Talk:Indo-European languages

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Former good article nomineeIndo-European languages was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 15, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed

Northern Iran[edit]

Everyone in northern Iran speaks Persian. My grandparents (father side) are from Tabriz. Please change the picture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Indo-European originated in Asia Minor[edit]

This is old news, and will remain little regarded by linguistic experts as long as Atkinson, Pagel & Co. stick to poor data and methods and completely miss the point.
Perhaps a link to Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses should be included in a prominent place within the article, as for lay readers, i. e., non-linguists, this is clearly a central issue. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Removal of Messapic, Philistine and Thracian from the infobox...[edit]

I removed the aforementioned languages from the infobox for the following reasons:

1. Philistine is not confirmed to be an Indo-European language. It was merely suggested, by some linguists, that Philistine might have been an Indo-European language but there's nothing that can conclusively prove it was. Adding it to the infobox would be as ridiculous as adding Hunnic to the infobox, since some linguists have also theorized that Hunnic was an Indo-European language.

2. Messapic and Thracian were indeed Indo-European languages, but they were not subfamilies. In fact, there's no consensus on the exact classification of these two languages. The infobox is meant to list the immediate (i.e. first order) subdivisions of the Indo-European family, therefore it was not appropriate to list Messapic and Thracian in the infobox as their precise classifications within the language family have not been widely determined.

--Nadia (Kutsuit) (talk) 08:50, 25 May 2014 (UTC)


Why is Guyana shown in light green on the map? The national language, Guyanese Creole is an English-based creole, therefore rather manifestly an IE language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

True, Guyana should be colored in dark green. Also, Lebanon should be grey. --Nadia (Kutsuit) (talk) 14:00, 8 November 2014 (UTC)


I find it strange that an article on the most widely spoken language family that's well-recognized (I'm still holding out for Nostratic, woot woot!) includes no section on typical features of its languages. I'm sure there are a few that have been written about and that we could include, like fused person-number/gender/case (for nouns) and person-number/gender/tense (for verbs) suffixes, generally SOV word order, sex-based gender systems (usually male/female/neuter), and T/V second-person pronoun distinction. Tezero (talk) 22:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

I agree, it's what I came to this article for and it's not here. It's almost entirely historical. I'm not sure that SOV is general in the modern languages BTW. (talk) 02:51, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
And I'm not sure that T–V distinction (unless you mean literal singular/plural) is typical. —Tamfang (talk) 09:59, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
T-V distinction means the distinction between formal and familiar forms of the second person pronouns tu-vous.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:37, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
SOV was typical for PIE but in modern IE languages most common word order is SVO.--Reciprocist (talk) 05:35, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

A note on the context, scientific validity and bias of the assertion of the existence of Balto-Slavic[edit]

An editor has been repeatedly trying to insert text in the articles on Indo-European, Balto-Slavic and Baltic. There are, by my count, three other editors who are reverting these changes. I want to add my name to those who find these changes inappropriate, and to note that they should be justified in the talk page somewhere before trying again. I observe that the language of these changes is "chatty", not encyclopedic, and is not supported by appropriate citations. I think that appropriate action is warranted by an administrator if this text continues to appear without discussion. TomS TDotO (talk) 10:53, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Would you mind giving a bit of context? What exactly is being inserted? Am I correct in gathering that it's a "manufactroversy" in the vein of Holocaust denial or global warming skepticism, in the sense of an idea that <1% of scholars agree with? Tezero (talk) 15:37, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The "note on balto-slavic" is written in an entirely non encyclopedic style, as a personal essay, and it has no sources. We can certainly have a section about balto-slavic and the doubt about its validity as a grouping, but it would have to be written in an encyclopedic style and with reliable sources. It would be good to read our guidelines on editorializing and Verifiability.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:46, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Add to the edit warring in four different articles the personal attacks that this single purpose account has posted on individual Talk Pages and you get an individual who isn't interested in encyclopedic content, but only in pushing an agenda. --Taivo (talk) 18:21, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I suggest to move this talk to the appropriate main article. HJJHolm (talk) 15:36, 20 January 2015 (UTC)


In § Grouping, I'm adding a parenthetical note with a link to Genetic (linguistics):

(The word "genetic" here has nothing to do with human genetics; it refers to relationships between languages.)

The same page is linked from the word "genetic" in the immediately preceding sentence. While normally we wouldn't have a redundant second link so close to the first one, I feel that it's quite important to make it clear that words like "genetic" and "ancestor" here have nothing whatever to do with human genetics. There are already too many people who think that language and "race" are somehow intrinsically linked.

To discuss this, please {{Ping}} me. --Thnidu (talk) 03:03, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree that genetic is an unfortunate word, an exceedingly weak metaphor. Or was it coined in this sense before gene was? —Tamfang (talk) 11:14, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I understand the difficulty, but, in answer to the first editor, the OED tells us that the first usage of the word "genetic" in English was in 1750. The concept of a gene developed in the 20th century after the discovery of Mendel's work (done in the 1850s and 60s, but ignored). The OED cites a use of word "genetic" in this sense in 1907; another biological sense from 1860, and a sense of culture in 1870. We Wikipedians are stuck with what the world does, I'm afraid. TomS TDotO (talk) 13:57, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Warnow or Tarnow[edit]

§ Diversification refers to the work of "Don Ringe and Wendy Tarnow", but in the references and other mentions ("Ringe-Warnow model of language evolution") the second name is "Tandy [or T.] Warnow", confirmed by a Google search for the phrase. AWB finds the name first appearing here in the edit of 18:48, 30 April 2014, described as "(→‎Diversification: Copied info from Indo-European migrations, added link)". I'm correcting it in both articles.

To discuss this, please {{Ping}} me. --Thnidu (talk) 03:35, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:30, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Move discussion[edit]

A move discussion with connection to this article is open at Kurdish languages' talk page. Please read and join if you can help resolve it. Khestwol (talk) 17:29, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Why remove the political map of Indo-European languages?[edit]

Both the political and non-political maps of the IE languages should be present in the article. Why remove something that makes the article more informative? (talk) 10:18, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

because it is added by a sock of a banned editor who is block evading. And because the information presented is misleading. It shows most of Africa as Indo-European and all of Turkey (incl. Kurdish part) as non-Indo-European. We don't need such map. The other map, about the modern IE branches in Eurasia should stay in the top of this article. Khestwol (talk) 10:28, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Looking back at the history of this article, the political map was always there. It's been in the article for many, many years. The onus is on the person who wishes to make the change to explain his/her changes instead of edit-warring. As for the maps, surely we can have both. We can relocate the political map to another section of the article instead of getting rid of it outright. The other maps aren't accurate by any means either. (talk) 10:32, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I came up with a solution that makes all sides happy. You see, that's what editors should do on Wikipedia. We should give and take, and not let psychopathic power-hungry admins get in our way. (talk) 10:41, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

The political map is inappropriate for the infobox. This article is about the language family, not politics. Moreover, the non-political map contains information about the branches of the family. Nevertheless, the political map is okay for somewhere in the body of the article. --JorisvS (talk) 10:47, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Which languages should be used as examples?[edit]

We should have some criteria for selecting which languages will serve as examples. I suggest that it is not appropriate just to use the most familiar, or widely spoken languages. I'd rather suggest that the we include languages which show the range of differences. So there should be examples from all of the extant branches of Indo-European, and all of the subbranches of the larger groups. So, I would definitely include a few of the Indic group. In the Romance group, I suggest that we don't have to include all of the well-known languages, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French: rather, I think we could have Sardinian, Romanian and Catalan. In the Germanic group, I would have Yiddish, Icelandic and maybe Gothic. Meanwhile, if we are going to drop a language from the present list, I'd drop one of the Baltic languages or Italian or Portuguese or Spanish or English - yes - after all, all of the readers do not need reminders of the English words! TomS TDotO (talk) 15:22, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

