Indo-European languages

The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects.[2]

There are about 445 living Indo-European languages, according to the estimate by Ethnologue, with over two thirds (313) of them belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch.[3] The Indo-European languages with the greatest numbers of native speakers are Spanish, English, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), Portuguese, Bengali, Punjabi, and Russian, each with over 100 million speakers, with German, French, Marathi, Italian, and Persian also having more than 50 million. Today, nearly 42% of the human population (3.2 billion) speaks an Indo-European language as a first language, by far the highest of any language family.

The Indo-European family includes most of the modern languages of Europe; notable exceptions include Hungarian, Turkish, Finnish, Estonian, Basque, Maltese, and Sami. The Indo-European family is also represented in Asia with the exception of East and Southeast Asia. It was predominant in ancient Anatolia (present-day Turkey), the ancient Tarim Basin (present-day Northwest China) and most of Central Asia until the medieval Turkic and Mongol invasions. Outside Eurasia, Indo-European languages are dominant in the Americas and much of Oceania and Africa, having reached there during the Age of Discovery and later periods. Indo-European languages are also most commonly present as minority languages or second languages in countries where other families are dominant.

With written evidence appearing since the Bronze Age in the form of the Anatolian languages and Mycenaean Greek, the Indo-European family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the second-longest recorded history, after the Afroasiatic family, although certain language isolates, such as Sumerian, Elamite, Hurrian, Hattian, and Kassite are recorded earlier.

All Indo-European languages are descendants of a single prehistoric language, reconstructed as Proto-Indo-European, spoken sometime in the Neolithic era. Although no written records remain, aspects of the culture and religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans can also be reconstructed from the related cultures of ancient and modern Indo-European speakers who continue to live in areas to where the Proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from their original homeland. Several disputed proposals link Indo-European to other major language families. Although they are written in Semitic Old Assyrian, the Hittite loanwords and names found in the Kültepe texts are the oldest record of any Indo-European language.[4]

During the nineteenth century, the linguistic concept of Indo-European languages was frequently used interchangeably with the racial concepts of Aryan and Japhetite.[5]

Indo-European
Geographic
distribution
Originally parts of Asia and large parts of Europe, now worldwide Native speakers: c. 3.2 billion
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
Proto-languageProto-Indo-European
Subdivisions
ISO 639-2 / 5ine
Glottologindo1319[1]
{{{mapalt}}}
Present-day native distribution of Indo-European languages, within their homeland of Eurasia: (Latvian and Lithuanian)
  Celtic
  Non-Indo-European languages
Dotted/striped areas indicate where multilingualism is common

History of Indo-European linguistics

In the 16th century, European visitors to the Indian subcontinent began to notice similarities among Indo-Aryan, Iranian, and European languages. In 1583, English Jesuit missionary and Konkani scholar Thomas Stephens wrote a letter from Goa to his brother (not published until the 20th century)[6] in which he noted similarities between Indian languages and Greek and Latin.

Another account was made by Filippo Sassetti, a merchant born in Florence in 1540, who travelled to the Indian subcontinent. Writing in 1585, he noted some word similarities between Sanskrit and Italian (these included devaḥ/dio "God", sarpaḥ/serpe "serpent", sapta/sette "seven", aṣṭa/otto "eight", and nava/nove "nine").[6] However, neither Stephens' nor Sassetti's observations led to further scholarly inquiry.[6]

In 1647, Dutch linguist and scholar Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn noted the similarity among certain Asian and European languages and theorized that they were derived from a primitive common language which he called Scythian.[7] He included in his hypothesis Dutch, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Persian, and German, later adding Slavic, Celtic, and Baltic languages. However, Van Boxhorn's suggestions did not become widely known and did not stimulate further research.

Franz Bopp - Imagines philologorum
Franz Bopp, pioneer in the field of comparative linguistic studies.

Ottoman Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi visited Vienna in 1665–1666 as part of a diplomatic mission and noted a few similarities between words in German and in Persian. Gaston Coeurdoux and others made observations of the same type. Coeurdoux made a thorough comparison of Sanskrit, Latin and Greek conjugations in the late 1760s to suggest a relationship among them. Meanwhile, Mikhail Lomonosov compared different language groups, including Slavic, Baltic ("Kurlandic"), Iranian ("Medic"), Finnish, Chinese, "Hottentot" (Khoekhoe), and others, noting that related languages (including Latin, Greek, German and Russian) must have separated in antiquity from common ancestors.[8]

The hypothesis reappeared in 1786 when Sir William Jones first lectured on the striking similarities among three of the oldest languages known in his time: Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, to which he tentatively added Gothic, Celtic, and Persian,[9] though his classification contained some inaccuracies and omissions.[10] In one of the most famous quotations in linguistics, Jones made the following prescient statement in a lecture to the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1786, conjecturing the existence of an earlier ancestor language, which he called "a common source" but did not name:

The Sanscrit [sic] language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.[note 1]

Thomas Young first used the term Indo-European in 1813, deriving from the geographical extremes of the language family: from Western Europe to North India.[12][13] A synonym is Indo-Germanic (Idg. or IdG.), specifying the family's southeasternmost and northwesternmost branches. This first appeared in French (indo-germanique) in 1810 in the work of Conrad Malte-Brun; in most languages this term is now dated or less common than Indo-European, although in German indogermanisch remains the standard scientific term. A number of other synonymous terms have also been used.

Franz Bopp wrote in 1816 On the conjugational system of the Sanskrit language compared with that of Greek, Latin, Persian and Germanic[14] and between 1833 and 1852 he wrote Comparative Grammar. This marks the beginning of Indo-European studies as an academic discipline. The classical phase of Indo-European comparative linguistics leads from this work to August Schleicher's 1861 Compendium and up to Karl Brugmann's Grundriss, published in the 1880s. Brugmann's neogrammarian reevaluation of the field and Ferdinand de Saussure's development of the laryngeal theory may be considered the beginning of "modern" Indo-European studies. The generation of Indo-Europeanists active in the last third of the 20th century (such as Calvert Watkins, Jochem Schindler, and Helmut Rix) developed a better understanding of morphology and of ablaut in the wake of Kuryłowicz's 1956 Apophony in Indo-European, who in 1927 pointed out the existence of the Hittite consonant ḫ.[15] Kuryłowicz's discovery supported Ferdinand de Saussure's 1879 proposal of the existence of coefficients sonantiques, elements de Saussure reconstructed to account for vowel length alternations in Indo-European languages. This led to the so-called laryngeal theory, a major step forward in Indo-European linguistics and a confirmation of de Saussure's theory.

Classification

The various subgroups of the Indo-European language family include ten major branches, listed below in alphabetical order

In addition to the classical ten branches listed above, several extinct and little-known languages and language-groups have existed:

  • Cimmerian: possibly Iranic, Thracian, or Celtic
  • Dacian: possibly very close to Thracian
  • Illyrian: possibly related to Albanian, Messapian, or both
  • Liburnian: doubtful affiliation, features shared with Venetic, Illyrian, and Indo-Hittite, significant transition of the Pre-Indo-European elements
  • Ligurian – possibly close to or part of Celtic.[26]
  • Lusitanian: possibly related to (or part of) Celtic, Ligurian, or Italic
  • Ancient Macedonian: proposed relationship to Greek.
  • Messapian: not conclusively deciphered
  • Paionian: extinct language once spoken north of Macedon
  • Phrygian: language of the ancient Phrygians
  • Sicel: an ancient language spoken by the Sicels (Greek Sikeloi, Latin Siculi), one of the three indigenous (i.e. pre-Greek and pre-Punic) tribes of Sicily. Proposed relationship to Latin or proto-Illyrian (Pre-Indo-European) at an earlier stage.[27]
  • Sorothaptic: proposed, pre-Celtic, Iberian language
  • Thracian: possibly including Dacian
  • Venetic: shares several similarities with Latin and the Italic languages, but also has some affinities with other IE languages, especially Germanic and Celtic.[28][29]

Grouping

IndoEuropeanTree
Indo-European family tree in order of first attestation

Membership of languages in the Indo-European language family is determined by genealogical relationships, meaning that all members are presumed descendants of a common ancestor, Proto-Indo-European. Membership in the various branches, groups and subgroups of Indo-European is also genealogical, but here the defining factors are shared innovations among various languages, suggesting a common ancestor that split off from other Indo-European groups. For example, what makes the Germanic languages a branch of Indo-European is that much of their structure and phonology can be stated in rules that apply to all of them. Many of their common features are presumed innovations that took place in Proto-Germanic, the source of all the Germanic languages.

