Linguists subscribe to the belief that the languages of about one-third of the human race all developed from one Indo-European language.

But who were the speakers of this ancient language ?

Linguistic detective work offers some clues: you can deduce a people's history from the words they use.

Study of some fifty ancient vocabularies has led to a reconstruction of the lifestyle of the first Indo-Europeans,a vanished people.

From the words they used, it seems likely that they lived a half-settled, half-nomadic existence.

They worshipped gods who are clear ancestors of Indian, Mediterranean, and Celtic deities.

However, exactly who the original Indo-Europeans were and when they lived remain a hotly debated mystery.

According to an early theory, they lived in Mesopotamia, but this idea was exploded by nineteenth-century archaeology.

Today, some argue for the Krugan culture of the Russian steppes, others for the farming culture of the Danube valley.

The most widely accepted theory locates the Indo-Europeans in a cold, northern climate where common words for snow and wolf were important.

None of these prehistoric languages had a word for the sea. From this, and from our knowledge of nature,

it is clear that the Indo-Europeans must have lived somewhere in northern central Europe.


Linguists   n.
1. 語言學者
2. 通曉數種外語的人


subscribe to

1. 同意;支持
2. 對...捐款

belief  n.
1. 相信;信任,信賴[U][S][(+in)][+(that)]
2. 信念,看法[U][S][+(that)]
3. 信仰[C][(+in)]
4. 信條,教義[C]

ancient  a.
1. 古代的
2. 古老的;古舊的,舊的
3. 年老的,高齡的
4. 自古以來的
5. 【口】過時的
1. 老人,年高德劭者
2. 古代人[the P]

deduce  vt.
1. 演繹,推論[(+from)][+that]
2. 追溯

vocabulary  n.
1. 字彙; 語彙; 用字範圍[C][U]
2. 單字集; 字典[C]

reconstruction  n.
1. 重建,再建;再現,復原[U]
2. 重建物;復原物[C]

vanish  vi.
1. 突然不見;消失
2. 消逝;絕跡
1. 使不見;使消失
1. 【語】消失音[C]

nomadic  a.
1. 遊牧的
2. 流浪的

worship  n.[U]
1. 崇拜;敬仰;敬神
2. 禮拜,禮拜儀式
3. 【英】(用作尊稱)閣下
4. 【古】聲望
1. 崇拜;敬重;愛慕
2. 信奉
1. 敬神,拜神
2. 做禮拜


Mediterranean  n.
1. 地中海
1. 地中海的
2. (m-)被陸地包圍的
3. (m-)內陸的

Celtic  a.
1. 凱爾特族的;凱爾特語的
1. 凱爾特人;凱爾特語

  1. n. (名詞 noun)
    1. 塞爾特語 屬印歐語系,包括愛爾蘭語、蘇格蘭蓋立語、威爾斯語、不列顛語等,根據語言特徵又分為布列吞語和戈伊德爾語兩大分支

  2. adj. (形容詞 adjective)
    1. 塞爾特人的;塞爾特語的;塞爾特文化的
    Celtic literature

deity  n.
1. 神;女神[C]
2. 神性;神的地位(或身分)[U]
3. (大寫)上帝[the S]

debated  n.
1. 辯論,討論,爭論[U][S1]
2. 辯論會[C]
1. 辯論,討論,爭論[+wh-]
2. 與...辯論
3. 思考,盤算[+wh-]
1. 辯論,討論,爭論
2. 參加辯論
3. 思考[(+with)]

Mesopotamia  n.
1. 美索不達米亞

archaeology  n.
1. 考古學

steppes  n.
1. 乾草原;俄羅斯大草原

Danube  n.
1. 多瑙河

valley  n.[C]
1. 山谷;溪谷
2. 流域
3. 低凹處
4. 【建】屋谷,屋頂排水溝

exploded  vt.
1. 使爆炸;使爆發;使突發
2. 推翻;駁倒;戳穿[H]
3. 【語】發爆破音
1. 爆炸;爆破
2. 爆發,突發,迸發[(+in/into/with)]
3. 激增,迅速擴大

What is this passage mainly about?
The intellectual climate of the Indo-Europeans
A study of prehistoric lifestyles
A search for ancient Indo-Europeans
Prehistoric ways of living

According to the passage, what does the underlined word “exploded" mean?
Disproved Burst Arranged Destroyed

Disproved   vt.
1. 證明...是虛假的;反駁

  1. vt. (及物動詞 transitive verb)
    1. 爆,爆炸,爆破;爆裂;爆發,迸發;破除(迷信等),推翻(學說,理論等)
  2. 2. [古] 把(演員、歌手)轟下台




According to the passage, who might have created the Krugan culture?
the original Indo-Europeans
A tribe of Celtic origin
A farming people in ancient Mesopotamia
A tribe that led a settle life


According to the passage, what kind of study plays a major part in helping us understand the history of the Indo-Europeans?
A study of prehistoric plants
A study of prehistoric deities
A study of prehistoric climate
A study of prehistoric languages


According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?
None of the prehistoric languages studied had a word for sea.
About two-thirds of human languages stemmed from Latin.
The Indo-Europeans did not worship their gods and goddesses.
There was an explosion in ancient Mesopotamia.


C  A A  D  A


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