I agree a discussion is needed (and a bit amazed by the current "all is fine except Pashto"). The way I see it, there are different ways to go.
1 We could focus on the major languages. Then Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French all make sense, even though they are closely related, as all have a large number of speakers.
2 We could try to get one from each group. Currently, some groups have a large number and others are more or less absent.
3 We could consider historic languages.
3 We could combine aspects of this, but not entirely random.
I'm glad TomS TDotO opened the discussion. I disagree with quite many of the arguments, though. I think English is needed, how else are readers supposed to know what the words mean? I'm not sure I see the logic behind picking Yiddish, Icelandic and Gothic, except if the idea is to pick dead or marginal languages from each group (and if that's the idea, I don't agree with that idea). German, English and Swedish would seem the most logic Germanic languages if combining size and language groups (Dutch is of course larger than Swedish, but very close to German).Jeppiz (talk) 15:29, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Agreed that widely known is not a good criterion. First, we should decide how many languages can be added. The current table has 15, and has maybe some room for one more, but that may depend on the reader's screen resolution. So 15–16 seems reasonable. There are eight extant branches, which should obviously be represented. So, there are seven or eight slots left. Both Baltic and Slavic should be represented. The main subdivisions of Indo-Aryan should also be represented, which then leaves four to five slots for other languages. --JorisvS (talk) 15:38, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree on that. As you say, all extant branches are of course a given. In some cases, I'd say it's rather easy to pick a language, as in Lithuanian obviously being more interesting for a comparison than Latvian, and being bigger as well. So Lithuanian seems an obvious choice. I would not be alien to including some extinct languages, mainly thinking about Latin, Ancient Greek and/or Sanskrit.Jeppiz (talk) 15:47, 17 July 2015 (UTC)


This is just a suggestion, of course open to discussions, for sixteen languages. No particular order intended.
1. Albanian - a given, the only language in its branch.
2. Armenian - a given, the only language in its branch.
3. Greek - a given, the only language in its branch.
4. Lithuanian - almost a given, no reason to pick Latvian instead.
5. Russian - largest Slavic language, and all Slavic languages are close.
6. English - a given, relevant for readers to understand the words.
7. German - largest Germanic bar English, and conservative.
8. Irish - most conservative Celtic language.
9. Welsh - perhaps. The Goidelic and Brythonic branches are very different.
10. Persian - as the main Iranian language.
11. Hindi - largest Indic language.
12. Italian - most conservative of the major Romance languages.
13. Other romance - An argument could be made for any of them.
14. Swedish - possibly, to a Northern Germanic language.
15. Sanskrit - the oldest preserved IE language.
16. Latin - perhaps, but several other relevant options.
Again, this is just a suggestion, good arguments can be made for several other options.Jeppiz (talk) 16:04, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

As for the Romance languages,the best choises are Italian,as it is the most conservative of the major modern Romance languages and Latin .As for the Slavic languages,the best choises are Russian(East Slavic),Polish (West Slavic) and/or Serbo-Croatian(South Slavic).Anyways this is a suggestion.Rolandi+ (talk) 16:34, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Also add one Eastern Iranian language and one Nuristani language to complete the table. Welsh could be removed when we have Irish to represent the almost extinct Celtic branch. If editors are interested in extinct languages also add Tocharian language. Khestwol (talk) 16:53, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Hittite as the oldest attested, and important for IE studies. As long as we're committed to English, I suggest that we drop the closely related German. If we're allowing extinct languages, Gothic is more interesting. As far as "other romance", Romanian as a representative of a different branch (and I realize that I'm not going to convince anybody of Sardinian). TomS TDotO (talk) 22:22, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
      • Actually, English has the least reason to be in the table. On the English Wikipedia, everybody knows the numerals in English. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 23:11, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
        • Entirely true, but please see below. When we update the table, we shouldn't just stick to numbers, not if the idea is the provide a relevant overview.Jeppiz (talk) 23:15, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • What about Avestan? Or Ossetian (as a living descendant of Scytho-Sarmatian languages). --Zyma (talk) 08:50, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • In general I think large lists or tables of cognates are not appropriate for articles on language families. Secondly I think English is of course necessarily included, since the meaning of the cognate set has to be given, and since being the English encyclopedia it makes sense to show any interesting examples where we have an odd cognate relative to the other languages. If we really need a table of IE cognates, I think we should spin it out as a list article with an in situ summary here. I would suggest including Hittite and Tocharian because of their importance for reconstruction and to use Icelandic as the sole example of a North Germanic language. Also Latin is better than Italian - and if we need a second Italic it should be a Sabellian language. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:00, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Another suggestion[edit]

There are 9 language families. So that is how many languages we need to put in the table, one language per family. Or, we might pick two languages per family, an old language and a modern one. Any extra languages we include should have a linguistic reason for being there. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 23:14, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Good but for example how do you want to pick 1 or 2 for Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian families? --Zyma (talk) 18:00, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I would pick two for each of those - butput them in a separate list article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:03, 18 July 2015 (UTC)


Apart from the discussion about which languages to include, it would seem very relevant to decide which items to use. Currently it's just the numbers 1-10, which seems rather uninteresting. Let's avoid too long tables, but I'd recommend numbers 1-5 and then around ten different items.Jeppiz (talk) 22:37, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

The table in question is in the subsection (in fact, makes it up in its entirety) "Numerals". It's current purpose (see my further comments below), i.e. the only reason it exists in the article, is to show the different forms of the numbers 1-10.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 00:34, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Purpose of the table in question?[edit]

All of this discussion begs the question: what is the purpose including this table in the article? Before we start deciding on what to put in the table, we should make clear why the table is there. Is it just simply to list 1-10 in random IE languages? Is it to demonstrate the similarity of forms across the constituent language families to confirm the languages are indeed related? Is it to demonstrate outliers, divergent innovations or a variety of forms? etc., etc.? All the talk about what to include seems pointless (and subject to endless future debate and bloat) if we don't first define the purpose of the table's existence.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 00:34, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, good question. In many encyclopaedias, there is a similar table on Indo-European languages, usually with words that remain intact in many of the languages. "Father" and "mother" are rather typical examples. I would posit that a table that lets readers see the similarities, but without overdoing it (ie only going for words that are the same in all languages) would be the best thing.Jeppiz (talk) 01:49, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I would argue that we don't need such a table in the article, but could make the table as a standalone list article. And I would argue that if we really really have to have a table of cognates it should have no more than 2 - 4 etyma, father, mother, brother, 2, would be good candidates.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:02, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
father, mother, brother are so similar that they would show much the same thing. But I'm afraid that we're looking for a perfect solution when we all can agree that Latvian (with no offense to its speakers) should be replaced with Hindi; and Spanish, Portuguese, and French should be replaced with Irish, Hittite, and Albanian. That should be simple. And then, if there is further interest, we can argue forever over making a perfect table. TomS TDotO (talk) 03:46, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I dont think that it is a problem that they show much the same thing. The only thing the table should illustrate is the relatedness of all the branches (which is why it should show languages from all the main branches not the most populous languages today). It should be very few etyma - if a table is to be used at all (which I dont think).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:59, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
There is an article List of numbers in various languages which covers the subject very well.
There are three different lists which cover number words in various Indo-European languages much better than this list. If there is no objection in a couple of days, I will remove this list. TomS TDotO (talk) 03:40, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Europe to India or India to Europe[edit]

There are two main reasons for listing Indo-European as being "From Europe to India":

  • The majority of branches in IE are in Europe and the fewest in India
  • The reading direction for English speakers, and, consequently, the normal direction for scanning a map, is left to right, thus, west to east.

