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The Indo-European languages are a family (phylum) of several hundred related languages and dialects

including most major current languages of

the Iranian plateau, and
South Asia
Written attestations appearing since the Bronze Age
The Centum languages=the western European languages
The Satem languages=the eastern European and Asian languages
Indo-European Languages
ountries !ith a majority of spea"ers of one or more Indo-European languages
ountries !ith one or more Indo-European minority languages !ith official status

I#$%-E&'%(EA# A#$ T)E I#$%-E&'%(EA# LA#*&A*ES
I#$%-E&'%(EA# )+(%T)ESIS
Sir William Jones, ,-./, hypothesis that most European languages and others (in India,
parts of the 0iddle East, and Asia) are cognates (are related, as a family, 1y common
notion of a common ancestor language, the Indo-European language, !hich !as the
origin of Sans"rit, (ersian, Latin, *ree", 'omance, *ermanic and eltic languages, and
development of Indo-European theory in the early ,2th century3
4ran5 6opp (,.,/), comparisons of ver1al systems
'asmus 'as" (,.,.) and 7aco1 *rimm (,.88), notice of systematic phonological
A9 Schleicher, reconstruction of pre-historic Indo-European forms,
Stammbaumtheorie (tree stem theory)
$ESE#$A#TS %4 T)E %00%# I#$%-E&'%(EA# LA#*&A*E
Indo-European Language Su1families and e:amples3
Indo-Iranian (Sans"rit, )indi, 6engali, (ersian)
)ellenic (*ree")
Armenian (;estern Armenian, Eastern Armenian)
6alto-Slavic ('ussian, (olish, 5ech, Lithuanian)
Al1anian (*heg, Tos")
eltic (Irish *aelic, ;elsh)
Italic (Latin, Spanish, Italian, 4rench)
*ermanic (*erman, English, $anish, $utch, S!edish, #or!egian)
Anatolian (e:tinct) ()ittite)
Tocharian (e:tinct) (Tocharian A, Tocharian 6)
T)E %'I*I#AL I#$%-E&'%(EA# (E%(LE
<urgan culture
It's speculated that the so called Kurgan were the original Indo-European people; lived northwest of the Caucasus, north of the
Caspian Sea, as early as the fifth millennium BC
!heir language is "nown #y scholars as Common Indo-European or $roto-Indo-European
domesticated cattle and horses,
farming, herding,
four-!heeled !agons, - mo1ility,
mound 1uilders, hilltop forts,
comple: sense of family relationship and organi5ation=
counting s"ills= used gold and silver=
dran" a honey 1ased alcoholic 1everage, mead=
multiple gods (!orship of s"y>thunder, sun, horse, 1oar, sna"e), 1elief in life after death,
ela1orate 1urials
%&eference' (aria )I(B*!+S, ,!he Beginning of the Bron-e +ge in Europe and the Indo-Europeans, ./012
$escendants of !ords for trees (ash, apple, oak, linden, aspen, pine), animals (bear, wolf), and other (honey,
snow, cold, winter, father, mother) allo! for hypotheses regarding their original homeland and culture9
6eginning around ?@@@ 6 the Indo-European people a1andoned their homeland and migrated in a variety
of directions (found in *reece 1y 8@@@ 6, in northern India 1y ,A@@ 6)
*E#E'AL )A'ATE'ISTIS %4 T)E %00%# I#$%-E&'%(EA# LA#*&A*ES
;ords derived from the ommon Indo-European language are preserved in a large num1er of languages3
numerals from one to ten=
the !ord meaning the sum of ten tens (Latin Bcentum,B Avestan Bsatem,B English BhundredB)=
!ords for certain 1ody parts (heart, lung, head, foot)=
!ords for certain natural phenomena (air, night, star, sno!, sun, moon, mind)=
certain plant and animal names (1eech, corn, !olf, 1ear)=
certain cultural terms (yo"e, mead, !eave, se!)=
monosylla1les that pertain to se: and e:cretion (e:ample3 modern English BfartB li"ely derived from Indo-
European BperdB=
also modern English slang Bf---B perhaps derived from Indo-European BpeigB or BpuB meaning respectively
Bhostile, evil-mindedB and Bto soil, defileB)
many stops, voiced, voiceless, and aspirated (C1hD CdhD)
poor in fricatives (only CsD and C5D)
several laryngeal (h-li"e) consonants (could dou1le as vo!els)
nasals CnD, CmD, and liEuids ClD and CrD, and glides CyD and C!D (also could dou1le as vo!els)
vo!els3 CaD, , CiD, , CuD,
The ommon Indo-European language !as inflected9 It used suffi:es and internal (root) vo!el changes
(a1laut system) to indicate grammatical information li"e
mood, etc9
Indo-European nouns !ere inflected for eight cases3
nominative3 su1ject of a sentence (he soldiers sa! me9)
vocative3 person addressed (Students, listenF)
accusative3 direct o1ject (They 1ought a car)
genitive3 possessor or source (the dog!s 1one)
dative3 indirect o1ject, recipient (She gave the boy a flo!er)
a1lative3 !hat is separated ()e a1stained from it)
locative3 place !here (;e danced at the bar)
instrumental3 means, instrument (She ate with chopsticks)
)ypothetical declension of Indo-European !ord E<;%S (BhorseB) (ancestor of 0odern English, Bhorse,B
Latin3 BeEuus,B and %ld English, BeohB)
#ominative3 e"!os
Accusative3 e"!om
*enitive3 e"!osyo
$ative3 e"!oy
Indo-European ver1s had si: BaspectsB (!e !ould call them BtensesB)3
present3 continuing action in progress (I go)
imperfect3 continuing action in the past (I !as going)
aorist3 momentary action in the past (I !ent)
perfect3 completed action (I have gone)
pluperfect3 completed action in the past (I had gone)
future3 actions to come (I shall go)
Indo-European had three voices3
passive and
middle (refle:ive)
Indo-European had five moods3
optative (!ish),
imperative (command),
injunctive (unreality)
Indo-European had seven ver1 classes (distinguished 1y root vo!els and follo!ing consonants)
