Back when I took Sanskrit, our professor mentioned other related languages in the Indo-European language family, and my interest was piqued. I picked up a copy of Baldi’s book on IE languages, and one of the ones that came up that I had never heard of was Tocharian, a language with some documentary evidence in Central Asia. A guy from my class actually ended up taking Tocharian, masochist that he is. I always wanted to learn more, but was too lazy to do the painful linguistics paper reading until this essay came to my attention. It’s worth a skim, just to learn something about ancient Central Asia, a subject which is rarely dealt with in general history courses.

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