Tree versus wave model

The "tree model" is considered an appropriate representation of the genealogical history of a language family if communities do not remain in contact after their languages have started to diverge. In this case, subgroups defined by shared innovations form a nested pattern. The tree model is not appropriate in cases where languages remain in contact as they diversify; in such cases subgroups may overlap, and the "wave model" is a more accurate representation.[30] Most approaches to Indo-European subgrouping to date have assumed that the tree model is by-and-large valid for Indo-European;[31] however, there is also a long tradition of wave-model approaches.[32][33][34]

In addition to genealogical changes, many of the early changes in Indo-European languages can be attributed to language contact. It has been asserted, for example, that many of the more striking features shared by Italic languages (Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, etc.) might well be areal features. More certainly, very similar-looking alterations in the systems of long vowels in the West Germanic languages greatly postdate any possible notion of a proto-language innovation (and cannot readily be regarded as "areal", either, because English and continental West Germanic were not a linguistic area). In a similar vein, there are many similar innovations in Germanic and Balto-Slavic that are far more likely areal features than traceable to a common proto-language, such as the uniform development of a high vowel (*u in the case of Germanic, *i/u in the case of Baltic and Slavic) before the PIE syllabic resonants *ṛ,* ḷ, *ṃ, *ṇ, unique to these two groups among IE languages, which is in agreement with the wave model. The Balkan sprachbund even features areal convergence among members of very different branches.

An extension to the Ringe-Warnow model of language evolution, suggests that early IE had featured limited contact between distinct lineages, with only the Germanic subfamily exhibiting a less treelike behaviour as it acquired some characteristics from neighbours early in its evolution. The internal diversification of especially West Germanic is cited to have been radically non-treelike.[35]

Proposed subgroupings

Specialists have postulated the existence of higher-order subgroups such as Italo-Celtic, Graeco-Armenian, Graeco-Aryan or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, and Balto-Slavo-Germanic. However, unlike the ten traditional branches, these are all controversial to a greater or lesser degree.[36]

The Italo-Celtic subgroup was at one point uncontroversial, considered by Antoine Meillet to be even better established than Balto-Slavic.[37] The main lines of evidence included the genitive suffix ; the superlative suffix -m̥mo; the change of /p/ to /kʷ/ before another /kʷ/ in the same word (as in penkʷe > *kʷenkʷe > Latin quīnque, Old Irish cóic); and the subjunctive morpheme -ā-.[38] This evidence was prominently challenged by Calvert Watkins;[39] while Michael Weiss has argued for the subgroup.[40]

Evidence for a relationship between Greek and Armenian includes the regular change of the second laryngeal to a at the beginnings of words, as well as terms for "woman" and "sheep".[41] Greek and Indo-Iranian share innovations mainly in verbal morphology and patterns of nominal derivation.[42] Relations have also been proposed between Phrygian and Greek,[43] and between Thracian and Armenian.[44][45] Some fundamental shared features, like the aorist (a verb form denoting action without reference to duration or completion) having the perfect active particle -s fixed to the stem, link this group closer to Anatolian languages[46] and Tocharian. Shared features with Balto-Slavic languages, on the other hand (especially present and preterit formations), might be due to later contacts.[47]

The Indo-Hittite hypothesis proposes that the Indo-European language family consists of two main branches: one represented by the Anatolian languages and another branch encompassing all other Indo-European languages. Features that separate Anatolian from all other branches of Indo-European (such as the gender or the verb system) have been interpreted alternately as archaic debris or as innovations due to prolonged isolation. Points proffered in favour of the Indo-Hittite hypothesis are the (non-universal) Indo-European agricultural terminology in Anatolia[48] and the preservation of laryngeals.[49] However, in general this hypothesis is considered to attribute too much weight to the Anatolian evidence. According to another view, the Anatolian subgroup left the Indo-European parent language comparatively late, approximately at the same time as Indo-Iranian and later than the Greek or Armenian divisions. A third view, especially prevalent in the so-called French school of Indo-European studies, holds that extant similarities in non-satem languages in general—including Anatolian—might be due to their peripheral location in the Indo-European language-area and to early separation, rather than indicating a special ancestral relationship.[50] Hans J. Holm, based on lexical calculations, arrives at a picture roughly replicating the general scholarly opinion and refuting the Indo-Hittite hypothesis.[51]

Satem and centum languages

Indo-European isoglosses
Some significant isoglosses in Indo-European daughter languages at around 500 BC.
  Blue: centum languages
  Red: satem languages
  Orange: languages with augment
  Green: languages with PIE *-tt- > -ss-
  Tan: languages with PIE *-tt- > -st-
  Pink: languages with instrumental, dative and ablative plural endings (and some others) in *-m- rather than *-bh-

The division of the Indo-European languages into satem and centum groups was put forward by Peter von Bradke in 1890, although Karl Brugmann had proposed a similar type of division in 1886. In the satem languages, which include the Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian branches, as well as (in most respects) Albanian and Armenian, the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European palatovelars remained distinct and were fricativized, while the labiovelars merged with the "plain velars". In the centum languages, the palatovelars merged with the plain velars, while the labiovelars remained distinct. The results of these alternative developments are exemplified by the words for "hundred" in Avestan (satem) and Latin (centum)—the initial palatovelar developed into a fricative [s] in the former, but became an ordinary velar [k] in the latter.

Rather than being a genealogical separation, the centum–satem division is commonly seen as resulting from innovative changes that spread across PIE dialect-branches over a particular geographical area; the centum–satem isogloss intersects a number of other isoglosses that mark distinctions between features in the early IE branches. It may be that the centum branches in fact reflect the original state of affairs in PIE, and only the satem branches shared a set of innovations, which affected all but the peripheral areas of the PIE dialect continuum.[52] Kortlandt proposes that the ancestors of Balts and Slavs took part in satemization before being drawn later into the western Indo-European sphere.[53]

Suggested macrofamilies

Some linguists propose that Indo-European languages form part of one of several hypothetical macrofamilies. However, these theories remain highly controversial, not being accepted by most linguists in the field. Some of the smaller proposed macrofamilies include:

Other, greater proposed families including Indo-European languages, include:

Objections to such groupings are not based on any theoretical claim about the likely historical existence or non-existence of such macrofamilies; it is entirely reasonable to suppose that they might have existed. The serious difficulty lies in identifying the details of actual relationships between language families, because it is very hard to find concrete evidence that transcends chance resemblance, or is not equally likely explained as being due to borrowing (including Wanderwörter, which can travel very long distances). Because the signal-to-noise ratio in historical linguistics declines steadily over time, at great enough time-depths it becomes open to reasonable doubt that one can even distinguish between signal and noise.

Evolution

Proto-Indo-European

IE expansion
Scheme of Indo-European migrations from ca. 4000 to 1000 BC according to the Kurgan hypothesis.

The proposed Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. From the 1960s, knowledge of Anatolian became certain enough to establish its relationship to PIE. Using the method of internal reconstruction an earlier stage, called Pre-Proto-Indo-European, has been proposed.

PIE was an inflected language, in which the grammatical relationships between words were signaled through inflectional morphemes (usually endings). The roots of PIE are basic morphemes carrying a lexical meaning. By addition of suffixes, they form stems, and by addition of endings, these form grammatically inflected words (nouns or verbs). The reconstructed Indo-European verb system is complex and, like the noun, exhibits a system of ablaut.

Diversification

Indo-european - kurgan - 4000 BC - map

IE languages c. 4000 BC

Indo-european language - yamna-culture - 3000 BC - map

IE languages c. 3000 BC

Indo-european languages - expansion 2000 BC - map

IE languages c. 2000 BC

Indo-european - languages - evolution - 500 BC - map

IE languages c. 500 BC

IE5500BP

IE languages c. 3500 BC

IE4500BP

IE languages c. 2500 BC

IE3500BP

IE languages c. 1500 BC

IE1500BP

IE languages c. 500 AD

The diversification of the parent language into the attested branches of daughter languages is historically unattested. The timeline of the evolution of the various daughter languages, on the other hand, is mostly undisputed, quite regardless of the question of Indo-European origins.

