On the Indo-European worldview.

2015. №4, 60-90

Sergey Ju. Boroday
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 107031, Russia; sergey_boroday@inbox.ru


The core of Indo-European worldview is the metaphor of light. Birth is conceptualized as «coming into the light», life — as «an ability to see the sun». The world is viewed as «everything under the sun», and the sun is imagined as measure of its being. Divine is conceptualized as light, diurnal and celestial; the gods are situated on the sky. Poetry and cult are associated with the ideas of light and mystic vision. The central part of Indo-European proto-ontology is constituted by the notion of «truth» (*h1s-ont-/*h1s-ṇt-). Indo-European peoples understand truth as specific «genuine» state of being that has such qualities as order, firmness, goodness, embodied in different forms; truth also designates poetic word that should uncover genuine being of cosmos. Poetic practice of truth is a central event of rite and praising. It is necessary to understand the specificity of truth on the basis of specificity of Indo-European verb of being (*h1es-) that is used in imperfective aspect / present tense, as copula and existential verb with positive connotation. Semantic complex truth-being-openness-word-glory-light is the core of Indo-European worldview that makes it specific and different from other language worldviews (e. g. Australian languages, where the acoustic metaphor is widespread).