--Taivo (talk) 21:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Absolutely. I also don't understand comments like "origin of Indo first" and "linguistic order". Is this Indigenous Aryans and Out of India all over again? We have firmly established that they were fringe theories. - Kautilya3 (talk) 22:56, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I supplied a citation which mentions the direction Western Europe to India. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 23:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

TaivoLinguist, Kautilya3, Dr.K. Let's get a few things clear:

  • This sentence isn't about how many more branches are in Europe or where it geographically originated from (as some above may assume with their Aryan obsessions), but an indication of how the word Indo-European was formed.
  • The reading direction, left to right, Indo-European, Northeast India then Western Europe. I don't think anyone is thinking of a map when they are trying to found out the origin of the word Indo-European.
  • This article is titled Indo-European languages. Describing it as extending from Western Europe to India right after explaining why it's called Indo-European doesn't seem fit.
  • "Thomas Young coined the term "Indo-European" in 1813, from Indo- + European, after the geographical extremes of the language family: from Northeast India to Western Europe."
  • The above sounds much better than what it is currently:
"Thomas Young coined the term "Indo-European" in 1813, from Indo- + European, after the geographical extremes of the language family: from Western Europe to Northeast India."
The above would sound better if the article and language family was titled Euro-Indian or something as Euro is the first part of the word and Indian is the second.
  • So what if the citations said European first?
  • What you're promoting is like saying the origin of the word Indochina is from China and India. Normally one would say India then China first, right? Why? Perhaps because it forms the first part of the word?
One would also say the Sino-Indian War was a war between China and India. China comes first (sino) then Indian. It LINGUISTICALLY sounds right. One wouldn't say the war was between India and China, even though it means the same thing.Filpro (talk) 03:36, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

With your reasons such as "Western Europe should be mentioned first because it has more primitive language branches blah blah Aryan invasion" sounds immature and it seems like you don't understand the context of these sections in the article or are trying to prove some other hidden point.

You don't seem to understand the way Wikipedia works. If reliable sources all say "Europe to India", then that's what we follow. And reading direction absolutely matters because this is the English Wikipedia. In addition, most textbooks on linguistics that cover the branches of Indo-European in English start with the European branches and end with the Indo-Iranian branch. The exceptions are few. That is just the way it is. English linguists learn Indo-Iranian last and the European branches first. Your arguments are just your personal opinion and have nothing to do with any facts. Opinion doesn't matter.
  • "Indo-European Languages," International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2:206): "...the languages of Europe...and extends across Iran to the northern half of the Indian subcontinent."
  • David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, Second Edition (298): "...throughout Europe and many parts of southern Asia."
  • P.H. Matthews, Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics (192): "...its western Europe and, at its eastern limit,...all but the southern part of the Indian subcontinent."
  • Edward Finegan, Language, Its Structure and Use, Seventh Edition (436): "...most languages of well as most languages of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and most of India."
  • Strang Burton et al., Linguistics for Dummies (187): "Europe, Iranian plateau, South Asia"
  • David Dalby, The Linguasphere Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities (2:385): "...across much of Eurasia, from Iceland and the British Isles in the northwest to Sri Lanka in the south..."
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (921): "...the languages of Europe as well as those of Iran, the Indian subcontinent, and other parts of Asia."
  • "Indo-European Languages," The World's Major Languages (33): "..a large part of Europe and parts of southwestern and southern Asia."
  • George L. Campbell, Concise Compendium of the World's Languages (247): "stretching from Ireland to Assam, and from Norway and central Russia to the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and Central India."
  • Carlos Quiles, A Grammar of Modern Indo-European (23): "...most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Asia."
  • J.P. Mallory & D.Q. Adams, The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (6): "...the languages of Europe and some of those of Asia..."
  • James Clackson, Indo-European Linguistics, An Introduction (2): "...lived in Europe, Iran, Turkey, Western Asia and the Indian subcontinent..."
Those are just off my personal shelves where I could quickly find a statement along the lines of "The Indo-European languages are spoken..." or something similar. Not a single time was India placed first and Europe last. Not once. There are two very simple reasons for this traditional ordering: 1) English speakers read maps from left to right, and 2) English speakers (this is the English Wikipedia) typically describe things from the point of view of England first. You don't have any basis for "India first" other than your personal desire. --Taivo (talk) 05:02, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
@Taivo I completely agree with Europe to India, but completely disagree with your map arguement. --YOMAL SIDOROFF-BIARMSKII (talk) 05:48, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Colour of Malaysia on the map[edit]

How do we justify the colouring of Malaysia, when the article Malaysian English does not seem to support any official status? Is there any objective (sourced) criterion by which the role of English in Malaysia is significantly more important than, say, French in Tunisia?--Lieven Smits (talk) 15:00, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Colour of South Africa on the map[edit]

The article Languages of South Africa does not suggest a secondary official role for the IE languages English and Afrikaans, so it would seem justified to colour that country dark green. --Lieven Smits (talk) 15:14, 31 August 2015 (UTC)


Reference no. 9 states that " In Dutch, for instance, the general population uses the term Indo-Germaans." As someone with a Master's Degree in Foreign Languages from a Belgian/Flemish university, I can comfortably say I have never heard that term before, nor in scientific literature, nor in common parlance.

Ithvan (talk) 09:51, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

It does seem a strange statement (why would the general population be talking about this language family?). Since it is unsourced and dubious, I've removed it. W. P. Uzer (talk) 12:03, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
The normal term is nowadays Indo-Europees, much like in English there also used to be the term "Indo-Germanic". --JorisvS (talk) 18:42, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Missing from the chart[edit]

Basque and Farsi deserve to be included in the family tree. (talk) 17:03, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Basque is not Indo-European and the more common word for "Farsi" is "Persian" in English. --JorisvS (talk) 17:53, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Old Prussian either does not have anything to offer in the conjugation chart or it does but nobody entered it in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Myrrhfrankincensegold (talkcontribs) 03:45, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps the Old Prussian corpus is too sparse. —Tamfang (talk) 09:54, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Not science[edit]

I'm sorry but if you are an academic you should be angry at those who indoctrinated you and the universities who lowered their standards to allow you to be so. Arutun (talk) 15:00, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

@Arutun: And you're saying this based on what reliable sources? —C.Fred (talk) 18:30, 9 July 2016 (UTC)[edit]

Is a good reference? There is a limited number of choices available. There are choices of learning English for speakers of several other languages. But there are very few choices for learning non-IE languages. TomS TDotO (talk) 00:42, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

No, it is not a good reference for this topic, because it doesnt have any information about the Indo-European language family.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:07, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I have reverted[1] the ip for following reasons:

  • per WP:LEAD: Article dont have to mention ALL non-IE languages separately in the lead. Mentioning macro language families and their prominent members is more appropriate. The article do not have to mention almost all ancient isolate languages in the lead either. Those are off-topic.
  • Italian and Ukranian are not "the most widely spoken" IE languages. It is an unsourced and false information.
  • per WP:INTEGRITY; Indo-Iranian did not arise in 1800 BC. It's the date of the split as Iranian and Indo-Aryan, as the article and source say.
  • Many duplicate and weasel words, links: Semitic is parent link of Afro-Asiatic languages which was already added to the "see also" section. There is no need to insert it. And language isolate is not that relevant to this article to mention it on the see also section.-- (talk) 20:19, 1 June 2017 (UTC)