Using a mathematical analysis borrowed from evolutionary biology, Don Ringe and Tandy Warnow propose the following evolutionary tree of Indo-European branches:[54]

  • Pre-Anatolian (before 3500 BC)
  • Pre-Tocharian
  • Pre-Italic and Pre-Celtic (before 2500 BC)
  • Pre-Armenian and Pre-Greek (after 2500 BC)
  • Proto-Indo-Iranian (2000 BC)
  • Pre-Germanic and Pre-Balto-Slavic;[54] proto-Germanic c. 500 BC[55]

David Anthony proposes the following sequence:[56]

  • Pre-Anatolian (4200 BC)
  • Pre-Tocharian (3700 BC)
  • Pre-Germanic (3300 BC)
  • Pre-Italic and Pre-Celtic (3000 BC)
  • Pre-Armenian (2800 BC)
  • Pre-Balto-Slavic (2800 BC)
  • Pre-Greek (2500 BC)
  • Proto-Indo-Iranian (2200 BC); split between Iranian and Old Indic 1800 BC

From 1500 BC the following sequence may be given:

Important languages for reconstruction

In reconstructing the history of the Indo-European languages and the form of the Proto-Indo-European language, some languages have been of particular importance. These generally include the ancient Indo-European languages that are both well-attested and documented at an early date, although some languages from later periods are important if they are particularly linguistically conservative (most notably, Lithuanian). Early poetry is of special significance because of the rigid poetic meter normally employed, which makes it possible to reconstruct a number of features (e.g. vowel length) that were either unwritten or corrupted in the process of transmission down to the earliest extant written manuscripts.

Most noticeable of all:[58]

  • Vedic Sanskrit (c. 1500–500 BC). This language is unique in that its source documents were all composed orally, and were passed down through oral tradition (shakha schools) for c. 2,000 years before ever being written down. The oldest documents are all in poetic form; oldest and most important of all is the Rigveda (c. 1500 BC).
  • Ancient Greek (c. 750–400 BC). Mycenaean Greek (c. 1450 BC) is the oldest recorded form, but its value is lessened by the limited material, restricted subject matter, and highly ambiguous writing system. More important is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems (the Iliad and the Odyssey, c. 750 BC).
  • Hittite (c. 1700–1200 BC). This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, and highly divergent from the others due to the early separation of the Anatolian languages from the remainder. It possesses some highly archaic features found only fragmentarily, if at all, in other languages. At the same time, however, it appears to have undergone a large number of early phonological and grammatical changes which, combined with the ambiguities of its writing system, hinder its usefulness somewhat.

Other primary sources:

Other secondary sources, of lesser value due to poor attestation:

Other secondary sources, of lesser value due to extensive phonological changes and relatively limited attestation:[59]

  • Old Irish (c. 700–850 AD).
  • Tocharian (c. 500–800 AD), underwent large phonetic shifts and mergers in the proto-language, and has an almost entirely reworked declension system.
  • Classical Armenian (c. 400–100 AD).
  • Albanian (c. 1450–current time).

Sound changes

As the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language broke up, its sound system diverged as well, changing according to various sound laws evidenced in the daughter languages.

PIE is normally reconstructed with a complex system of 15 stop consonants, including an unusual three-way phonation (voicing) distinction between voiceless, voiced and "voiced aspirated" (i.e. breathy voiced) stops, and a three-way distinction among velar consonants (k-type sounds) between "palatal" ḱ ǵ ǵh, "plain velar" k g gh and labiovelar kʷ gʷ gʷh. (The correctness of the terms palatal and plain velar is disputed; see Proto-Indo-European phonology.) All daughter languages have reduced the number of distinctions among these sounds, often in divergent ways.

As an example, in English, one of the Germanic languages, the following are some of the major changes that happened:

  1. As in other centum languages, the "plain velar" and "palatal" stops merged, reducing the number of stops from 15 to 12.
  2. As in the other Germanic languages, the Germanic sound shift changed the realization of all stop consonants, with each consonant shifting to a different one:
    bpf
    dtθ
    gkx (Later initial xh)
    gʷʰ (Later initial )

    Each original consonant shifted one position to the right. For example, original became d, while original d became t and original t became θ (written th in English). This is the original source of the English sounds written f, th, h and wh. Examples, comparing English with Latin, where the sounds largely remain unshifted:

    For PIE p: piscis vs. fish; pēs, pēdis vs. foot; pluvium "rain" vs. flow; pater vs. father
    For PIE t: trēs vs. three; māter vs. mother
    For PIE d: decem vs. ten; pēdis vs. foot; quid vs. what
    For PIE k: centum vs. hund(red); capere "to take" vs. have
    For PIE : quid vs. what; quandō vs. when
  3. Various further changes affected consonants in the middle or end of a word:
    • The voiced stops resulting from the sound shift were softened to voiced fricatives (or perhaps the sound shift directly generated fricatives in these positions).
    • Verner's law also turned some of the voiceless fricatives resulting from the sound shift into voiced fricatives or stops. This is why the t in Latin centum ends up as d in hund(red) rather than the expected th.
    • Most remaining h sounds disappeared, while remaining f and th became voiced. For example, Latin decem ends up as ten with no h in the middle (but note taíhun "ten" in Gothic, an archaic Germanic language). Similarly, the words seven and have have a voiced v (compare Latin septem, capere), while father and mother have a voiced th, although not spelled differently (compare Latin pater, māter).

None of the daughter-language families (except possibly Anatolian, particularly Luvian) reflect the plain velar stops differently from the other two series, and there is even a certain amount of dispute whether this series existed at all in PIE. The major distinction between centum and satem languages corresponds to the outcome of the PIE plain velars:

The three-way PIE distinction between voiceless, voiced and voiced aspirated stops is considered extremely unusual from the perspective of linguistic typology—particularly in the existence of voiced aspirated stops without a corresponding series of voiceless aspirated stops. None of the various daughter-language families continue it unchanged, with numerous "solutions" to the apparently unstable PIE situation:

  • The Indo-Aryan languages preserve the three series unchanged but have evolved a fourth series of voiceless aspirated consonants.
  • The Iranian languages probably passed through the same stage, subsequently changing the aspirated stops into fricatives.
  • Greek converted the voiced aspirates into voiceless aspirates.
  • Italic probably passed through the same stage, but reflects the voiced aspirates as voiceless fricatives, especially f (or sometimes plain voiced stops in Latin).
  • Celtic, Balto-Slavic, Anatolian, and Albanian merge the voiced aspirated into plain voiced stops.
  • Germanic and Armenian change all three series in a chain shift (e.g. with bh b p becoming b p f (known as Grimm's law in Germanic).

Among the other notable changes affecting consonants are:

The following table shows the basic outcomes of PIE consonants in some of the most important daughter languages for the purposes of reconstruction. For a fuller table, see Indo-European sound laws.

