List of Indo-European Family of Languages, The

Related articles: Indo-Iranian Indo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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, Indo-European 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.
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, Europe Europe
, 6th largest continent, c.4,000,000 sq mi (10,360,000 sq km) including adjacent islands (1992 est. pop. 512,000,000). It is actually a vast peninsula of the great Eurasian land mass.
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, Anatolian languages Anatolian languages
, subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table); the term "Anatolian languages" is also used to refer to all languages, Indo-European and non-Indo-European, that were spoken in Anatolia in ancient times.
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The Indo-European Family of Languages
Subfamily Group Subgroup Languages and Principal Dialects
AnatolianAnatolian languages
, subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table); the term "Anatolian languages" is also used to refer to all languages, Indo-European and non-Indo-European, that were spoken in Anatolia in ancient times.
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    Hieroglypic Hittite*, Hittite (Kanesian)*, Luwian*, Lycian*, Lydian*, Palaic*
BalticBaltic languages,
a subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The Indo-European subfamily to which the Baltic languages appear to be closest is the Slavic. Because of this, some linguists regard Baltic and Slavic as branches of a single Balto-Slavic division of the
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    LatvianLatvian
or Lettish
, a language belonging to the Baltic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Baltic languages). The mother tongue of close to 3 million persons living chiefly in Latvia, Latvian first became that country's official language in 1918,
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 (Lettish), LithuanianLithuanian
, a language belonging to the Baltic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Baltic languages). The official language of Lithuania since 1918, Lithuanian is spoken by approximately 3 million people there and by an additional half-million elsewhere in
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, Old Prussian*
CelticCeltic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. At one time, during the Hellenistic period, Celtic speech extended all the way from Britain and the Iberian Peninsula in the west across Europe to Asia Minor in the east, where a district still known as
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Brythonic   Breton, Cornish, Welsh
Continental   Gaulish*
Goidelic or Gaelic   IrishIrish language,
also called Irish Gaelic and Erse, member of the Goidelic group of the Celtic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Celtic languages). The history of Irish as a literary language falls into three periods: Old Irish (7th–9th cent. A.D.
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 (Irish Gaelic), Manx*, Scottish Gaelic
GermanicGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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East Germanic   Burgundian*, GothicGothic language,
dead language belonging to the now extinct East Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages).
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*, Vandalic*
North Germanic   Old Norse* (see NorseNorse,
another name for the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). The modern Norse languages—Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish—all stem from an earlier
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), DanishDanish language,
member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official language of Denmark, it is spoken by over 5 million people, most of whom live in Denmark; however, there are some Danish
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, Faeroese, IcelandicIcelandic language,
member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Spoken chiefly in Iceland, where it is the official language, it stems from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings who settled the island
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, NorwegianNorwegian language,
member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. It is spoken by about 4 million people in Norway and another million in the other Scandinavian countries and North America.
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, SwedishSwedish language,
member of the North Germanic, or Scandinavian, group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. It is the official language of Sweden and one of the official languages of Finland, and it is spoken by about 9 million people: 8,500,000 in
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West Germanic
(see Grimm's lawGrimm's law,
principle of relationships in Indo-European languages, first formulated by Jakob Grimm in 1822 and a continuing subject of interest and investigation to 20th-century linguists.
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)
High German GermanGerman language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). It is the official language of Germany and Austria and is one of the official languages of Switzerland.
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, YiddishYiddish language
, a member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages; German language).
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Low German AfrikaansAfrikaans
, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Although its classification is still disputed, it is generally considered an independent language rather than a dialect or variant of Dutch
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, DutchDutch language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Also called Netherlandish, it is spoken by about 15 million inhabitants of the Netherlands, where it is the national language, and by
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, EnglishEnglish language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations.
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, FlemishFlemish language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Generally regarded as the Belgian variant of Dutch (see Dutch language) rather than as a separate tongue, Flemish is spoken by
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, FrisianFrisian language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). It has a number of dialects and is spoken by more than 300,000 people, most of whom speak West Frisian and live in Friesland, a
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, Plattdeutsch (see German languageGerman language,
member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). It is the official language of Germany and Austria and is one of the official languages of Switzerland.
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)
GreekGreek language,
member of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-European). It is the language of one of the major civilizations of the world and of one of the greatest literatures of all time.
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    Aeolic*, Arcadian*, Attic*, Byzantine Greek*, Cyprian*, Doric*, Ionic*, Koinē*, Modern Greek
Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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Dardic or Pisacha   Kafiri, Kashmiri, Khowar, Kohistani, RomaniRomani
or Romany
, people known historically in English as Gypsies and their language.

1 A traditionally nomadic people with particular folkways and a unique language, found on every continent; they are sometimes also called Roma, from the name of a major
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 (Gypsy), Shina
Indic or Indo-Aryan   PaliPali
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Some scholars classify it as a Prakrit, or vernacular dialect of classical Sanskrit.
