Poetry

A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #77

Linguists have long realized that if they could establish the words that were shared across these vast distances – particularly by now well-separated languages – they might be able to reconstruct the world in which the original Proto-Indo-European language was spoken. This is the great paradox of language: words are the least substantial medium in which meaning can be formed, but they can preserve hints and suggestions of the ancient past when material remains scarcely can. Of course, languages evolve, but words that have been transmitted only by speech can nevertheless retain something in their core that is resistant to the erosions of time.

– from Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.