Proto-Indo-European consonants and their reflexes in selected Indo-European daughter languages
PIE Skr. O.C.S. Lith. Greek Latin Old Irish Gothic English Examples
PIE Eng. Skr. Gk. Lat. Lith. etc. Prs.
*p p; phH p Ø;
chT [x]
f;
`-b- [β]
f;
-v/f-
*pṓds ~ *ped- foot pád- poús (podós) pēs (pedis) pãdas Piáde
*t t; thH t t;
-th- [θ]
þ [θ];
`-d- [ð];
tT-
th;
`-d-;
tT-
*tréyes three tráyas treĩs trēs trỹs thri (old Persian)
*ḱ ś [ɕ] s š [ʃ] k c [k] c [k];
-ch- [x]
h;
`-g- [ɣ]
h;
-Ø-;
`-y-
*ḱm̥tóm hund(red) śatám he-katón centum šimtas sad
*k k; cE [tʃ];
khH
k;
čE [tʃ];
cE' [ts]
k *kreuh₂
"raw meat"
OE hrēaw
raw
kravíṣ- kréas cruor kraûjas xoreš
*kʷ p;
tE;
k(u)
qu [kʷ];
c(O) [k]
ƕ [ʍ];
`-gw/w-
wh;
`-w-
*kʷid, kʷod what kím quid, quod kas, kad ce, ci
*kʷekʷlom wheel cakrá- kúklos kãklas carx
*b b; bhH b b [b];
-[β]-
p
*d d; dhH d d [d];
-[ð]-
t *déḱm̥(t) ten,
Goth. taíhun
dáśa déka decem dẽšimt dah
j [dʒ];
hH [ɦ]
z ž [ʒ] g g [ɡ];
-[ɣ]-
k c / k;
chE'
*ǵénu, *ǵnéu- OE cnēo
knee
jā́nu gónu genu zánu
*g g;
jE [dʒ];
ghH;
hH,E [ɦ]
g;
žE [ʒ];
dzE'
g *yugóm yoke yugám zugón iugum jùngas yugh
*gʷ b;
de;
g(u)
u [w > v];
gun− [ɡʷ]
b [b];
-[β]-
q [kʷ] qu *gʷīw- quick
"alive"
jīvá- bíos,
bíotos
vīvus gývas ze-
*bʰ bh;
b..Ch
b ph;
p..Ch
f-;
b
b [b];
-[β]-;
-f
b;
-v/f-(rl)
*bʰerō bear "carry" bhar- phérō ferō OCS berǫ bar-
*dʰ dh;
d..Ch
d th;
t..Ch
f-;
d;
b(r),l,u-
d [d];
-[ð]-
d [d];
-[ð]-;
-þ
d *dʰwer-, dʰur- door dhvā́raḥ thurā́ forēs dùrys dar
*ǵʰ h [ɦ];
j..Ch
z ž [ʒ] kh;
k..Ch
h;
h/gR
g [ɡ];
-[ɣ]-
g;
-g- [ɣ];
-g [x]
g;
-y/w-(rl)
*ǵʰans- goose,
OHG gans
haṁsáḥ khḗn (h)ānser žąsìs gház
*gʰ gh;
hE [ɦ];
g..Ch;
jE..Ch
g;
žE [ʒ];
dzE'
g
*gʷʰ ph;
thE;
kh(u);
p..Ch;
tE..Ch;
k(u)..Ch
f-;
g /
-u- [w];
ngu [ɡʷ]
g;
b-;
-w-;
ngw
g;
b-;
-w-
*sneigʷʰ- snow sneha- nípha nivis sniẽgas barf
*gʷʰerm- ??warm gharmáḥ thermós formus Latv. gar̂me garm
*s s h-;
-s;
s(T);
-Ø-;
[¯](R)
s;
-r-
s [s];
-[h]-
s;
`-z-
s;
`-r-
*septḿ̥ seven saptá heptá septem septynì haft
ruki- [ʂ] xruki- [x] šruki- [ʃ] *h₂eusōs
"dawn"
east uṣā́ḥ āṓs aurōra aušra báxtar
*m m m [m];
-[w̃]-
m *mūs mouse mū́ṣ- mũs mūs OCS myšĭ muš
*-m -m -˛ [˜] -n -m -n -Ø *ḱm̥tóm hund(red) śatám (he)katón centum OPrus simtan sad
*n n n;
-˛ [˜]
n *nokʷt- night nákt- núkt- noct- naktis náštá
*l r (dial. l) l *leuk- light rócate leukós lūx laũkas ruz
*r r *h₁reudʰ- red rudhirá- eruthrós ruber raũdas sorx
*i̯ y [j] j [j] z [dz > zd, z] /
h;
-Ø-
i [j];
-Ø-
Ø j y *yugóm yoke yugám zugón iugum jùngas yugh
*u̯ v [ʋ] v v [ʋ] w > h / Ø u [w > v] f;
-Ø-
w *h₂weh₁n̥to- wind vā́taḥ áenta ventus vėtra bád
PIE Skr. O.C.S. Lith. Greek Latin Old Irish Gothic English
Notes:
  • C- At the beginning of a word.
  • -C- Between vowels.
  • -C At the end of a word.
  • `-C- Following an unstressed vowel (Verner's law).
  • -C-(rl) Between vowels, or between a vowel and r, l (on either side).
  • CT Before a (PIE) stop (p, t, k).
  • CT− After a (PIE) obstruent (p, t, k, etc.; s).
  • C(T) Before or after an obstruent (p, t, k, etc.; s).
  • CH Before an original laryngeal.
  • CE Before a (PIE) front vowel (i, e).
  • CE' Before secondary (post-PIE) front-vowels.
  • Ce Before e.
  • C(u) Before or after a (PIE) u (boukólos rule).
  • C(O) Before or after a (PIE) o, u (boukólos rule).
  • Cn− After n.
  • CR Before a sonorant (r, l, m, n).
  • C(R) Before or after a sonorant (r, l, m, n).
  • C(r),l,u− Before r, l or after r, u.
  • Cruki− After r, u, k, i (Ruki sound law).
  • C..Ch Before an aspirated consonant in the next syllable (Grassmann's law, also known as dissimilation of aspirates).
  • CE..Ch Before a (PIE) front vowel (i, e) as well as before an aspirated consonant in the next syllable (Grassmann's law, also known as dissimilation of aspirates).
  • C(u)..Ch Before or after a (PIE) u as well as before an aspirated consonant in the next syllable (Grassmann's law, also known as dissimilation of aspirates).

Comparison of conjugations

The following table presents a comparison of conjugations of the thematic present indicative of the verbal root *bʰer- of the English verb to bear and its reflexes in various early attested IE languages and their modern descendants or relatives, showing that all languages had in the early stage an inflectional verb system.

Proto-Indo-European
(*bʰer- 'to carry, to bear')
I (1st sg.) *bʰéroh₂
You (2nd sg.) *bʰéresi
He/She/It (3rd sg.) *bʰéreti
We (1st dual) *bʰérowos
You (2nd dual) *bʰéreth₁es
They (3rd dual) *bʰéretes
We (1st pl.) *bʰéromos
You (2nd pl.) *bʰérete
They (3rd pl.) *bʰéronti
Major subgroup Hellenic Indo-Iranian Italic Celtic Armenian Germanic Balto-Slavic Albanian
Indo-Aryan Iranian Baltic Slavic
Ancient representative Ancient Greek Vedic Sanskrit Avestan Latin Old Irish Classical Arm. Gothic Old Prussian Old Church Sl. Old Albanian
I (1st sg.) phérō bhárāmi barā ferō biru; berim berem baíra /bɛra/ berǫ *berja
You (2nd sg.) phéreis bhárasi barahi fers biri; berir beres baíris bereši
He/She/It (3rd sg.) phérei bhárati baraiti fert berid berē baíriþ beretъ
We (1st dual) bhárāvas barāvahi baíros berevě
You (2nd dual) phéreton bhárathas baírats bereta
They (3rd dual) phéreton bháratas baratō berete
We (1st pl.) phéromen bhárāmas barāmahi ferimus bermai beremk` baíram beremъ
You (2nd pl.) phérete bháratha baraϑa fertis beirthe berēk` baíriþ berete
They (3rd pl.) phérousi bháranti barəṇti ferunt berait beren baírand berǫtъ
Modern representative Modern Greek Hindustani Persian Irish Armenian (Eastern; Western) German Lithuanian Czech Albanian
I (1st sg.) férno (maiṃ) bharūṃ (man) {mi}baram beirim berum em; g'perem (ich) {ge}bäre beriu beru (unë) bie
You (2nd sg.) férnis (tū) bhare (tu) {mi}bari beirir berum es; g'peres (du) {ge}bierst beri bereš (ti) bie
He/She/It (3rd sg.) férni (vah) bhare (ān) {mi}barad beireann; %beiridh berum ē; g'perē (er)(sie)(es) {ge}biert beria bere (ai/ajo) bie
We (1st dual) beriava
You (2nd dual) beriata
They (3rd dual) beria
We (1st pl.) férnume (ham) bhareṃ (mā) {mi}barim beirimid; beiream berum enk`; g'perenk` (wir) {ge}bären beriame berem(e) (ne) biem
You (2nd pl.) férnete (tum) bharo (šomā) {mi}barid beireann sibh; %beirthaoi berum ek`; g'perek` (ihr) {ge}bärt beriate berete (ju) bini
They (3rd pl.) férnun (ve) bhareṃ (ānān) {mi}barand beirid berum en; g'peren (sie) {ge}bären beria berou (ata/ato) bien

While similarities are still visible between the modern descendants and relatives of these ancient languages, the differences have increased over time. Some IE languages have moved from synthetic verb systems to largely periphrastic systems. In addition, the pronouns of periphrastic forms are in brackets when they appear. Some of these verbs have undergone a change in meaning as well.