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*, PrakritPrakrit
, any of a number of languages belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-Iranian). The Prakrits are usually classified as Middle Indic languages that followed the Old Indic stage of Sanskrit and Vedic
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*, SanskritSanskrit
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-Iranian). Sanskrit was the classical standard language of ancient India, and some of the oldest surviving Indo-European documents are written in
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*, Vedic*
Central Indic HindiHindi
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official language of India, Hindi is the written or literary variant of Hindustani that is used by Hindus.
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, HindustaniHindustani
, subdivision of the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian languages, which themselves form a subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Some authorities define Hindustani as the spoken form of Hindi and Urdu.
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, UrduUrdu
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official tongue of Pakistan, Urdu is also one of the 15 languages recognized in the 1950 Indian constitution.
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East Indic Assamese, Bengali (Bangla), Bihari, Oriya
Northwest Indic Punjabi, Sindhi
Pahari Central Pahari, Eastern Pahari (Nepali), Western Pahari
South Indic Marathi (including major dialect Konkani), Sinhalese (Singhalese)
West Indic Bhili, Gujarati, Rajasthani (many dialects)
Iranian   Avestan*, Old Persian*
East Iranian Baluchi, Khwarazmian*, Ossetic, Pamir dialects, Pashto (Afghan), Saka (Khotanese)*, Sogdian*, Yaghnobi
West Iranian Kurdish, Pahlavi (Middle Persian)*, Parthian*, PersianPersian language,
member of the Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-Iranian languages). The official language of Iran, it has about 38 million speakers in Iran and another 8 million in Afghanistan.
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 (Farsi), Tajiki
ItalicItalic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages that may be divided into two groups. The first group consists of the ancient Italic languages and dialects that were once spoken in Italy.
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(Non-Romance)   Faliscan*, LatinLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
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, Oscan*, Umbrian*
RomanceRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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 or Romanic
Eastern Romance ItalianItalian language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). The official language of Italy and San Marino, and one of the official languages of Switzerland, Italian is spoken by about 58 million people
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, Rhaeto-RomanicRhaeto-Romanic
, generic name for several related dialects of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). These dialects are now considered sufficiently similar to form a single unit in the Romance group.
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, RomanianRomanian language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is spoken by about 22 million people in Romania, where it is the official language, by 3 million people in Moldova, and by perhaps another
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, Sardinian
Western Romance CatalanCatalan language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. It is spoken by about 8 million people in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and part of Aragon in Spain, in the region of Roussillon in SE France, the city of
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, FrenchFrench language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is spoken as a first language by more than 70 million people, chiefly in France (55 million speakers), Belgium (3 million), Switzerland (1.
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, Ladino, PortuguesePortuguese language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, chiefly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (11 million speakers);
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, Provençal, SpanishSpanish language,
member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). The official language of Spain and 19 Latin American nations, Spanish is spoken as a first language by about 330 million persons and as a
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SlavicSlavic languages,
also called Slavonic languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Because the Slavic group of languages seems to be closer to the Baltic group than to any other, some scholars combine the two in a Balto-Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European
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 or Slavonic
East Slavic   Belarusian (White Russian), RussianRussian language,
also called Great Russian, member of the East Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). The principal language of administration in the former Soviet Union, Russian is spoken by about 170 million
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, Ukrainian
South Slavic   BulgarianBulgarian language,
member of the South Slavic group of the Slavonic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). Bulgarian is the native tongue of some 9 million people, most of whom live in Bulgaria, where it is the official language.
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, Church SlavonicChurch Slavonic,
language belonging to the South Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). Although it is still the liturgical language of most branches of the Orthodox Eastern Church, Church Slavonic is extinct today
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*, Macedonian, Serbo-CroatianSerbo-Croatian
, language belonging to the South Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). Serbo-Croatian comprises several dialects, one of which (Stokavian) has given rise to modern standard Serbian, which is spoken
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, Slovenian
West Slavic   CzechCzech language
, in the past sometimes also called Bohemian, member of the West Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages).
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, Kashubian, Lusatian (Sorbian or Wendish), Polabian*, PolishPolish language,
member of the West Slavic group of the Slavic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Slavic languages). Polish is spoken as a first language by about 38 million people in Poland, where it is the official language; by more than 1 million in the
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, Slovak
Thraco-Illyrian     Albanian, Illyrian*, Thracian*
Thraco-Phrygian     ArmenianArmenian language,
member of the Thraco-Phrygian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-European). There is evidence that in ancient times a distinct subfamily of Indo-European languages existed that is now called Thraco-Phrygian.
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, Grabar (Classical Armenian)*, Phrygian*
Tokharian (W China)     Tokharian A (Agnean)*, Tokharian B (Kuchean)*
* Asterisk indicates a dead language.
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