I think the intro gives redundant emphasis on which non-IE languages spoken in Europe, which is out of scope. I think it can be reworded, considering Wikipedia:out of scope and Wikipedia:Lead or such information can be given as 'footnote', if you think it is necessary. (talk) 10:20, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Yet Another Suggestion[edit]

1. The Great Vowel Shift should probably be included in this article(even though it predominantly applies to English).

2. We might want to touch on why Latin didn't some of these Indo-European languages(i.e. English) as much as it did others(i.e. French/Italian)

3. It could be worthwhile for us to better explain the difference between a "branch" and a "family"

Esotericbubbba (talk) 00:00, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Regarding the second item, English is a German language, whose roots had little or no Latin influence. That may be a simple matter of geography and the timing of Roman imperial reach; I do not know. John McWhorter, in Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, says (loosely paraphrased by moi) that English has features not found in any other Germanic language, perhaps coming from a creolization of Old English with Celtic languages such as Welsh and Cornish. (Later, Vikings may have had a pidginizing influence, "knocking off the corners" of various case inflections.) McWhorter's book struck me as a popularized account, but it did seem plausible. Just plain Bill (talk) 01:24, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
I have compiled some sources that could be used to supplement these suggestions(though I have yet to put them into MLA format)
1. Detachments for Cohension by M. M. Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest
2. Language Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface
3. Words, the evolution of Western languages by Victor Stevenson.(1983)
4. In Search of the Indo-Europeans:language, archaeology, and myth by J.P. Mallory(1989)
5. Indo-European language and culture : an introduction by Benjamin W. Fortson(2004)
6. Archaeology and langauge:the puzzle of Indo-European origins by Colin Renfrew

PeerReview Suggestions[edit]

Morphology 1. The sentence "The Greek root ‘morph’ means shape or form; thus morphology is interested in how words form." should have a comma after thus 2. Should be another parentheses after Fortson 3. After the third sentence under the bolded "Morphology", I would just say the examples w/o the repetition of the word similar/similarity and go into more depth on what you mean 4. "In terms of affixes, all Indo-European languages mark their nouns and verbs with various affixes to indicate a wide range of information such as number and case." -- put a comma before such

Ablaut 1. Change the wording of the second sentence -- you say "in English the verb infinitive sing", but that should be worded differently and should be to sing AND you should split up the sentence because it is too wordy and confusing 2. "Linguists do not yet completely agree whether or not ablaut is a phonetic or morphological process" -- incorrect grammatically so I would put the yet' with a comma in the beginning of the sentence

Word Structure 1. put a comma after optionally (1st sentence of this section) 2. Comma before such as in the second sentence 3. In this sentence, "In terms of placement, affixes can be divided into prefix, suffix, and infix", I would say affixes can be divided into subcategories: prefix, suffix, infix. 4. No comma after derivational affixes 5. Omit are those that serve to 6. no need for also in English

Root Structure 1. "Examples of each variation is shown in the following table" -- changes to are shows

Verb Structure 1. combine the first two sentences 2. say what PIE is or use the actual word

Syntax 1. Put a comma after grammar in the second sentence 2. would say that are underlying forms of a sentence's structure instead of unifying structures that underlie a sentence’s surface form 3. change the third sentence because it is confusing -- make sure to not keep repeating the word rare 4. No need for careful, persistent, and ingenious in the last sentence -- make it concise

Word Order 1. Refrain from saying IE languages or say beforehand what it is 2. Hittite came out of nowhere so sort of confusing -- maybe explain what it is 3. would not say school of thought because it is not supposed to be oppnionated

Clause Structure 1. put a comma before the moreover in the last sentence


Reanna.shah (talk) 23:33, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Without commenting on any of the above (this is just a convenient place to put my question), the text says about Hittite that "Although they are written in the Semitic Old Assyrian language and with the use of the Cuneiform script of Mesopotamia, the Hittite words and names..." I don't understand what this is saying. How can word in one language be written in a different *language*? I understand how they could be written in an unusual script, perhaps a script normally used for another language, but this doesn't mean that it's written in another *language*. If what this means is that Assyrian had Hittite loanwords (sort of like English has French loanwords), then this should be clarified. Mcswell (talk) 16:29, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Genetic vs. genealogical[edit]

Someone tried to re-interpret the concept "genetic" by a sense expressing the concept "genealogical". Choosing the correct term solves the unnecessary "explanation". Done. HJJHolm (talk) 13:07, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

Hittite is missing from the list of branches.[edit]

--Reciprocist (talk) 21:29, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Extinct Indo-European languages[edit]

"There are about 445 living Indo-European languages, according to the estimate by Ethnologue", what about the extinct Indo-European languages, how many there were ? Is there any suggestion or potential amount ? Leo Freeman (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:39, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

About important languages for reconstruction[edit]

Sionkimzion (talk) 08:26, 10 February 2018 (UTC)The article mentions that Sanksrit and a few other languages are the "most important". I couldn't find the evidence for those languages' being "most important" I think the sentence needs a correction.

Please revise carefully the professional scientific strictly terms[edit]

Please revise carefully terms used to the related article Indo-European languages for a right origin of languages. Article holds inaccuracies specially regarding to Greek language, Greek alphabet and to Albanian language. According to Albanology and the works of albanologs as Gustav Meyer Johann Georg von Hahn and Milan Šufflay there are serious thoroughly studies and works of Meyer, Hahn and Suflai over the albanian language, works that prove unmistakably, undoubtfully that Albanian Language is the oldest language of Europe. Their work prove that albanian language was the basic language over which were created all other europian languages. So in the article about Indo-Europian languages must be included over all the fact that albanian language is the oldest of Europe and it is the basis of all other languages from Latin language and all other languages created after latin language. Declared is in the article the fact that the oldest written documents of albanian language date from 14th century A.D but in the secret archives of Vatican lay 6000 documents (not allowed to become public) written in albanian language which is the testimony that albanian language was written since in early records of first language writtings. There is a mistake in the article about Indo-European languages when it comes to the mentionin about Mycenaean Greek. As well it must be corrected the article itlself of Mycenian Greek for two reasons. First because of the use of the term "greek". There is no period known as "greek" in ancient times, specially during the time when the culture of old Mycene was brought alive. There is no evidence of any culture, civilisation, goverment, state country or nation called "greek" in ancient times according to the original writtings of that time. Scientifically from the point of view of a graduated historian it is illiteracy speaking about "greek" in the period of minoan civilisation and mycene civilisation. Term "greek" is created by some falsifier historians of 18th century A.D. Term "greek" have never existed 4000 year before when it was the time of Minoan and Mycenian civilisation. Term "greek" is created 4000 years after those ancient times. Even more names Minoa and Mycene can be explained only according to the rules and the meaning of the today albanian language. This is another very important point. And this is the second point why the article about Mycenian Greek and Indo-Europeane must be corrected which leds us to correct everything specially about so-called wrongly ancient greek language. There are no original documents of ancient times, there are no cronicles, there are not references or not even the smallest evidence to prove the existence of the greek language in ancient times. Even more according to carefully studies of today it results that there is not the smallest link between today modern greek language and so-called wrongly ancient greek language. They are totally two different languages that do not have any connection between them. Meanwhile all the evidences and all the studies specially brought here by Gustav Meyer, Milan Šufflay, George Von Hahn and too many other albanolgs prove that the modern albanian language is the only one language who can interpret, explain, give meaning and make understoodable what is so-called wrongly ancient greek language. One fact is sure. So-called ancient greek language does not have any link to modern greek language and at the other hand so-called ancient greek language can be explained and have a direct link to modern albanian language and the proof for this stands in the works of Meyer, Šufflay, Von Hahn and all others. For this reason and referring to Historical negationism the term "greek" must be removed from the article of Indo-European languages, from the article of Mycenian Greek and all other articles which is talk about "ancient greeks" and "ancient greek language". It must be an illiteracy if a schoolar or a historian graduated in the most famous dignified universities of the world will be speaking and spreading the false and fake term "greek". Things must be said as evidences show them to be. To be accurate we all must admit that greek language appears later more than middle ages A.D and is not at all ancient and have no link to ancient languages. For these evidences brought here the articles mentioned here must be corrected in basis of proofs. And for the reason of improving the articles according to the truth is opened this talking page. (talk) 20:55, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Greek is Slavic term "Grk", for Hellenic people and that become adopted by hellenic people and other foren Autors. "Greek" is name for larger group of people, not only Hellenic people but also Minoans...