  • In Modern Irish beir usually only carries the meaning to bear in the sense of bearing a child; its common meanings are to catch, grab.
  • The Hindi verb bharnā, the continuation of the Sanskrit verb, can have a variety of meanings, but the most common is "to fill". The forms given in the table, although etymologically derived from the present indicative, now have the meaning of subjunctive. The present indicative is conjugated periphrastically, using a participle (etymologically the Sanskrit present participle bharant-) and an auxiliary: maiṃ bhartā hūṃ, tū bhartā hai, vah bhartā hai, ham bharte haiṃ, tum bharte ho, ve bharte haiṃ (masculine forms).
  • German is not directly descended from Gothic, but the Gothic forms are a close approximation of what the early West Germanic forms of c. 400 AD would have looked like. The cognate of Germanic beranan (English bear) survives in German only in the compound gebären, meaning "bear (a child)".
  • The Latin verb ferre is irregular, and not a good representative of a normal thematic verb. In most Romance Languages such as French, other verbs now mean "to carry" (e.g. Fr. porter < Lat. portare) and ferre was only borrowed and nativized in compounds such as souffrir "to suffer" (from Latin sub- and ferre) and conférer "to confer" (from Latin "con-" and "ferre").
  • In Modern Greek, phero φέρω (modern transliteration fero) "to bear" is still used but only in specific contexts and is most common in such compounds as αναφέρω, διαφέρω, εισφέρω, εκφέρω, καταφέρω, προφέρω, προαναφέρω, προσφέρω etc. The form that is (very) common today is pherno φέρνω (modern transliteration ferno) meaning "to bring". Additionally, the perfective form of pherno (used for the subjunctive voice and also for the future tense) is also phero.
  • In Modern Russian брать (brat') carries the meaning to take. Бремя (br'em'a) means burden, as something heavy to bear, and derivative беременность (b'er'em'ennost') means pregnancy.

Present distribution

Indo-European-speaking world
  Official or Primary Language
  Secondary Official Language
  Recognized
  Significant
  No use
Languages of North America
The approximate present-day distribution of Indo-European languages within the Americas by country:
Romance:
  French
Germanic:
  Dutch

Today, Indo-European languages are spoken by almost 3 billion native speakers across all inhabited continents,[60] the largest number by far for any recognised language family. Of the 20 languages with the largest numbers of native speakers according to Ethnologue, 10 are Indo-European: Spanish, English, Hindustani, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, French and Marathi, accounting for over 1.7 billion native speakers.[61] Additionally, hundreds of millions of persons worldwide study Indo-European languages as secondary or tertiary languages, including in cultures which have completely different language families and historical backgrounds—there between 600,000,000[62] and one billion[63] L2 learners of English alone.

The success of the language family, including the large number of speakers and the vast portions of the Earth that they inhabit, is due to several factors. The ancient Indo-European migrations and widespread dissemination of Indo-European culture throughout Eurasia, including that of the Proto-Indo-Europeans themselves, and that of their daughter cultures including the Indo-Aryans, Iranian peoples, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Germanic peoples, and Slavs, led to these peoples' branches of the language family already taking a dominant foothold in virtually all of Eurasia except for North and East Asia by the end of the prehistoric era, replacing the previously-spoken pre-Indo-European languages of this extensive area.

Despite being unaware of their common linguistic origin, diverse groups of Indo-European speakers continued to culturally dominate and replace the indigenous languages of the western two-thirds of Eurasia. By the beginning of the Common Era, Indo-European peoples controlled almost the entirety of this area: the Celts western and central Europe, the Romans southern Europe, the Germanic peoples northern Europe, the Slavs eastern Europe, the Iranian peoples the entirety of western and central Asia and parts of eastern Europe, and the Indo-Aryan peoples in the Indian subcontinent, with the Tocharians inhabiting the Indo-European frontier in western China. By the medieval period, only the Vasconic, Semitic, Dravidian, Caucasian and Uralic languages remained of the (relatively) indigenous languages of Europe and the western half of Asia.

Despite medieval invasions by Eurasian nomads, a group to which the Proto-Indo-Europeans had once belonged, Indo-European expansion reached another peak in the early modern period with the dramatic increase in the population of the Indian subcontinent and European expansionism throughout the globe during the Age of Discovery, as well as the continued replacement and assimilation of surrounding non-Indo-European languages and peoples due to increased state centralization and nationalism. These trends compounded throughout the modern period due to the general global population growth and the results of European colonization of the Western Hemisphere and Oceania, leading to an explosion in the number of Indo-European speakers as well as the territories inhabited by them.

Due to colonization and the modern dominance of Indo-European languages in the fields of global science, technology, education, finance, and sports, even many modern countries whose populations largely speak non-Indo-European languages have Indo-European languages as official languages, and the majority of the global population speaks at least one Indo-European language. The overwhelming majority of languages used on the Internet are Indo-European, with English continuing to lead the group; English in general has in many respects become the lingua franca of global communication.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The sentence goes on to say, equally correctly as it turned out: "...here is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family."

