There are no direct records of the original Indo-European speech. By comparing the vocabularies of its various descendants, however, it is possible to reconstruct the basic Indo-European roots with considerable confidence. In The Origins of English Words, Shipley catalogues these proposed roots and follows the often devious, always fascinating, process by which some of their offshoots have grown.
Anecdotal, eclectic, and always enthusiastic, The Origins of English Words is a diverting expedition beyond linguistics into literature, history, folklore, anthropology, philosophy, and science.
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