Indo-European


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Related to Indo-European: Indo-European languages

See also: Indo-European Family of Languages, The (table)The Indo-European Family of Languages
Subfamily Group Subgroup Languages and Principal Dialects
Anatolian     Hieroglypic Hittite*, Hittite (Kanesian)*, Luwian*, Lycian*, Lydian*, Palaic*
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Indo-European,

family of languages having more speakers than any other language family. It is estimated that approximately half the world's population speaks an Indo-European tongue as a first language. The Indo-European family is so named because at one time its individual members were prevalent mainly in an area between and including India and Europe, although not all languages spoken in this region were Indo-European. Today, however, the Indo-European languages have spread to every continent and a number of islands. It should be stressed that the term Indo-European describes language only and is not used scientifically in an ethnic or cultural sense. The languages classified as Indo-European are sufficiently similar to form one major linguistic division.

The characteristics Indo-European languages share with respect to vocabulary and grammar have led many scholars to postulate that they are all descended from an original parent language, called Proto-Indo-European, which is believed to have been spoken some time before 4000 B.C., perhaps before 8000 B.C. or earlier. Since there are no written records of Proto-Indo-European, it apparently was in use before writing was known to its speakers. Even its existence is an assumption, although a plausible one and the only really satisfactory explanation of the common features of the modern Indo-European languages. There has been much speculation as to the region where the speakers of Proto-Indo-European first lived and the nature of their culture, but nothing definite is known. One theory of the origin of the individual Indo-European languages suggests that as the ancient speakers of Proto-Indo-European migrated or moved away from each other, losing contact, their language broke up into a number of tongues. These tongues later also split up still further, eventually giving rise to the many modern Indo-European languages. For a classification of Indo-European subfamilies, groups, subgroups, and individual languages, see the table entitled The Indo-European Family of LanguagesThe Indo-European Family of Languages
Subfamily Group Subgroup Languages and Principal Dialects
Anatolian     Hieroglypic Hittite*, Hittite (Kanesian)*, Luwian*, Lycian*, Lydian*, Palaic*
..... Click the link for more information.
. By studying the vocabulary and grammar of the various daughter languages of which there are records, scholars have tried to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European and infer some of its characteristics. It appears to have been highly inflected in a distinctive way. Apparently, it also had three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives; eight cases for the noun; agreement between adjectives and nouns; and a free accent (i.e., one that could be placed on any syllable).

The descendant languages have all tended to discard to a greater or lesser extent these features of the mother tongue and to become simplified. For example, they substitute increasingly the use of word order and prepositions for inflections to indicate the relationships of words in a sentence. There also exists among the Indo-European languages a similarity of basic words (such as words denoting kinship, numerals, and parts of the body) that points to a common origin. Different forms of writing for the various Indo-European languages used both in ancient and modern times include cuneiform, hieroglyphics, and a number of alphabets, among them the Devanagari, Greek, Roman, and Arabic scripts.

See articles on many of the Indo-European subfamilies, groups, and languages.

Bibliography

See also E. Benveniste, Indo-European Language and Society (tr. 1973); P. Baldi, An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages (1983).

Indo-European

1. denoting, belonging to, or relating to a family of languages that includes English and many other culturally and politically important languages of the world: a characteristic feature, esp of the older languages such as Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, is inflection showing gender, number, and case
2. denoting or relating to the hypothetical parent language of this family, primitive Indo-European
3. denoting, belonging to, or relating to any of the peoples speaking these languages
4. the Indo-European family of languages
5. the reconstructed hypothetical parent language of this family
6. a member of the prehistoric people who spoke this language
7. a descendant of this people or a native speaker of an Indo-European language
References in periodicals archive ?
It belongs to Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan languages and has lexical similarity with Munji, a language spoken across the border in Afghanistan.
Duchesne informs us that a peculiar democratic ethos of the Indo-European warrior aristocrats became a sort of "big bang" that initiated the whole chain of historical events that together molded "Western spirit" with its individualism and autonomous institutions: "The primordial roots of Western uniqueness must be traced back to the aristocratic warlike culture of the Indo-European speakers who spread throughout Europe during the 4th and 3rd millennium" (p.
Related are Indo-European *ter-, Altaic *t"iaru, Uralic *torV, and Dravidian *tor-.
The first Indo-European datum is drawn from the modern Eastern Iranian language Ossetian, a relative of the Scythian and Alanic languages, which survives in the mountainous area straddling the Russian-Georgian border.
Keywords: Burushaski, etymology, shepherd vocabulary, Indo-European, ancient Balkan languages, Albanian and Rumanian substratum.
Loanwords rate highly; they are not always dealt with quite so fully (given the focus on Indo-European origins, why not also trace back chaos beyond Greek to PIE *gheu?
That is a very long time ago, but it post-dates the start of the Indo-European expansion.
The most significant limitation this book has lies in the decision to restrict the coverage of folktales to the Indo-European tradition.
And the Welsh and English words here are all related to much older words within the Indo-European language group to which they both belong.
My own hypothesis is that Israeli is a hybrid language, both Semitic and Indo-European.
He described the religion as a nature-based religion rooted in ancient Indo-European or "Aryan" tribal culture.
There are four basic racial groups: Indo-European, East Asian, Sub-Saharan African and Native American.

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