References

Citations

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  2. ^ Quiles, Carlos (June 2017). "Indo-European demic diffusion model" (PDF) (2nd ed.). Badajoz: Universidad de Extremadura. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Ethnologue report for Indo-European". Ethnologue.com.
  4. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2005). Kingdom of the Hittites: New Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-19-928132-9.
  5. ^ Colin Kidd (2006). The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-1-139-45753-8.
  6. ^ a b c Auroux, Sylvain (2000). History of the Language Sciences. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 1156. ISBN 978-3-11-016735-1.
  7. ^ Beekes, Robert S.P. (2011). Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An introduction. Second edition. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-90-272-8500-3.
  8. ^ M.V. Lomonosov (drafts for Russian Grammar, published 1755). In: Complete Edition, Moscow, 1952, vol. 7, pp. 652–59: Представимъ долготу времени, которою сіи языки раздѣлились. ... Польской и россійской языкъ коль давно раздѣлились! Подумай же, когда курляндской! Подумай же, когда латинской, греч., нѣм., росс. О глубокая древность! [Imagine the depth of time when these languages separated! ... Polish and Russian separated so long ago! Now think how long ago [this happened to] Kurlandic! Think when [this happened to] Latin, Greek, German, and Russian! Oh, great antiquity!]
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  10. ^ Roger Blench. "Archaeology and Language: methods and issues" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2006. Retrieved May 29, 2010. In: A Companion To Archaeology. J. Bintliff ed. 52–74. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2004. (He erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese, and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindi.)
  11. ^ Jones, William (2 February 1786). "The Third Anniversary Discourse". Electronic Library of Historiography. Universita degli Studi Firenze, taken from: Shore (Lord Teignmouth), John (1807). The Works of Sir William Jones. With a Life of the Author. III. John Stockdale and John Walker. pp. 24–46. OCLC 899731310.
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  17. ^ In his latest book, Eric Hamp supports the thesis that the Illyrian language belongs to the Northwestern group, that the Albanian language is descended from Illyrian, and that Albanian is related to Messapic which is an earlier Illyrian dialect (Comparative Studies on Albanian, 2007).
  18. ^ Curtis, Matthew Cowan (2011-11-30). Slavic–Albanian Language Contact, Convergence, and Coexistence. ProQuest LLC. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-267-58033-7. Retrieved 31 March 2017. So while linguists may debate about the ties between Albanian and older languages of the Balkans, and while most Albanians may take the genealogical connection to Illyrian as incontrovertible, the fact remains that there is simply insufficient evidence to connect Illyrian, Thracian, or Dacian with any language, including Albanian
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  21. ^ such as Schleicher 1861, Szemerényi 1957, Collinge 1985, and Beekes 1995
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  28. ^ Michel Lejeune (1974), Manuel de la langue vénète. Heidelberg: Indogermanische Bibliothek, Lehr- und Handbücher.
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  30. ^ François, Alexandre (2014), "Trees, Waves and Linkages: Models of Language Diversification" (PDF), in Bowern, Claire; Evans, Bethwyn, The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics, London: Routledge, pp. 161–89, ISBN 978-0-415-52789-7
  31. ^ Blažek, Václav (2007). "From August Schleicher to Sergei Starostin: on the development of the tree-diagram models of the Indo-European languages". Journal of Indo-European Studies. 35 (1–2): 82–109.
  32. ^ Meillet, Antoine (1908). Les dialectes indo-européens. Paris: Honoré Champion.
  33. ^ Bonfante, Giuliano (1931). I dialetti indoeuropei. Brescia: Paideia.
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  36. ^ Mallory, J.P.; Adams, D.Q. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy Dearborn.
  37. ^ Porzig 1954, p. 39.
  38. ^ Fortson 2004, p. 247.
  39. ^ Watkins, Calvert (1966). "Italo-Celtic revisited". In Birnbaum, Henrik; Puhvel, Jaan. Ancient Indo-European dialects. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 29–50.
  40. ^ Weiss, Michael (2012). Jamison, Stephanie W.; Melchert, H. Craig; Vine, Brent, eds. Italo-Celtica: linguistic and cultural points of contact between Italic and Celtic. Proceedings of the 23rd annual UCLA Indo-European Conference. Bremen: Hempen. pp. 151–73. ISBN 978-3-934106-99-4. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  41. ^ Greppin, James (1996). "Review of The linguistic relationship between Armenian and Greek by James Clackson". Language. 72 (4): 804–07. doi:10.2307/416105. JSTOR 416105.
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  44. ^ Kortlandt – The Thraco-Armenian consonant shift, Linguistique Balkanique 31, 71–74, 1988
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  46. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, vol.22, Helen Hemingway Benton Publisher, Chicago, (15th ed.) 1981, p. 593
  47. ^ George S. Lane, Douglas Q. Adams, Britannica 15th edition 22:667, "The Tocharian problem"
  48. ^ The supposed autochthony of Hittites, the Indo-Hittite hypothesis and migration of agricultural "Indo-European" societies became intrinsically linked together by C. Renfrew. (Renfrew, C 2001a The Anatolian origins of Proto-Indo-European and the autochthony of the Hittites. In R. Drews ed., Greater Anatolia and the Indo-Hittite language family: 36–63. Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man).
  49. ^ Britannica 15th edition, 22 p. 586 "Indo-European languages, The parent language, Laryngeal theory" – W.C.; pp. 589, 593 "Anatolian languages" – Philo H.J. Houwink ten Cate, H. Craig Melchert and Theo P.J. van den Hout
  50. ^ Britannica 15th edition, 22 p. 594, "Indo-Hittite hypothesis"
  51. ^ Holm, Hans J. (2008). "The Distribution of Data in Word Lists and its Impact on the Subgrouping of Languages". In Preisach, Christine; Burkhardt, Hans; Schmidt-Thieme, Lars; et al. Data Analysis, Machine Learning, and Applications. Proc. of the 31st Annual Conference of the German Classification Society (GfKl), University of Freiburg, March 7–9, 2007. Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization. Heidelberg-Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-540-78239-1. The result is a partly new chain of separation for the main Indo-European branches, which fits well to the grammatical facts, as well as to the geographical distribution of these branches. In particular it clearly demonstrates that the Anatolian languages did not part as first ones and thereby refutes the Indo-Hittite hypothesis.
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  54. ^ a b Anthony 2007, pp. 56–58.
  55. ^ Ringe 2006, p. 67.
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  59. ^ Robert S.P. Beekes (2011). Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An introduction. Second edition. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 30; Toch: 19, Arm: 20, Alb: 25, 124, OIr: 27. ISBN 978-90-272-8500-3.
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  61. ^ "Ethnologue list of languages by number of speakers". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
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  63. ^ "Ten Things You Might Not Have Known About the English Language". Oxford Dictionary. 2015-08-12.

Sources

  • Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-05887-0.
  • Auroux, Sylvain (2000). History of the Language Sciences. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-016735-1.
  • Fortson, Benjamin W. (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-0315-2.
  • Brugmann, Karl (1886). Grundriss der Vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen (in German). Erster Band. Strassburg: Karl J. Trübner.
  • Houwink ten Cate, H.J.; Melchert, H. Craig & van den Hout, Theo P.J. (1981). "Indo-European languages, The parent language, Laryngeal theory". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (15th ed.). Chicago: Helen Hemingway Benton.
  • Holm, Hans J. (2008). "The Distribution of Data in Word Lists and its Impact on the Subgrouping of Languages". In Preisach, Christine; Burkhardt, Hans; Schmidt-Thieme, Lars; et al. Data Analysis, Machine Learning, and Applications. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the German Classification Society (GfKl), University of Freiburg, March 7–9, 2007. Heidelberg-Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-540-78239-1.
  • Kortlandt, Frederik (1990). "The Spread of the Indo-Europeans" (PDF). Journal of Indo-European Studies. 18 (1–2): 131–40.
  • Lubotsky, A. (1988). "The Old Phrygian Areyastis-inscription" (PDF). Kadmos. 27: 9–26. doi:10.1515/kadmos-1988-0103.
  • Kortlandt, Frederik (1988). "The Thraco-Armenian consonant shift". Linguistique Balkanique. 31: 71–74.
  • Lane, George S.; Adams, Douglas Q. (1981). "The Tocharian problem". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (15th ed.). Chicago: Helen Hemingway Benton.
  • Renfrew, C. (2001). "The Anatolian origins of Proto-Indo-European and the autochthony of the Hittites". In Drews, R. Greater Anatolia and the Indo-Hittite language family. Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man. ISBN 978-0-941694-77-3.
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Further reading

  • Beekes, Robert S.P. (1995). Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Chakrabarti, Byomkes (1994). A comparative study of Santali and Bengali. Calcutta: K.P. Bagchi & Co. ISBN 978-81-7074-128-2.
  • Collinge, N.E. (1985). The Laws of Indo-European. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Mallory, J.P. (1989). In Search of the Indo-Europeans. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-27616-7.
  • Renfrew, Colin (1987). Archaeology & Language. The Puzzle of the Indo-European Origins. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-02495-2.
  • Meillet, Antoine. Esquisse d'une grammaire comparée de l'arménien classique, 1903.
  • Ramat, Paolo; Ramat, Anna Giacalone (1998). The Indo-European languages. Routledge.
  • Schleicher, August, A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European Languages (1861/62).
  • Strazny, Philip; Trask, R.L., eds. (2000). Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics (1 ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-57958-218-0.
  • Szemerényi, Oswald (1957). "The problem of Balto-Slav unity". Kratylos. 2: 97–123.
  • Watkins, Calvert (2000). The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-618-08250-6.
  • Remys, Edmund, General distinguishing features of various Indo-European languages and their relationship to Lithuanian. Berlin, New York: Indogermanische Forschungen, Vol. 112, 2007.
  • P. Chantraine (1968), Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, Klincksieck, Paris.

External links

Databases

Lexica

Bukhori dialect

Bukhori (Tajiki: бухорӣ – buxorī, Hebrew script: בוכארי buxori), also known as Bukhari and Bukharian, is a dialect of the Tajiki language spoken in Central Asia (and in the diaspora) by Bukharian Jews.

Centum and satem languages

Languages of the Indo-European family are classified as either centum languages or satem languages according to how the dorsal consonants (sounds of "K" and "G" type) of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) developed. An example of the different developments is provided by the words for "hundred" found in the early attested Indo-European languages. In centum languages, they typically began with a /k/ sound (Latin centum was pronounced with initial /k/), but in satem languages, they often began with /s/ (the example satem comes from the Avestan language of Zoroastrian scripture).

The table below shows the traditional reconstruction of the PIE dorsal consonants, with three series, but according to some more recent theories there may actually have been only two series or three series with different pronunciations from those traditionally ascribed. In centum languages, the palatovelars, which included the initial consonant of the "hundred" root, merged with the plain velars. In satem languages, they remained distinct, and the labiovelars merged with the plain velars.

