QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: It is likely that the people who spoke Proto-Indo-European lived in a cold climate and were isolated from ocean or sea.
REASONING: We can learn about the living conditions of a vanished culture by examining their language. The Proto-Indo-Europeans had no word for sea but had words for winter, snow and wolf.
ANALYSIS: Languages sometimes lack words for important concepts. English doesn’t have a word for “Schadenfreude.” We had to borrow it from the Germans. But everyone recognizes the feeling when the word is explained.
- This is tempting but it could just mean that the Proto-Indo-Europeans lived near a lake or river but not a sea or ocean.
- CORRECT. They could have lived by the sea but simply lacked a word for it even though it was prominent.
- We’re talking about an ancient language and not modern languages. Also, if no languages lack a word for sea then it’s even more unusual that the Proto-Indo-Europeans didn’t have one.
- This could just mean that they knew how to make fires. It doesn’t mean they didn’t live in a cold climate.
- Nomads can move around entirely within the same region. If the nomads occasionally lived by the sea they would probably have a word for it.
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