Indo-European languages

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Indo-European or Indo-Germanic languages highlighted in yellow

The Indo-European languages are languages believed to derive from a reconstructed language often referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language, argued to have been spoken by the Indo-Europeans.


Indo-Germanic or Indo-German is the language ancestral to the Indo-European languages. Coined in 1810 by French-Danish geographer Conrad Malte-Brun (as "langues indo-germaniques" ) and popularized in German (as indogermanisch),[1][2] especially following J. Klapproth's 1823 Asia Polyglotta. At the time the term was coined, the Celtic languages were not yet considered Indo-European, and the Tocharian languages were not yet discovered; even after the inclusion of Celtic, Germanic remains the northwesternmost family (thanks to Icelandic).[1]

"In the middle of the 1st millennium BCE, Germanic tribes lived in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany. Their expansions and migrations from the 2nd century BCE onward are largely recorded in history. The oldest Germanic language of which much is known is the Gothic of the 4th century CE. Other languages include English, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic."[3]


  • F. Norman: "Indo-European" and "Indo-Germanic", in: "The Modern Language Review", Vol. 24, No. 3, July 1929, pp. 313-32

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 Winfred P. Lehmann, Historical Linguistics: An Introduction, 2013, page 67: "Since the Germanic family is located farthest to the north and west, many scholars, especially in Germany, label the family Indo-Germanic by the designation proposed in 1810 by Conrad Malte-Brun."
  2. The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European, 2006
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica: Indo-European languages