The centum–satem division forms an isogloss in synchronic descriptions of Indo-European languages. It is no longer thought that the Proto-Indo-European language split first into centum and satem branches from which all the centum and all the satem languages, respectively, would have derived. Such a division is made particularly unlikely by the discovery that while the satem group lies generally to the east and the centum group to the west, the most eastward of the known IE language branches, Tocharian, is centum.

Corded Ware culture

The Corded Ware culture (German: Schnurkeramik; French: céramique cordée; Dutch: touwbekercultuur) comprises a broad archaeological horizon of Europe between c. 2900 BCE – circa 2350 BCE, thus from the late Neolithic, through the Copper Age, and ending in the early Bronze Age. Corded Ware culture encompassed a vast area, from the Rhine on the west to the Volga in the east, occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.According to Haak et al. (2017), the Corded Ware people were genetically closely related to the people of the Yamna culture (or Yamnaya), "documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery," the Eurasiatic steppes. The Corded Ware culture may have disseminated the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic Indo-European languages. The Corded Ware Culture also shows genetic affinity with the later Sintashta culture, where the proto-Indo-Iranian language may have originated.

Glossary of sound laws in the Indo-European languages

This glossary gives a general overview of the various sound laws that have been formulated by linguists for the various Indo-European languages. A concise description is given for each rule; more details are given on their articles.

Graeco-Armenian

Graeco-Armenian (or Helleno-Armenian) is the hypothetical common ancestor of Greek and Armenian that postdates Proto-Indo-European. Its status is comparable to that of the Italo-Celtic grouping: each is widely considered plausible without being accepted as established communis opinio. The hypothetical Proto-Graeco-Armenian stage would need to date to the 3rd millennium BC and would be only barely different from either late Proto-Indo-European or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan.

Graeco-Aryan

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages.

Phylogenetic models have been reconstructed on Indo-European populations through comparative studies using both genotyping based on haplotypes, specifically haplogroup R1a, as well as the analysis of their linguistic lexicon.The Graeco-Armeno-Aryan group supposedly branched off from the parent Indo-European stem by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Graeco-Phrygian

Graeco-Phrygian () is a hypothetical clade of the Indo-European language family with two branches in turn: Greek and Phrygian. Greek has also been variously grouped with Armenian and Indo-Iranian (Graeco-Armenian; Graeco-Aryan), Ancient Macedonian (Graeco-Macedonian) and, more recently, Messapian. Greek and Ancient Macedonian are often classified under Hellenic; at other times, Hellenic is posited to consist of only Greek dialects. The linguist Václav Blažek states that, in regard to the classification of these languages, their surviving texts—because of their scarcity and/or their nature—cannot be quantified.The linguist Claude Brixhe points to the following features Greek and Phrygian are known to have in common and in common with no other language:

a certain class of masculine nouns in the nominative singular ending in -s

a certain class of denominal verbs

the pronoun auto-

the participial suffix -meno-

the stem kako-

and the conjunction ai

Indo-European

Indo-European may refer to:

Relating to Europe and India.

Indo-European languages, a major language family of Europe, the Middle East and South Asia

Indo-European migrations

Indo-European studies, an academic field involving linguistics, anthropology, history, archaeology

Indo-European vocabulary, a table of the most fundamental Proto-Indo-European language words and roots

Indo-Hittite

In Indo-European linguistics, the term Indo-Hittite (also Indo-Anatolian) refers to Sturtevant's 1926 hypothesis that the Anatolian languages may have split off a Pre-PIE language considerably earlier than the separation of the remaining Indo-European languages. The term may be somewhat confusing, as the prefix Indo- does not refer to the Indo-Aryan branch in particular, but is iconic for Indo-European, and the -Hittite part refers to the Anatolian language family as a whole.

Proponents of the Indo-Hittite hypothesis claim the separation may have preceded the spread of the remaining branches by several millennia, possibly as early as 7000 BC. In this context, the proto-language before the split of Anatolian would be called Proto-Indo-Hittite, and the proto-language of the remaining branches, before the next split, presumably of Tocharian, would be called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). This is a matter of terminology, though, as the hypothesis does not dispute the ultimate genetic relation of Anatolian with Indo-European; it just means to emphasize the assumed magnitude of temporal separation.

According to Craig Melchert, the current tendency is to suppose that Proto-Indo-European evolved, and that the "prehistoric speakers" of Anatolian became isolated "from the rest of the PIE speech community, so as not to share in some common innovations." Hittite, as well as its Anatolian cousins, split off from Proto-Indo-European at an early stage, thereby preserving archaisms that were later lost in the other Indo-European languages.

Italic languages

The Italic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, originally spoken by Italic peoples. They include Latin and its descendants (the Romance languages), as well as a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, South Picene, and possibly Venetic and Sicel.

With over 800 million native speakers, the Italic languages are the second most widely spoken branch of the Indo-European family, after the Indo-Iranian languages.

In the past, various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed. This article uses the classification presented by the Linguist List: Italic includes the Latin subgroup (Latin and the Romance languages) as well as the ancient Italic languages (Faliscan, Osco-Umbrian and two unclassified Italic languages, Aequian and Vestinian). Venetic (the language of the ancient Veneti), as revealed by its inscriptions, shared some similarities with the Italic languages and is sometimes classified as Italic. However, since it also shares similarities with other Western Indo-European branches (particularly Celtic languages), some linguists prefer to consider it as an independent Indo-European language.

An extreme view states that Italic did not exist, but the different groups descended directly from Indo-European and converged because of geographic contiguity. That view stems in part from the difficulty in identifying a common Italic homeland in prehistory.

In the intermediate view, the Italic languages are one of the ten or eleven major subgroups of the Indo-European language family and might therefore have had an ancestor, Common Italic or Proto-Italic, from which its daughter languages descended. Moreover, there are similarities between major groups, but the interpretation of these similarities is one of the major debated issues in the historical linguistics of Indo-European. The linguist Calvert Watkins suggested, among the ten major groups, a four-way division of East, West, North and South Indo-European. He considered them to be "dialectical divisions within Proto-Indo-European which go back to a period long before the speakers arrived in their historical areas of attestation". It is not to be considered a nodular grouping; in other words, there was not necessarily any common Western Indo-European serving as a node from which the subgroups branched, but a hypothesised similarity between the dialects of Proto-Indo-European that developed into the recognised families.

Although generally regarded as a single branch that diversified from a Common or Proto-Italic stage, after the Proto-Indo-European period, some authors doubt this common affiliation. All the Italic languages share a number of common isoglosses; thus, all of them are centum languages that do not present palatalization of the Indo-European (palatal) velars /*k, *kʷ, *g, *gʰ, *gʰʷ/. The Romance languages present a later palatalization of Latin phonemes /k, g/, although only before phonemes /ɛ, e, i/.

Kalto language

Kalto, or Nahali, is an Indo-Aryan language of India. Kalto is the endonym; the exonym "Nahal" or "Nihal" is disparaging. Because of the name "Nahali", the language has often been confused with Nihali, an apparent language isolate spoken by a neighbouring people with a similar lifestyle.

Languages of South Asia

South Asia is home to several hundred languages.

Latino-Faliscan languages

The Latino-Faliscan or Latino-Venetic languages are a group of languages originating from Italy belonging to the Italic languages, a group of the Indo-European languages.

Latin and Faliscan belong to the group as well as two others often considered to be archaic Latin dialects: Lanuvian and Praenestine.

Latin eventually absorbed the others and replaced Faliscan as the power of Ancient Rome expanded. All members of the group other than Latin went extinct. Latin, in turn, via Vulgar Latin, developed into the Romance languages, which are now spoken by more than 800 million people worldwide, largely due to the influence of the French, Spanish and Portuguese Empires.

List of English-based pidgins

Pidgin English is a non-specific name used to refer to any of the many pidgin languages derived from English. Pidgins that are spoken as first languages become creoles.