Indo-European had a fle3i#le word order, tendency to Su#4ect-5#4ect-6er# %S562
Indo-European accent could #e on any sylla#le and was characteri-ed #y pitch rather than loudness
I#$%-E&'%(EA# Language to *E'0A#I %around 1777 BC2 to Common )ermanic %C)mc2 %around .77 BC2
5ne of the oldest records of a )ermanic language is a runic inscription identifying the wor"man who made a horn a#out +8 977
!ransliterated it reads as follows'
e" hle!agastir holtijar horna ta!ido
!ranslated, it roughly means'
I, )le!agastir )oltson, CthisD horn made
Indo-European free, pitch accent 1ecame strong stress on the initial sylla1le in *ermanic
loss of Indo-European laryngeal consonants, articulation shifting higher up in the vocal tract
,9 *rimmHs La! (7a"o1 *rimm, ,.88)3
o Indo-European voiceless stops (p, t, ") 1ecame *ermanic voiceless fricatives (f, th, h)3
Indo-European p"ter, *ermanic (English) father (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin
Indo-European treyes, *ermanic (English) three (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin tres)
Indo-European kerd, *ermanic (English) heart, (compare !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin cord)
o Indo-European voiced stops (1, d, g) 1ecame *ermanic voiceless stops (p, t, ")3
Indo-European abel, *ermanic (English) apple (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 'ussian
Indo-European dent, *ermanic (English) tooth (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin dentis)
Indo-European gr"no, *ermanic (English) corn (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin
o voiced aspirated stops(1h, dh, gh) to voiced stops (1, d, g)3
Indo-European bhrater, *ermanic (English) brother (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin
89 GernerHs La! (<arl Gerner, ,.--)
o e:planation of an e:ception to *rimmHs La!, sometimes Indo-European voiceless stops (p, t, " )
1ecame *ermanic voiced stops (1, d, g) !hen surrounded 1y voiced sounds and preceded 1y
unaccented sylla1le or accent falling after the consonant in Euestion), also= s 1ecame r=
phenomenon e:plained 1y Gerner as a result of original IE accent falling after consonant in
Indo-European kmt$m, English hundred (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin centum)
Indo-European p"t%r, *ermanic (%ld English) f&der (contrast !ith non-*ermanic3 Latin
Indo-European snus$s (Bdaughter-in-la!), %ld English snoru (contrast !ith non-
*ermanic3 Sans"rit snus')
'elative preservation of Indo-European a1laut system (also "no!n as apophony or (owel gradation)3
changes in root vo!els indicated tense, num1er, part of speech ()nglish sing, sang, sung is a sur(i(al of
this system)9 The sta1ility of this system !as ho!ever undermined 1ecause the position of the Indo-
European accent !as a conditioning factor for the vo!el changes and the accent>stress 1ecame fi:ed in
the *ermanic languages9
Simplification of the case system3 In *ermanic there !as a fusion of
a1lative>locative>instrumental>dative and vocative>nominative= three num1ers and genders retained
The deterioration of the case system (i9e9 inflectional suffi:es) is related to the initial-sylla1le stress
patterns of *ermanic (final sylla1les 1ecame unstressed or !ea"ly stressed and lost their distinctness)9
o tense>aspect3 change from si: aspects to only t!o tenses, present and preterit
o mood3 retained indicative and imperative and fused su1junctive, injunctive and optative
o seven ver1 classes in Indo-European (distinguished 1y their vo!el changes) !ere retained in
o *ermanic added !ea" ver1s (also called dental preterite ver1s), featuring a dental sound CdD at
the end of a ver1 to indicate past tense (the ancestor of our regular past tenses3 e9g9 !al",
*ermanic retained a relatively free !ord order, 1ut made greater use of prepositions to compensate
for the loss of inflections
*ermanic inheritance of many 1asic !ords of the Indo-European voca1ulary (e*g* cold, winter, honey,
wolf, snow, beech, pine, father, mother, sun, tree, long, red, foot, head, and (erbs such as be, eat, lie) and
forms for grammatical concepts (negation, interrogation)
1orro!ings from Italic, eltic and 6alto-Slavic languages
large common and uniEue voca1ulary of the *ermanic languages (not present in other Indo-European
languages and perhaps 1orro!ed from non-Indo-European languages) (e*g* back, blood, body, bone,
bride, child, gate, ground, oar, rat, sea, soul)
e:tensive use derivative affi:es and compounding to create ne! !ords
;est *ermanic languages
8utch %:ow ;ranconian, <est )ermanic2
:ow )erman %<est )ermanic2
Central )erman %=igh )erman, <est )ermanic2
*pper )erman %=igh )erman, <est )ermanic2
%L$ E#*LIS)
%ld English !as spo"en in !estern 6ritain and southern Scotland until appro:imately the end of the ,,th
century, !hen it 1egan to evolve into 0iddle English9 At a1out the same time the Scots language 1egan to
diverge from %ld English and eventually 1ecame esta1lished as a separate language9
English I ;est *ermanic language
heavy influence from %ld #orse, %ld 4rench, and 'omance languages
!idely spo"en around the !orld due to previous 6ritish e:ploration and coloni5ation and later
American e:pansion and cultural influence, including the internet
spo"en as a first language 1y more than ?@@ million people and as a second language 1y more than A@@
in European countries the rate of fluency in English is high