by Zachary Dodson
(July 7, 2014) — When University of Kentucky student Erica Mattingly enrolled in one of Andrew M. Byrd’s linguistics courses, she had no idea she would be rewriting history — or at least re-speaking it.
Byrd, assistant professor of linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and his students have drawn national attention for their groundbreaking work to reconstruct and understand prehistoric languages.
Byrd has devoted much of his research time translating the language known as Proto-Indo-European (PIE). The language is thought to have been first used over 7,000 years ago, with some suspecting it was spoken even earlier. Byrd’s work focuses on the sounds and structure of the PIE language, aiming to understand