Indo-European Languages

Authored by: Philip Baldi

The World’s Major Languages

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415353397
eBook ISBN: 9780203301524
Adobe ISBN: 9781134261567

10.4324/9780203301524.ch1

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Abstract

By the term Indo-European we are referring to a family of languages which by about 1000 BCE were spoken over a large part of Europe and parts of southwestern and southern Asia. Indo-European is essentially a geographical term: it refers to the easternmost (India) and westernmost (Europe) pre-colonial expansion of the family at the time it was proven to be a linguistic group by scholars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the term was first used in 1813). Of course, modern developments which have spread Indo-European languages around the world now suggest another name for the family, but the term Indo-European (German Indogermanisch) is now well rooted in the scholarly tradition.

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