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第1段

1 .<-NARRATOR:->Listen to part of a lecture in a linguistics class.

旁白:听下面一段语言学的课程。

第2段

1 .<-FEMALE PROFESSOR:->All right, so far we've been looking at some of the core areas of linguistics, like syntax, phonology, semantics.

教授:好的,一直到现在,我们的注意力都集中在语言学的核心领域,包括句法,音系,语义等。

2 .Um, and these are things that we can study by looking at one language at a time... how sounds, and words and sentences work in a given language.

一次只需要关注一门语言的领域,即语音、词汇和句子是如何在一门语言中协同工作的。

3 .But the branch of historical linguistics involves the comparison of several different languages, or the comparison of different stages of a single language.

但是,历史语言学与之前的教学内容有区别:它涉及到多种语言的共时比较,或者一门语言的历时发展研究。

4 .Now, if you're comparing different languages and you notice that they have a lot in common...

如果你们要比较好几门语言,你们会发现它们有很多共同之处。

5 .Maybe they have similar sounds, and words that correspond to one another- that have the same meaning- and that sound similar.

可能,它们有相同的语音,某些词汇之间有相同的意义和读音。

第3段

1 .Let's use a real-world example.

现在我们就用真实存在的语言来解释语言之间的联系吧!

2 .In the eighteenth century, scholars who had studied the ancient languages Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek, noticed that these three languages had many similarities.

18 世纪,在研究过闪米特语、拉丁语和古希腊语的古典语言的语言学家们,注意到这三种语言之间有特别多的联系。

3 .And there might be several reasons why languages, such as these, had so much in common.

而且,他们还提出几条理由来解释为何语言之间会有如此多的联系。

4 .Maybe it happened by chance... maybe one language was heavily influenced by, um, borrowed words from the other, or maybe, maybe the languages developed from the same source language, long ago.

可能这是机缘巧合,可能其中一种语言受到另一种语言很深程度的影响,可能一种语言从另一种语言中借来了很多东西。或者,这几种语言在很早以前是同一门语言。

5 .That is, maybe they're genetically related.

即它们在谱系上有相互关系。

6 .That was what happened with Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek.

而最后一种解释,就是闪族语、拉丁语与希腊语之间的联系。

7 .These languages had so many similarities that it was concluded that they must have all come from the same source.

这些语言之间额联系是如此之多,以至于学者们一致认为它们同出一源。

8 .And, talk about important discoveries in linguistics! This was certainly one of them.

当我们谈到语言学领域的重大进展时,无疑这就是其中一项。

9 .The scholars referred to that source language as Proto-Indo-European.

学者们把这三种源语言称为原始印欧语系。

第4段

1 .Proto-Indo-European is a reconstructed language.

它是一门经过构拟之后得出的语言。

2 .Meaning it's what linguists concluded a parent language of Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek would have to be like.

即它就是语言学家们构拟出来的、三门语言共同有的母语。正是因为它,三种语言才会变的如此相似。

3 .And Proto-Indo-European branched out into other languages, which evolved into others, so in the end, many languages spoken all over the world today can trace their ancestry back to one language, Proto-Indo-European, which was spoken several thousand years ago.

并且,原始印欧语系还和其他的语言之间相互交叉,而这些语言又和别的语言相联系;总之,现今世界上流行的许多语言之间都可以溯源到一个共同的母语。即原始印欧语,它的使用时间大概是几千年之前。

第5段

1 .Now, one way of representing the evolution of languages... showing the way languages are related to each other... is with the family tree model.

现今语言学界发展出一种标记语言进化,显示它们之间相互关系的方式,即语言家族谱系树。

2 .Like a family tree that you might use to trace back through generations of ancestors, only it's showing a family of genetically related languages instead of people.

它就像一张你可以用来追溯到数代人以前家谱图一样,它也可以告诉我们几门语言之间的相互关系。

第6段

1 .A tree model for a language family starts with one language, which we call a "mother" language.

这个模型的开端是一门共同的母语。

2 .For example, Proto-Indo-European...

譬如原始印欧语吧。

3 .The mother language is the line on the top of this diagram.

这个母语位于整个族谱的顶端。

4 .Over time, it branches off into new daughter languages. ...which branch into daughter languages of their own...

随着时间的演变,它分裂成为几种新的语言,分支到自己的子语言当中。

第7段

1 .And, languages that have the same source, the same mother, are called sisters; they share lots of characteristics.

这些语言有共同的来源,同样的母亲,我们称之为姊妹语,它们之间有许多共同特征。

2 .And this went on...until we're looking at a big, upside-down tree of languages like this.

这种分裂趋势不断演化,直到形成目前这张倒置的树图所展示的局面。

第8段

1 .It's incomplete, of course-just to give you an idea.

当然这张图是不完全的,只是给你们看一个大意。

2 .So, that's the family tree model, basically.

这就是树图的基本要领吧!

第9段

1 .Now, the tree model is a convenient way of representing the development of a language family and of showing how closely related two or more languages are.

谱系树图是一种很直观的展示方式,它明白地告诉我们同属于一个家族的语言是如何发展的,两种语言之间的关系紧密程度如何。

2 .But it's obviously very simplified.

但它明显是很简略的。

3 .Having a whole language represented by just one branch on the tree doesn't really do justice to all the variation within that language.

利用一个分支来表示一门语言,并不能表明它在演化中发生的全部变化。

4 .Y'know, Spanish that's spoken in Spain isn't exactly the same as the Spanish that's spoken in Mexico, for example.

同学们,你们想一想西班牙语的例子吧!欧洲西班牙人说的西班牙语,与墨西哥人说的西班牙语是不同的。

5 .Another issue is that languages evolve very gradually, but the tree model makes it look like they evolve overnight, like there was a distinct moment in time when a mother language cleanly broke off into daughter languages.

谱系图的另一个问题是,尽管事实上语言是渐变的,但是它展示出来的却是语言的变化都是一夜之间完成的,似乎存在一个显著的时间间隔,在此之前某几种语言属于同一种语言,在此之后它们就是独立的几种语言。

6 .But it seems to me it probably wasn't quite like that.

但这在我看来,事实并非如此。