Albanian can't be oldest european languages in europe, after Turkic language Albanian is probably the newest natural language in Europe. Albanian Academy of Science is transparent by literacy and some Albanologist are oposed to this theory, and they recognised influence of Serbian, Hellenic or Romanic influece, for example Skenderbej is Serbian leader not Albanian, but some albanians were under his rule. And today some historians are indicating that Skenderbej (Đorđe Kastriotic Christian not muslim) with Konstantin the Great, Alexander Macedonian and Quin Elizabet are Albanian. But they are not. Ewerithing depends from Albanian Historian that your are reading... I can quote some other albanian, greek, serbian... scoolars that hawe strong proof of falsificating History of nordic-slavic and hellenic people in Albania. How i can see, you are part of that historical-linguistic block-out... Abanian language is part of Berber language group.

I can see that you know albanian language and history, than i alredy know that you will son discower that infuence of albanization on different non-albanian group of people who remembered they Historical figures or some words that are not part of alban languige but are part of dialect in albaninan languige, are only evidence of Albanian conecton with that people or they language... Some of them are considering Albanians-Arnauts and Sqipterians as diferent people who in past hawe spoken diferent language, later mixed in time of Othoman rule, bethwen New Epirus and Skadarska Kraina (Skenderia-Shkoder country)... For example, german scoolar Johann Georg von Hahn who was specialist for Albania, in 1855 year noted that albanian languige hawe no roots in europan language, Turkish influence is much stronger than european, he wrote... For example, Hellenic languige hawe mor incomon with some languiges in india than in albania.

Quoting that linguistic and historian Albanologist, can't go without larger discution... Mostly they were incorect

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 30 November 2018 (UTC) 

Map of official languages[edit]

Definitely, Israel should be painted blue because they have English as a state language (along Hebrew and Arabic).--Reciprocist (talk) 05:39, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

The map is meant for the original native distribution of the language. If the map were to include every single country with an Indo-European language as one of its official languages, most countries would get filled up with some tint of blue. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 22:36, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

feudal language and planar languages?[edit]

Most of the language can be categorised as feudal languages. A few like English can be defined as planar languages.

This is an information many language 'scientists' do not want to take up for study. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2405:204:D38C:B31C:257A:C7FA:AE5D:AC4 (talk) 09:11, 20 June 2018 (UTC)


About the map, I don't really know the situation in Wales and Scotland, but in Britanny, even in the western part, french is by far the native language of most people and not celtic.

Sardinian"ferjo" in conjugations[edit]

This in Sardinian may be the word for hit, from ferio, not fero. Two unlike roots. Yoandri Dominguez Garcia 16:05, 29 September 2018 (UTC)

Error propagated from online version of Encyclopedia Britannica: Indo-Aryan Does not Relate to the Indian Subcontinent![edit]

There is a serious need to correct all Wikipeida articles which reference or define "Indo-Aryan" languages as being specifically languages of the Indian Subcontinent.

Indo-Aryan is simply a synonym for Indo-European. All standard University level Linguistics and History faculties agree that Indo-Aryan is indeed just a Synonym for Indo-European - Again it is Encyclopedia Britannica's ONLINE VERSION that has propagated this error into Wikipedia as well as to some online dictionaries.

The phrase Indo-Aryan properly referes to "one of the early Indo-European invaders of southern Asia" which includes both the Iranian and Indian branches of this "invasion southward.

The confusion this has created is vast and the correction I am proposing encompasses many Wikipeida articles on this topic, but nevertheless it should be undertaken ASAP. Some feedback would be appreciated regarding this proposal. Xoltron (talk) 22:06, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Map key is incomplete[edit]

The key to the map in the "info box" is missing a colour. Large parts of Asia are coloured in a pale green that is not explained. (talk) 23:14, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

The legend says "striped areas indicate where multilingualism is common". That area is striped in green. AJD (talk) 04:04, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, but it is extremely unclear that all that large area of apparent solid pale green is supposed to be "striped". Even if it was "striped" (which it isn't), we usually expect the colours of the stripes to be explained. (talk) 13:28, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Aha, clicking through to the very largest scale [2], I can see that there are indeed very fine stripes of grey and darker green. These are completely undetectable on my monitor at the size that the map is displayed in the infobox. Instead it appears to be a solid pale green. I suggest that the thickness of the stripes is increased. (talk) 13:53, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Template:White people?[edit]

Rua reverted Template:White people from the footer of the article, and did the same to Proto-Indo-European language . Not sure why, though? I'd suppose it's a due navbox context thing, if you don't mind awefully, do you? PPEMES (talk) 17:40, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

What on earth does Proto-Indo-European have to do with racial theories? Rua (mew) 17:41, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, I guess languages and ethnicities tend to correlate slightly, along with associated study topics? I didn't come up with this specifically, but isn't the theory that Indo-European languages pertain ethno-linguistically to the theories on Indo-European peoples? Well, Indo-European peoples has recurred as a historical background to the societal concepts around "white people" etc., along with associated academic disciplines (e.g. white studies), doesn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but including templates where a topic is included, doesn't mean "stamping" this as an essential characteristics. In this case, I suppose it concerns a more or less arbitrary, social construct. I really don't want to force anything, and I may be wrong. It's just a pursuit of information transparency, in this case aboit a social construct. I am open to any arguments. PPEMES (talk) 18:13, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Hellenic languages[edit]

So I've been discussing with @ about whether Greek is an Indo-European language, but we couldn't really agree on what to do. So could we have a Request for comment? Thanks! Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 05:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Hello, I am the anonymous user who discussed with "Nigos". There is an article, which, for some reason, I cannot find on the Internet and is contained in a book about the history of the Greek language, talking about toponymic findings that there were Neolithic civilizations in Greece, the Sesklo and the Dimini after the first one, in a period among 7.150 and 5.000 B.C.E (3.200 B.C.E if the Cycladic civilization is added before the arrival of the primarily known Hellenic tribes at 3.000 B.C.E) whose people spoke languages closely related to Proto-Greek and really divergent from the Proto-Indo-European language of the Yamna culture on the Crimean coast. Now, about Babiniotis• in his book "A brief history of the Greek language", he classifies Greek as Indo-European. This book was written in 1998. Around 1 year after its release, he was interviewed by George Papadakis in his breakfast show on television and was asked what changes he would make to the book, which I also cannot find online it was shown on television during some flashbacks of his show last year. Babiniotis responded saying that he reclassifies Greek as an isolate (the sole survivor of the Hellenic language family) due to a significant number of words whose origin is not Indo-Europoean. Furthermore, he stated that Greece played an important role in the evolution of many languages, especially Latin, because of the ancient Greek colonialistic policy and the the conquests of Alexander the Great, and that any Greek word looking like any other word of a foreign language is due to borrowing or language contact.