English-based pidgins that became stable contact languages, and which have some documentation, include the following:

Aboriginal Pidgin English

American Indian Pidgin English

Cameroonian Pidgin English

Chinese Pidgin English

Butler English (India)

Hawaiian Pidgin English

Japanese Bamboo English

Japanese Pidgin English

Korean Bamboo English

Kru Pidgin English

Liberian Interior Pidgin English

Micronesian Pidgin English

Nauru Pidgin English

Nigerian Pidgin

Papua New Guinea Pidgin

Papuan Pidgin English (distinct from Tok Pisin)

Port Jackson Pidgin English (ancestral to Australian Kriol)

Queensland Kanaka English

Samoan Plantation Pidgin

Solomon Islands Pijin

Solombala-English

Thai Pidgin English

Tok Pisin

West African Pidgin English (multiple varieties)

Vanuatu Bislama

List of Indo-European languages

The Indo-European languages include some 449 (SIL estimate, 2018 edition) languages and dialects spoken by about or more than three billion and 500 million people (roughly half of the world population), including most of the major languages belonging to language branches and groups of Europe, western and southern Asia, which belong to a single language family. Therefore, Indo-European is the biggest language family in the world by number of mother tongue speakers (but not by number of languages in which is the 3rd or 5th biggest). 8 of the top 10 biggest languages by number of native speakers are Indo-European, and one language, English, is the De facto World Lingua Franca with an estimated over one billion second language speakers.

Each subfamily or linguistic branch in this list contains many subgroups and individual languages.

Indo-European language family has 10 known branches or subfamilies, of which eight are living and two are extinct. The relation of Indo-European branches, how they are related to one another and branched from the ancestral proto-language is a matter of further research and not yet well known.

There are some individual Indo-European languages that are unclassified within the language family, they are not yet classified in a branch and could be members of their own branch.

The 449 Indo-European languages identified in the SIL estimate, 2018 edition, are mostly living languages, however, if all the known extinct Indo-European languages are added, they number more than 800 (adding living and extinct). In the case of this list all the known Indo-European languages, living and extinct, are counted.

A distinction between a language and a dialect is not clear-cut and simple because there is, in many cases, several dialect continuums, transitional dialects and languages and also because there is no consensual standard to what amount of vocabulary, grammar , pronunciation and prosody differences there is a language or there is a dialect (mutual intelligibility can be a standard but there are closely related languages that are also mutual intelligible to some degree, even if it is an asymmetric intelligibility). Because of this, in this list, several dialect groups and some individual dialects of languages are shown (in italics), especially if a language is or was spoken by a large number of people and over a big land area, but also if it has or had divergent dialects.

The ancestral population and language, Proto-Indo-Europeans that spoke Proto-Indo-European, estimated to have lived about 4500 BCE (6500 BP), at some time in the past, starting about 4000 BCE (6000 BP) expanded through migration and cultural influence. This started a complex process of population blend or population replacement, acculturation and language change of peoples in many regions of western and southern Eurasia.

This process gave origin to many languages and branches of this language family.

At the end of the second millennium BC Indo-European speakers were many millions and lived in a vast geographical area in most of western and southern Eurasia (including western Central Asia).

In the following two millennia the number of speakers of Indo-European languages increased even further.

In geographical area, Indo-European languages remained spoken in big land areas, although most of western Central Asia and Asia Minor was lost to another language family (mainly Turkic) due to Turkic expansion, conquests and settlement (after the middle of the first millennium AD and the beginning and middle of the second millennium AD respectively) and also to Mongol invasions and conquests (that changed Central Asia ethnolinguistic composition). Another land area lost to non-Indo-European languages was today's Hungary due to Magyar/Hungarian (Uralic language speakers) conquest and settlement.

However, in the second half of the second millennium AD, Indo-European languages expanded their territories to North Asia (Siberia), through Russian expansion, and North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand as the result of the age of European discoveries and European conquests through the expansions of the Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and the Dutch (these peoples had the biggest continental or maritime empires in the world and their countries were major powers).

The contact between different peoples and languages, especially as a result of the European discoveries, also gave origin to the many pidgins, creoles and mixed languages that are mainly based in Indo-European languages (many of which are spoken in island groups and coastal regions).

Paleo-Balkan languages

The Paleo-Balkan languages are the various extinct Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Balkans in ancient times. Hellenization, Romanization and Slavicization in the region caused their only modern descendants to be Modern Greek and Albanian, which are descended from Ancient Greek and one of the Thraco-Illyrian languages, respectively.

Pre-Indo-European languages

Pre-Indo-European languages are any of several ancient languages, not necessarily related to one another, that existed in prehistoric Europe and South Asia before the arrival of speakers of Indo-European languages. The oldest Indo-European language texts date from 19th century BCE in Kültepe in modern-day Turkey, and while estimates vary widely, spoken Indo-European languages are believed to have developed at the latest by the third millennium BCE (see Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses). Thus the Pre-Indo-European languages must have developed earlier than, or in some cases alongside, the Indo-European languages that ultimately displaced them.A handful of these languages still survive; in Europe Basque retains a localized strength with fewer than a million native speakers, while the Dravidian languages of South Asia remain very widespread there, with over 200 million native speakers. Some of the pre-Indo-European languages are attested only as linguistic substrates in Indo-European languages. A few others (such as Etruscan, Minoan, Iberian, etc.) are also attested from inscriptions.

Proto-Indo-European language

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, the most widely spoken language family in the world.

Far more work has gone into reconstructing PIE than any other proto-language, and it is by far the best understood of all proto-languages of its age. The vast majority of linguistic work during the 19th century was devoted to the reconstruction of PIE or its daughter proto-languages (such as Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-Iranian), and most of the modern techniques of linguistic reconstruction (such as the comparative method) were developed as a result. These methods supply all current knowledge concerning PIE since there is no written record of the language.

PIE is estimated to have been spoken as a single language from 4500 BC to 2500 BC during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, though estimates vary by more than a thousand years. According to the prevailing Kurgan hypothesis, the original homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans may have been in the Pontic–Caspian steppe of Eastern Europe. The linguistic reconstruction of PIE has also provided insight into the culture and religion of its speakers.As Proto-Indo-Europeans became isolated from each other through the Indo-European migrations, the Proto-Indo-European language became spoken by the various groups in regional dialects which then underwent the Indo-European sound laws divergence, and along with shifts in morphology, these dialects slowly but eventually transformed into the known ancient Indo-European languages. From there, further linguistic divergence led to the evolution of their current descendants, the modern Indo-European languages. Today, the descendant languages, or daughter languages, of PIE with the most native speakers are Spanish, English, Portuguese, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, Persian, French, Italian and Marathi. Hundreds of other living descendants of PIE range from languages as diverse as Albanian (gjuha shqipe), Kurdish (کوردی‎), Nepali (खस भाषा), Tsakonian (τσακώνικα), Ukrainian (українська мова), and Welsh (Cymraeg).

PIE had an elaborate system of morphology that included inflectional suffixes (analogous to English life, lives, life's, lives'‍) as well as ablaut (vowel alterations, for example, as preserved in English sing, sang, sung) and accent. PIE nominals and pronouns had a complex system of declension, and verbs similarly had a complex system of conjugation. The PIE phonology, particles, numerals, and copula are also well-reconstructed.

An asterisk is used to mark reconstructed words, such as *wódr̥ 'water', *ḱwṓ 'dog' (English hound), or *tréyes 'three (masculine)'.

Stratum (linguistics)

In linguistics, a stratum (Latin for "layer") or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum or substrate is a language that has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum or superstrate is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum languages influence each other, but in different ways. An adstratum or adstrate refers to a language that is in contact with another language in a neighbor population without having identifiably higher or lower prestige. The notion of "strata" was first developed by the Italian linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli (1829–1907), and became known in the English-speaking world through the work of two different authors in 1932.Thus, both terms refer to a situation where an intrusive language establishes itself in the territory of another, typically as the result of migration. Whether the superstratum case (the local language persists and the intrusive language disappears) or the substratum one (the local language disappears and the intrusive language persists) applies will normally only be evident after several generations, during which the intrusive language exists within a diaspora culture. In order for the intrusive language to persist (substratum case), the immigrant population will either need to take the position of a political elite or immigrate in significant numbers relative to the local population (i. e., the intrusion qualifies as an invasion or colonisation; an example would be the Roman Empire giving rise to Romance languages outside Italy, displacing Gaulish and many other Indo-European languages). The superstratum case refers to elite populations that eventually adopt the language of the lower classes. An example would be the Burgundians and Franks in France, who eventually abandoned their Germanic dialects in favor of other Indo-European languages of the Romance branch, profoundly influencing the local speech in the process.

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