Sorry about the hiatus; it’s both unexpected and unwelcome, but it so happens that right after the move, our new grandson decided to make his appearance a week early (which is great, mother and child are fine, but it meant we spent a lot of time babysitting the first grandson, which is also great, but it kept me away from my computer), and right after that, my 91-year-old mother-in-law had chest pains and had to go to the hospital, which is not so great—even though they couldn’t find anything wrong with her, it was a difficult experience—and last night she had chest pains again and was taken to a different hospital, and we were called at 4 AM, and… well, I’ll spare you the details (insert rant about state of U.S. health care here), but my wife and I haven’t had much sleep for the last week, and both we and the blog have suffered for it.

I’m taking a moment before we head back down to the hospital to let you know what’s going on (I thank you in advance for your good wishes) and to pass on a link (courtesy of the indefatigable gourmet etymologist MMcM) that gave me a much-needed chuckle, Dnghu:

The Dnghu (‘Language’) Association is an international, non-profit organization located in Europe, whose main mission is to promote the Indo-European language and culture. Its primary concerns today are developing the Modern Indo-European Grammatical System, to bring the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language to its full potential, and teaching it as a second language for all European Union citizens. Our long-term objectives are the adoption of Modern Indo-European by the European Union as its main official language, as well as the use of Indo-European as the main international auxiliary language, to overcome present-day communication barriers, derived from the cultural implications that arise from the use of English as lingua franca

The Dnghu Association is financed by a private Spanish education company, Biblos, and its work is supported by Extremadura University professors. The regional Government of Extremadura and other public economic agents have also supported the Dnghu projects’ present and future implementation.

The Dnghu Association will provide organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of projects based on the Indo-European language…

I don’t really know what to say about this touchingly absurd project, except that if I’d known back when I was struggling with my dissertation on the Indo-European verbal system that if I finished it and got the Ph.D. I might one day be in a position to get funding from the regional Government of Extremadura, well, things might have gone very differently!

I’ll write more when I can; till then, as Bob and Ray used to say, hang by your thumbs.


  1. SnowLeopard says

    They lost me at p. 13 of their “Grammar of Modern Indo-European”, where I found “Indo-European is already the grandmother of the majority of Europeans.” I stopped there, but their “modern grammar” reads a bit too much like a manifesto and too little like a practical guide on how to channel my grandmother.

  2. These guys are so whacky they might actually ‘speak the same language’ with those Bruxelles madmen.

  3. Hopeless naiveté has a kind of charmless appeal.
    Glad you are all coming through, congrats. I echo your rant about the System, inside and out.

  4. Er.. why?
    Why do you want to promote this language at all?
    What is the purpose?

  5. Sounds like a fiendish anti-Basque plot to me. Anyway, I’d rather they resurrected Pictish. Bit of a challenge, that.

  6. Best of luck to you and your family, hat.
    Back to the subject at hand: the wonderful wackiness of these people reminds me of our local Interlingua fanatics. In 1994, one of its most ardent proponents published a brief textbook of Interlingua entitled “Euro – a language for the united Europe” advocating the use of Interlingua as a common language for both EU institutions and citizens. The Dnghu foolks actually make his ideas look sane and even realistic by comparison.

  7. John Emerson says

    Bruxelles madmen — the Icelandic purism Bruxelles madmen? Or some other madmen?

  8. Mambo dogface to the banana patch.
    I think it’s a great idea. Silly. But great.

  9. That this idea was launched years after Finland, Estonia, Hungary joined the EU makes it even more absurd.
    And the idea of promoting “Indo-European culture” reminds one unpleasantly of John V. Day’s work, where Indo-European means “white” and “race-mixing” occurs at a society’s own peril.

  10. “They lost me at p. 13 of their “Grammar of Modern Indo-European”, where I found “Indo-European is already the grandmother of the majority of Europeans.””
    Presumably a problem in translation–‘grammar’ / ‘grandma’?

  11. I’d rather they resurrected Pictish.
    What, another boring Brythonic dialect? Break me a give, I’ll be satisfied with nothing short of Nostratic.
    As a matter of fact, what level of statistical confidence does the profession currently assign to the proposition that a single “Indo-European” ever existed?

  12. Good luck and regards to your family on your new arrival

  13. David Marjanović says

    Argh. Looking at the reconstructed conjugation system, I’d rather learn Hungarian. It’s easier to pronounce, too.
    And how do those morons suggest to pronounce the laryngeals? :-Þ

  14. They’re going with late PIE, so no laryngeals are involved. However, they recommend that the voiced aspirates be pronounced with breathy voice as in Hindi.

  15. Constant Reader says

    All best wishes to you and your family, O Hat.
    This reminds me of my long cherished project to reconstruct Proto-Central-European, working backward from Czech, Hungarian, Romani, and Romanian to the Mother Tongue.

  16. michael farris says

    I myself would like to reconstruct Proto-Caucasian, or maybe proto Basque-Tamil-Finnish…

  17. Best get-well wishes to your M-I-L.
    Yes this does sound like an odd idea.

  18. David Marjanović says

    They’re going with late PIE, so no laryngeals are involved.

    Ignorant question: How can there be such a thing, when the laryngeals developed differently in different daughter languages? After all, the laryngeals were first postulated before Hittite was deciphered.
    Regarding the voiced aspirates, bah. It was enough trouble for me to learn how to pronounce plain voiced stops!

    I myself would like to reconstruct Proto-Caucasian

    If by “Caucasian” you mean “North Caucasian”, rather than the purely areal grouping of Caucasian (“North Caucasian”) plus Kartvelian (“South Caucasian”; Georgian and 3 relatives), that has been done: Starostin and Nikolayev, 1994. Of course, the Caucasian consonant systems are so horrible that some Caucasianists reject the etymological dictionary by Starostin & Nikolayev wholesale. (Strikes me as Americanist pessimism, but I can’t judge that.)

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