Demoule, Jean-Paul; Perlès, Catherine (1993). "The Greek Neolithic: A New Review". Journal of World Prehistory. Here is a journal article about the existence of the Sesklon culture at 7.150 B.C.E although it does not refer to any language. Just to clarify, most Greek linguists classify Greek as an isolate (the sole survivor of the, divergent from Indo-European, Hellenic languages).

Any claim that Greek is non-IE is a fringe position not supported by a substantial number of linguists—especially a claim that you can't even find a reliable source for. It may, as many IE languages do, have a non-IE substrate in its prehistory, but that doesn't make Greek non-IE itself. AJD (talk) 11:24, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
An isolate? Not Indo-European? You seem to avoiding overwhelming evidence showing otherwise. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 12:36, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • There's really not need to be discussions at length WP:FRINGE theories. Yes, Greek has had a substantial number of loans from non-IE languages, but its Indo-European character has never been questioned in serious linguistics. If there are any proposals about a "Hellenic" language family, and they are backed up by substantial evidence, then of course they can be discussed somewhere (with due weight). – Uanfala (talk) 13:47, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

I guess you are not Greek like me and you do not know well. Prodicus, an ancient Greek linguist, who was mentioned by Plato in his writing "Protagoras", staits that a lot of words that do not look like Indo-European are not loanwords, because, as mentioned above, there were two Neolithic cultures (created by Hellenic tribes) living in Greece at 7.000 B.C.E while the primarily known theory says that Greeks came in Greece at 3.000 B.C.E. Also, there was another tribe, the Paenonian which dwelled the northern parts of Macedonia at around 3.500 B.C.E and, according to the related primarily known theory, they were of Greek derivation. What do you have to say about it? I think your sources are fringe. Plus, there is no actual evidence showing the Indo-European ancestry of Greek. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I am trying very hard to assume good faith. It's hard, but here goes: science had evolved quite a bit in the last 3000 years. Whatever someone said 3000 years ago about linguistics does not trump modern scholarship. No source at all has been presented for the ludicrous claim Greek isn't Indo-European, but even if a source from an academic journal (not some tinfoil-hat amateur) was presented, it would still be fringe and not incorporated in the article, as we have literally hundreds (or rather thousands) of good academic sourced identifying Greek as Indo-European. Jeppiz (talk) 15:55, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Every unreliable source tries to "prove" the Indo-European ancestry of Greek. History itself proves otherwise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

You could find very many sources at Indo-European languages#History of Indo-European linguistics. How are they unreliable? Thanks Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 23:47, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

They are, because, as I told you, history proves otherwise. If you look somewhere above, you will find a source from me about archaeology talking about some pre-Indo-European cultures in Greece- the source does not include any language, since you like so much to work with sources. As I re-mentioned above, there was another article from a book talking about the history of the Greek language, which I cannot find online to use as a source, and classifies Greek as the sole survivor of the Hellenic language family and a language isolate, because its genetic relatives are dead- just like the Ket language. The true relatives of Greek were the Sesklo and the Dimini languages (Seslo and Dimini cultures, 7.000-4.500 B.C.E), the Cucladic (Cycladic civilisation, 3.200-1.600 B.C.E) and, perhaps Paeonian and ancient Macedonian (the last two may be Illyrian languages with heavy Hellenic influence). Since I am Greek, I assure you that during Junior High School we were being taught history with parts of that book, which, I repeat, I cannot find online, and that book was ginving, plus everything I mentioned about Greeks relatives, Babiniotis' reconstruction of Proto-Greek and a hypothetical reconstruction of Proto-Hellenic. The Seslo and Dimini languages left substrates to the other languages later spoken in Greece (Minoan, Eteocretan, Lemnian and Anatolian) and this is why you think that Greek has such a large number number of "loanwords". These are not loanwords but pure Hellenic words that worked as a substrate to the non-Greek languages of the area. Greek can be easily defined as a pre-Indo-European language. It was just too hard for the other languages of the area to affect Greek, because it had genetic relatives way before those non-Indo-European peoples settled Greece. Only Turkish managed to lend a significant number of words in Greek but that happened way after that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:06, 24 June 2019 (UTC) about the existence of the Sesklo and Dimini cultures. talks about the Dimini peoples originating from Hungary where the Greeks lived before the hypothesized Dorian invasion. There is this article I was talking about above, which I caanot find online, and talks about Cycladic being Hellenic and Greek a language isolate. about foreigh words of Greek origin. about Greek D.N.A not being Indo-European but similar to other Pre-Indo-European peoples of the area (meaning the Sesklo and Dimini cultures). talking about Greek D.N.A being a proof of a non-Indo-European tribe living in Greece until today, since, as the source clarifies, Greek D.N.A has not changed over the course of time and it is not simliar with other European or Indian peoples but with some Paleo-Europeans such as Minoan. This article is in Greek.

  • Those sources are all focusing on archaeological findings and DNA, but the claim made is that the Greek language does not form a part of the Indo-European language family. To prove that claim, you'd have to find several sources (book, research paper, etc.) that focus explicitly on the linguistic aspect of Greek's history. You can use Google Scholar to find these sources. For example, I found this: "It is now generally believed that speakers of an Indo-European dialect or dialects arrived in the Balkan peninsula in the early second millennium BC ..., and that the language we call Greek developed its distinctive form there through the subsequent evolution and diversification of the speech of those of these newcomers who finally settled in the region." from a 2010 book entitled "Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers". It then went on to give several characteristics that define Ancient Greek as an Indo-European language on page 9-10. Can you find a source which argues that Greek should not be seen as a part of the Indo-European language family?--Megaman en m (talk) 09:53, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Megaman en m already explained this well. To be crystal clear: we are not asking for sources that make you think Greek isn't an Indo-European language. That is not relevant. Similarly, we are not looking for your own thoughts on what Greek is or isn't. We are only and exclusively interested in academic sources clearly stating that Greek isn't Indo-European. Jeppiz (talk) 10:10, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Here is my source. George Babiniotis in his book "A brief history of the Greek language" notes differences between Greek and Indo-European languages which, according to him easily distinguishes Greek from the family (not the classification within the family but a language isolate outside of it).

(page 57) Final consonats: In Indo-European, opposing to Greek, every consonant just like every vowel can be used at the end of a word.

For example: *genesom (*γενέσων> γενών, that is an Indo-European word borrowed from Hellenic γίγνομαι which means "I become")

Accentuation: In Greek the thesis of the tone, if it is distinguished from other Indo-European languages like Sanskrit, was not free. In Greek the tone cannot go any farther than the third from the end of the word syllable. Furthermore, Babiniotis staits that Lation borrowed its heavy tonal thesis from Aeolic Greek.

(page 61) Verbs: The passive and the neutral verb moods are creations of the Proto-Greeks. Furthermore, the Indo-European disambiguation between Past simple and continuous was borrowed from Greek. In Indo-European there were no Present Perfect Simple, Passive Future or Passive Past as opposed to Greek. Just like names,Indo-European verbs are categorized "stemmed" and stem-less (Feature borrowed fron Greek). In Greek, the "stemmed" verbs are split in baritone and conjugated according to the thesis of the tone.

(page 62) Syntax: Greek has created and lented to Indo-European various significant syntax while two features of it, the genitive and accusative absolutes, are not met in any other language.

