options made available to them and decided to trade up.

      The Welsh and Scottish Highlands proved a major obstacle to the Romans and so saw very little Roman influence, which is how the Celtic culture remained in that neck of the woods. The Romans didn't bother invading Ireland at all. The Romans never entirely conquered the south-west of England either.

      Modern Welsh is not the same language as old Welsh. It includes some influences from the later invaders of England, including a number of adapted loan words, but it does retains the Celtic base-20 counting system that didn't disappear entirely from the English language until well into the 18th Century. ("Four score and seven years ago...") Modern French still retains that component, hence their bizarre counting system. ("Quattre-vingt-dix" for "90". In Belgium and Canada, they just say "novante". In Italian, it's "novanta".)

      When the Romans left, the power vacuum led to the rise of Angle and Saxon influence from what is now northern Germany. The feudal system meant that all the commoners saw was a change of ownership at the local manor or castle. Naturally, the newcomers imposed their own cultural values on the natives.

      And then came the French Vikings in 1066. Old French is the source of most of English's Latin influences. Old English was basically a dialect of Frisian up to that point. Italian itself didn't really enter the picture until the Renaissance era, but that only really affected some arts and crafts rather than embedding itself right into the heart of the language. It was a brief Victorian fad for all things Latin that changed "fall" into "autumn". Italy didn't even exist as a single country back then.

      (Incidentally, the common military term for a "war game" right up until WW1 was "kriegspiel". The British Royal Family is German and there was a very strong pro-German culture up to that time as a result. The Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family changed its name to "Windsor" in 1917 due to the anti-German propaganda of the time.)

      "Sabato"—literally "Sabbath"—is the Italian word for Saturday today. But "Saturday" itself derives from "Saturn's Day" and came from the Normans. (Italians use "Domenica" instead of "Sunday", which is another word derived from the country's most famous religion: It translates approximately to "Day of Our Lord" and shares the same root as "Domini".)

      The above shows just how far Christianity influenced the Italian language. (The Papal States had a lot to do with it.) But that religion clearly didn't impose similar changes beyond the Italian peninsula. Instead, early Christian missionaries preferred to adapt to the existing customs, so the old Norse weekday names remained.

      And that's just one tiny aspect of how languages change over time. It's a very, very complex subject.

      1. PJI

        Re: So I'm descended from an ancient turkey?

        The Danelaw was not insignificant. Over half of modern England was under Viking control and extensive settlement with Danish kings such as Knut. York was a very important Viking city. So English was heavily marked e.g. "Th" words and much grammar, Geordie and Cumbrian., Manx parliament.

        Language tends to adapt to the dominant culture, even in computing. Look at the sad effect of American media on English or even German For centuries the ruling class spoke Norman French, the courts and church used Latin and French and the rest spoke 'English'. The English before the conquest was more or less mutually intelligible with the speech of Scandinavia, Netherlands, N Germany and so on. Even now with some effort you should get the gist of written Dutch or Norwegian. The sounds have moved rather apart as with all dialects and the differing spelling conventions confuse things further.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: So I'm descended from an ancient turkey?

        Ah thanks that explains no gobble gobble....

  17. dharmaseal
    Trollface

    And before then...

    Out of Africa?

  18. virhunter

    The Indo-European Urheimat is always changing

    One day it's some obscure part of Kazakhstan, the next it's Lithuania, Ukraine, and now Turkey. Maybe in a few years they will say the languages all come from China.

    And, @ LarsG and the half English and half Northern German Anon:

    It doesn't make you ethnically Turkish, even though your ancestors may very well have come from the area now known as Turkey. Mass migrations are very common in history and in some isolated places you can find the people who either did not migrate or did not blend in with the natives.

    I spent a summer a few years ago in Morocco and passed through a Berber village between Tangier and Fez. There were a lot of blonds and gingers there, but not a single one of them understood anything but their own language and just enough Arabic to sell me a bottle of water. There are quite a few theories on how there are people who look like that in North Africa, even in places untouched by Europeans in the past 1,000 years, most involving Celtic tribes or one of those -goth groups that landed there in the Roman era.

    Maybe you should plan a holiday Turkey. You might find a 5,000th cousin 4,000 times removed.

  19. RegGuy1 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Best El Reg thread...

    ... I've read in a long time.

  20. Andrew Turvey
    Thumb Up

    Interesting fact

    Ironic, therefore, that Turkey is one of only three countries in Europe (the others being Estonia and Hungary) which doesn't have an official language that is part of the Indo-European language family.

    I suggest they demonstrate their pride in being the birthplace of Indo-European by declaring Kurdish an official language!

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Hang on....

    So it's now English descended from ancient Turkey and everyone else descended from ancient monkey......right?

    Should I give up voting for Christmas?

  22. Pan.

    Correct title should be on Minor Asia, Turkey or modern states names have nothing to do with the actual area where the common anchenstor of HindoEuropean was born.

    The geographic location of what was ancient turkey was very much very different from modern turkey. Until 1922 Asia Minor was a mix of civilisations and people, Turkish, Kurdish, Greek, Armenian, etc. From the 1922 exchange of populations (nice way to refer to organised ethnic cleansing) only Asia Minor (modern Turkey) is ethnically Turk.

    Also should be again noted that Turkish themselves are not a HindoEuropean Language but a Altaic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_language

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's them told

    Next time Dr Atkinson and his team want to make research based claims they will hopefully check with The Register's commenters first to ensure they've made no mistakes.

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