ursprache (u̇ər shpräḵə)

Proto-Indo-European is the ursprache of the Indo-European family of languages. Diagram from www.german.about.com

Katharine Close spelled the word ursprache to win the 2006 National Spelling Bee. Ursprache means a parent language, especially one reconstructed from the evidence of later languages.  Ursprache comes from the German roots ur meaning original and sprache meaning language. ProtoIndo-European is the ursprache, or the parent language of Indo-European languages such as Latin, Greek, Hindi and a lot of other languages.

A lot of linguists believe that Proto-Indo-European was the ursprache* of Indo-European languages, but we actually don’t know what Proto-Indo-European sounded like. In the link below, a linguist at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Andrew Byrd, gives his best approximation of what our ancestors may have spoken thousands of years ago. When I listened to it, I was amazed that someone could recreate the language! Let me know what you think!

http://www.archaeology.org/exclusives/articles/1302-proto-indo-european-schleichers-fable

*I wrote about the word ursprache here: https://thewordexplorer.wordpress.com/?s=Ursprache