Indo-Aryan

Authored by: Leonid Kulikov

The Indo-European Languages

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415730624
eBook ISBN: 9781315678559
Adobe ISBN: 9781317391531

10.4324/9781315678559.ch6

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Abstract

The Indo-Aryan languages (sometimes also referred to, misleadingly and not quite correctly, as Indic) represent the largest group of the Indo-European both by the total number of speakers of the present-day Indo-Aryan languages (approx. one and a half billion of the total three billion speakers of Indo-European languages) and by the number of languages (ca. 225 languages recognized, for instance, by Ethnologue, thus making up more than half of all Indo-European languages listed by this source). The largest Indo-Aryan languages include Hindi and Urdu (about 240 million speakers), Bengali (about 230 million), Punjabi (about 110 million), Marathi (about 70 million), Rajasthani (about 50 million) and Gujarati (about 45 million). At present, Indo-Aryan languages are spoken, above all, on the Indian subcontinent, also referred to as South Asia. This region includes India proper (officially the Republic of India), Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Republic of the Maldives). Due to labor migration, large groups of speakers of Indo-Aryan languages have settled all over the world, and these languages are now spoken in a number of diasporas, in particular, in such regions as South-East Asia, Africa, South America (in particular, Guyana and Surinam), Australia and Melanesia (in particular Fiji), as well as in the USA and some European countries, foremost in the United Kingdom.

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