(page 70) Vocabulary: There are words classified as pure Hellenic whichare shown in no other language

For example: "Δάφνη" (Sesklo and Dimini: "Dafmea", meaning "laurel"), "Αθήνα" [<"αθρέω" (="think"), the word means "Athens"), "Θάλαττα"(<"άλς" meaning "sea" while the Indo-European root is "mori", for example "Sub-marine". Greek also uses the words "πέλαγος" and "πόντος" for sea). About the pre-Greek substrate, the associated Kretschmer theory staits that there were Pre-Greek substrata deriving from Middle East due to toponymic evidence. But this theory has been largely discredited by most linguists. So, every different word is not due to a substrate but pure word roots from Proto-Greek. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

  •, to save you from putting more time on writing long texts that won't make a difference, please listed to what everybody here tell you. It seems like you believe that you need to convince us that Greek isn't Indo-European, and so you write long arguments. That's not how it works. What you need to post is a citation from Babiniotis in which he clearly states that Greek is not Indo-European. What you have posted this far is arguments that make you believe Greek isn't Indo-European. But that's exactly what WP:OR forbids. Even if you find a clear quote saying Greek isn't Indo-European we're very unlikely to make any changes as it would only be one academic saying so. However, then we could at least discuss it. Without such a quote, there isn't even anything to be discussed and this thread will soon be closed as Wikipedia is not a forum. Jeppiz (talk) 12:33, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia then does not provide valuable sources. And no, you are mistaken. I use logical arguments and everyone responds "We need more sources, those ones are not valid". Do not just work with sources, just try to criticize sometimes what you read. Just like you know about your language better than me, I know mine, Greek, better. And what I wrote about Babiniotis was a citation just not written as a Wikipedia reference, if you notice, I have written the pages of the book.

  • If original research were to be allowed, Wikipedia would cease to be an encyclopdia and become a forum. The research and analysis is done by scientists in their respective fields, Wikipedia just reports on it.--Megaman en m (talk) 13:35, 24 June 2019 (UTC) This video talks about the non-Indo-European ancestry of ancient Greeks using ancient writings as sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

  • If there were any relevant sources that support the point of view of Greek not being Indo-European, we might include it in the article, but certainly not without pointing out that it is a minority point of view. Centuries of research have established a strong consensus that Greek is Indo-European. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 16:37, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    • True, but there are still theories that there was a Pre-Greek substrate in the Greek language. A number of Greek terms do not have cognates in other Indo-European languages, suggesting that they are loan terms from another source. Dimadick (talk) 17:13, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

I can accept the inclusion of this proposal just as a minority point of view with all the sources and explanations I gave. There is no pre-Greek substrate, becaus I referred to a source with an e-book talking about the Hellenic (Sesklo and Dimini) substrate given to the pre-Greek languages (second from the beginning source I referred to above). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Dear, please note that the most important word in mach's comment is "if"! The "inclusion of this proposal just as a minority point of view" will simply not happen in this article, because it is a fringe view not endorsed by a single notable scholar (attributing this view to Babiniotis comes close to academic libel). And @Dimadick: Saying that there was a Pre-Greek substrate in the Greek language hasn't to start with a "but there are still theories..."; it is trivial and generally accepted, it is what you'd expect and almost always observe when a new language is brought to an area with an autochtonous population (unless the latter is marginalized/obliterated at a fast pace). It is nothing special to Greek/Hellenic within IE, but it also demonstrably happened with Indo-Aryan, and presumably also with other IE branches although for most of them scholars have to build solely on internal evidence (cf. Germanic substrate hypothesis for just one controversial example). –Austronesier (talk) 19:30, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I was referring to specific theories concerning the source language/languages of the sub-stratum. And another explanation for words with no cognates is that they started out as neologisms, to reflect the changing circumstances of their speakers. Dimadick (talk) 19:36, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

The associated Kretchmer theory about the Pre-Greek substrate, according to Babiniotis, has been largely discredited by linguists. Also, I have been trying to justify my sayings with logical arguments and you all just do not take it for granted, every source positive about the inclusion of Greek into Indo-European is unreliable. As a native speaker, I know better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I don't know why this discussion is still going on. Could someone please remove the RfC header? And, if you know better and the rest of the world is wrong, then your first step should be to write down your arguments (but please not before reading up on historical linguistics) and then published them in an academic paper. Wikipedia is definitely not the place for that. – Uanfala (talk) 19:50, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

I know that the world is wrong, thank you for reminding you and me that. And Wikipedia then is just a place for naive people like you, because it provides any kind of "sources". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia needs reliable sources to make sure the information in it is accurate. If you could find a very reputable source stating that Greek isn't an Indo-European language, please do say so here. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 12:11, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

I have found and written many reliable sources about the being discussed issue. When one user staited that I have only written about archaeology and D.N.A he should check them out, becauseone of them was talking about languages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I fear the discussion is going in circles, with the IP either unwilling or unable to understand what everyone else is saying. One last try: IP, it is for you to back up your claims, you cannot expect others to "check out" evidence you fail to provide. You need a proper quote, page number provided, where the author states that Greek isn't Indo-European. Without that, no action will be taken. It's as simple as that.Jeppiz (talk) 12:49, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

I have said that Babiniotis classifies Greek as a language isolate. I just cannot write the source as a Wikipedia citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 29 June 2019 (UTC) This article talks about the perception of Indo-European in Greece. And this one contains a case of unproven Indo-European descent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

1. Both of the sources you posted very explicitly contradict you. The first make it clear that the view that Greek isn't Indo-European is "pseudo-science", the others features a lengthy comment by a linguist saying that Greek is Indo-European. The only thing those sources might possibly be used for is the claim that some Greeks don't know much about linguistics (that's exactly what your first source says) but that's beside the point, and I'm not sure it's true either.
2. Do note that we wouldn't use these sources in any case. One is a blog, the other a forum. Neither of them satisfy WP:RS.
3. If you keep claiming that Babiniotis classify Greek as a language isolate, please write on which page he makes that alleged claim, and cite what he writes.
Jeppiz (talk) 21:35, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
I think this discussion should end: there were no reliable sources provided by the IP user to claim that Greek isn’t an Indo-European language. As what @Jeppiz said, this discussion is only going in circles. Also its terrifyingly long if you look at this from a mobile device. To the IP user: please provide a reliable source to support your claim. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 04:47, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Babiniotis in his book "A brief history of the Greek language", page 13 staits• "Greek is the oldest living language of the world so its oldest and newest forms can be defined throughout a large period of time. Greek, like Basque, is a Paleo-European language, because its relatives lived in Greece even before the advent of the so-called Pre-Greeks. The Pre-Greek substrate is actually not words of other non-Indo-European languages but words borrowed from other Hellenic languages, especially Cycladic which lived among other unrelated languages, such as Pelasgian, Minoan, etc. So Greek is not an Indo-European language but a Hellenic, while the fact that it is the sole survivor of the family makes it a language isolate and the similarities between the two language families is due to borrowings. Furthermore, Kretschmer notes that a lot of ancient Greek words were not met in any other language, such as a lot of toponyms, gods' names and some verbs, such as φθίνω which means to end. This verb and its etymology are also mentioned at Charalampos Symeonidis' ancient Greek dictionary, page 293." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Symeonidis also mentions in his dictionary, page 6 "This dictionary has been written with the help of George Babiniotis' book about the history of the Greek language and it also contains verbs of the Sesklo and Dimini languages while the fact that there are a lot of unrelated words with other languages makes the language unique. Let us not forget to mention that the language isolate theory has also been accepted by George Xenis, Asimakis Fliatouras and George Triantafyllidis. It was also known from ancient times that Greek is a language isolate, because Plato, in his writing Protagoras, notifies Prodicus as the first big father of linguistics who proposed this theory." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:16, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

