Emil HERSAK emil.hersak at
Tue Mar 11 00:08:36 UTC 1997

After all this discussion on Indo-Germanic vs. Indo-European or vice versa, unfortunately I finally could not resist adding a few words - so please excuse me if I am prolonging an already long debate.

First of all, if we could accept Indo-Germanic as a neutral term (and I am not entering the discussion as whether it is or not), the problem seems to be in its very logic. Combined forms such as Indo-Iranian (Indo-Iranic) or even Balto-Slavic are linguistically justified since they do refer to common, or presumable common phases between two language grouping. But in analogy, what about Indo-Germanic? Two extreme spatial ends of a language family? OK. But if "Indo-" is to be taken as a geographic term (to refer to the subcontinent), then the only logical western equivalent is "European", and nothing else. Likewise, this eliminates any  terminological confusion with linguistic constructions such as Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic, the Italo-Celtic theory, etc. However, I can accept criticism that I don't like Indo-Germanic because it eliminates from the picture my own "linguistic ancestors", who were most probably (East) European, but not Germanic, unless in a still very hypothetical Germano-Balto-Slavic stage (when Germanic was not yet Germanic). 

Emil Hersak,


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