Nautilus

The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years

The word lox was one of the clues that eventually led linguists to discover who the Proto-Indo-Europeans were, and where they lived.Photograph by Helen Cook / Flickr

ne of my favorite words is ,” says Gregory Guy, a professor of linguistics at New York University. There is hardly a more quintessential New York food than a lox bagel—a century-old popular appetizing store, Russ & Daughters, it “The Classic.” But Guy, who has lived in the city for the past 18 years, is passionate about lox for a different reason. “The pronunciation in the Proto-Indo-European was probably ‘lox,’ and that’s exactly how it is pronounced in modern English,” he says. “Then, it meant salmon, and now it specifically means ‘smoked salmon.’ It’s really cool that that word hasn’t changed its pronunciation at all in 8,000

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Mai multe de la Nautilus

Nautilus11 min citite
Why a Universal Society Is Unattainable: Our minds evolved in an Us-vs-Them universe of our own making.
On Jan. 1, 2021, five long years after the vote for what’s become known as Brexit, and numerous marches before and after that national decision, some of which attracted more than 100,000 impassioned participants, Great Britain formally severed its ne
Nautilus4 min cititeBiology
We Didn’t Evolve for This: A lesson from the animal kingdom on why COVID-19 is so deadly to humans.
When a Weddell seal, native to Antarctica, plummets 400 meters beneath the ice on one of its hour-long dives, an ensemble of adaptations come together to keep it alive. The seal’s heart rate slows. At this pace, it will burn through its deep reserve
Nautilus6 min cititeChemistry
A Breakthrough in Measuring the Building Blocks of Nature
In a recent experiment done at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, in Germany, physicist Alexey Grinin and his colleagues came a step closer to resolving one of the more significant puzzles to have arisen in particle physics over the past de