This discussion should be closed. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:52, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived.
Ok, I’ll close it. We got nothing much out of it anyway. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 06:50, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

PS: For all the WP editors who handled this discussion with great civility and patience, here is an interesting piece of reading that critically deals with the "breeding ground" for the school of thought that we have been exposed to: K. Sampanis & E. Karantzola (2018). "The perception of historical and Indo-European linguistics in the instruction of Greek" (PDF). Studies in Greek Linguistics. 38.Austronesier (talk) 14:29, 2 July 2019 (UTC)


Why does this article list Romanian and Moldovan as if they were two separate languages? We don't do that with Catalan/Valencian, a pretty much parallel case: we just say "Catalan" which is the main term used internationally, as is "Romanian". (For the record, I'd have no problem with "Romanian/Moldovan" or for that matter with "Catalan/Valencian", but I think the separate listing of "Romanian" and "Moldovan" is misleading.) - Jmabel | Talk 19:54, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

I agree, this distinction is imaginary. The Moldovan constitution even states that it's language is "Romanian". Jeppiz (talk) 21:05, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Fixed. –Austronesier (talk) 09:55, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

Proven or proposed[edit]

I would like to start a conversation about whether is it certain or not that there existed a Proto-Indo-European language. Some languages are quite difficult to be placed as "ancestors" of that "proto-language", because of a lot of divergent forms in them and significant and continuous language contact with other, possibly, unrelated languages. Give me your opinion upon this. (talk) 14:19, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a forum, the talk page is only meant for discussing the article.--Megaman en m (talk) 17:51, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

No, I just want everyone to provide some sources to make sure that this "family" does exist. And Wikipedia is a forum and a social networking site, where everyone discusses in talk pages about the inclusion and exclusion of sources from articles. I can provide sources which exclude Greek, Armenian, Illyrian, Albanian, Daco-Thracian, Phrygian, Paeonian, Elymian, Siani, Sicilian and some Romance languages. Indo-Iranian, Tocharian and Anatolian from Indo-European. (talk) 12:33, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

There is no serious linguist that denies the existence of an Indo-European language family. (talk) 03:28, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Undersourced subsection "Important languages for reconstruction"[edit]

The subsection Important languages for reconstruction is critically undersourced. It was inserted in May 2013 by User:Benwing without citing any sources. In September 2016, User:Taron Saharyan added {{cn}}-tags. User:ReconditeRodent eventually added two valuable refs in December 2018. In these references, Beekes (2011) is correctly cited as a source for the state of attestation and the degree of conservativity for seven of the languages mentioned in this subsection. Beekes also gives on p.30 a short list of sixteen branches of IE "in the order of their importance for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European". Apart from this, all other detailled statement in the subsection are totally unsourced, e.g. stuff like: "Early poetry is of special significance because of the rigid poetic meter normally employed, which makes it possible to reconstruct a number of features (e.g. vowel length) that were either unwritten or corrupted in the process of transmission down to the earliest extant written manuscripts."

Unless someone can bring up good sources for all these details specifically in the context "importance for reconstruction", I'd recommend to trim down the text to the content supported by Beekes (2011). –Austronesier (talk) 10:53, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

Table in new section "Summary"[edit]

Thanks to editor Claamtiest (talk · contribs) for the new Summary section, including a table with sources listed at the top. Unfortunately, listing all your sources above the table, leaves it open for abuse later, as someone could add another thirty rows to the table, unsourced, and it would then seem to be sourced by the existing refs at the top, when it reality, that would not be the case. Please redo your table, with a new narrow column in last place (call it "Refs", "Sources" or similar, and make it a no-sort column, please) and place your ref in the cell in that column. I've moved the table here, to make it easier for you.

Copy of table from section "Summary" from rev 939316517 of the article

The number of speakers derived from statistics or estimates (2019) and were rounded:[1][2][3][4]

Number Branch Languages Native Speakers Majority Main Writing System
1 Albanian language 4 7,500,000  Albania Latin
2 Armenian language 2 7,000,000  Armenia Armenian
3 Balto-Slavic languages 25 270,000,000  Russia Cyrillic
4 Celtic languages 6 1,000,000  Wales Latin
5 Germanic languages 47 550,000,000  United States Latin
6 Hellenic languages 6 15,000,000  Greece Greek
7 Indo-Iranian languages 314 1,650,000,000  India Perso-Arabic - Devanagari
8 Italic languages 44 800,000,000  Italy Latin
Total Indo-European languages 448 3,300,000,000  India Latin

If you can fix the table so it has per-row attribution, it should be fine in that section. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 03:29, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

As a secondary issue, I'm not sure what the "majority" column adds to the table; in my view, it's almost a bit misleading, as it hides other information. Information about where it is spoken, is available one click away by clicking the language family name in the "Branch" column. If it were up to me, I'd leave it out. (Even if left in, I don't see what is gained by having flag icons; this is not a political issue, and languages transcend political boundaries as a rule, rather than as an exception.) Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 03:34, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Mathglot, we should leave the "Majority" column out. I'd extend this to "Main Writing System": while it is self-evident for Armenian and Albanian, and also undebatable for e.g. Germanic and Celtic, having Cyrillic as main writing system for Balto-Slavic opens pandora's box for POV edits. By number of speakers, it is correct, but by number of languages, Latin is dominant. Speaker numbers are a maintenance nightmare, but I'll count on User:Claamtiest to keep an eye on that. –Austronesier (talk) 10:43, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

hi friends, Majority refer to main country or country with most population of native speakers. instead of majority we can use another words.Claamtiest (talk) 16:37, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

also about ref i will correct them. thanksClaamtiest (talk) 16:37, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

Number Branch Languages Native Speakers Origin/Majority Main Writing System Ref
1 Albanian language 4 7,500,000  Albania Latin [1]
2 Armenian language 2 7,000,000  Armenia Armenian [2]
3 Balto-Slavic languages 25 270,000,000  Russia Cyrillic [3]
4 Celtic languages 6 1,000,000  Wales Latin [4]
5 Germanic languages 47 550,000,000  Germany -  England Latin [5]
6 Hellenic languages 6 15,000,000  Greece Greek [6]
7 Indo-Iranian languages 314 1,650,000,000  India -  Iran Devanagari - Perso-Arabic [7]
8 Italic languages 44 800,000,000  Italy Latin [8]
Total Indo-European languages 448 3,300,000,000 Asia - Europe Latin [9][10]

I modified the table this way. If you think this is a mistake, please correct it then add the correct version to article. Thankful


origin refer to A country whose origins are languages or currently have most speakers.Claamtiest (talk) 17:00, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't really find this table a good idea. First, the "origin" column was still a mess when I found it yesterday. It seemed to be mixing up at least three concepts: (a) the country or countries where most speakers of X live; (b) the country or countries where speakers of X are a majority; (c) the country or countries where the languages originally developed. This just doesn't work. Second, I don't like the way the table gives privileged treatment to the claims about "numbers of languages" per Ethnologue. Counting languages is always a problematic thing, given the ubiquitous language-versus-dialect delimitation issues, and the treatment by Ethnologue is notoriously messy in this respect. These numbers therefore have very little value. I'm not opposed to citing them somewhere in the article, but giving them this amount of visibility (first in the very first sentences of the lead, and then again here), making them the guiding principle of our presentation, is not good in my view. Third, I really don't see what "main writing system" has to do with anything. This is information quite extraneous to the issue of linguistic classification. Fut.Perf. 10:17, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
@Fut.Perf.: Agree. I suggest to scrap the table, if no one objects. Claamtiest won't, they were blocked for sockpuppetery. –Austronesier (talk) 10:48, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
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