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Pre-Indo-European languages are any of several old languages, not necessarily related to one another, that existed in prehistoric Europe and South Asia before the arrival of speakers of Indo-European languages. The oldest Indo-European language texts date from 19th century BCE in Kültepe in modern-day Turkey, and while estimates vary widely, spoken Indo-European languages are believed to have developed at the latest by the third millennium BCE (see Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses). Thus the Pre-Indo-European languages must have developed earlier than, or in some cases alongside, the Indo-European languages.
A handful of these languages still survive. Some of the pre-Indo-European languages are attested only as linguistic substrates in Indo-European languages. A few others (such as Etruscan, Minoan, Iberian, etc.) are also attested from inscriptions.
Before World War II, all the unclassified languages of Europe and Near East were commonly referred to as Asianic languages; the term encompassed several languages that were later found to be Indo-European (such as Lydian), and others (Hurro-Urartian, Hattic etc.) were classified as distinct language families. The term pre-Indo-European is not universally accepted, as some linguists maintain the idea of the relatively late arrival of the speakers of these unclassified languages to Europe, possibly even after the Indo-European languages; they prefer to speak about non-Indo-European languages. A new term, Paleo-European, was coined relatively recently.[when?] The latter term is not applicable to the languages that predated or co-existed with Indo-European outside Europe (in Iran or India).
Surviving pre-Indo-European languages are held to include:
- in South Asia, the Dravidian language family, Nihali, Kusunda, and Burushaski
- in the Caucasus, the Kartvelian, Northeast Caucasus and Northwest Caucasus languages
- in South West Europe, Basque
- in northern Eurasia, the Finno-Ugric or Uralic languages, although in Finland there is also evidence of an Indo-European substrate preceding Finno-Ugric, as well as Paleo-European substrates preceding both
Languages that contributed a substrate to Indo-European languagesEdit
Examples of suggested or known substrate influences on specific Indo-European languages include:
- Substrate to Anatolian: Hattic language
- Substrate to Armenian: Hurro-Urartian languages
- Substrate in Vedic Sanskrit, proposed sources for which include:
- Harappan language (not attested in readable script; see Indus script)
- Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (possible source of Sanskrit vocabulary, language not attested)
- Vedda language (a Sinhalese-based creole containing pre-Sinhalese substrate lexicon)
- Elamite language
- Dravidian languages
- Munda languages
- Burushaski languages
- Substrates to early undifferentiated or partly-differentiated Indo-European in Western Europe:
- Pre-Greek substrate languages, which may have included:
- Pre-Germanic: see Germanic substrate hypothesis
- Pre-Celtic languages:
- Insular Celtic:
- Continental Celtic:
- Etruscan language
- Raetic language (probably close to Etruscan)
- Camunic language (probably Raetic or Celtic)
- Elymian language (probably Indo-European)
- North Picene language
- Paleo-Sardinian language (also called Paleosardinian, Protosardic, Nuraghic language)
- Sicanian language
- Sicel language (probably Indo-European)
Languages which are attested in inscriptions include:
Later Indo-European expansionEdit
Languages replaced or engulfed by Indo-European in ancient times must be distinguished from languages replaced or engulfed by Indo-European languages in more recent times. In particular, the vast majority of the major languages spread by colonialism have been Indo-European, and this has in the last few centuries led to superficially similar linguistic islands being formed by, for example, indigenous languages of the Americas (now surrounded by English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), as well as of several Uralic languages (now surrounded by Russian).
- Peter R. Kitson, "Reconstruction, typology and the original home of the Indo-Europeans", in (ed.) Jacek Fisiak, Linguistic Reconstruction and Typology, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, p. 191.
- Aikio, Ante (2012). "An essay on Saami ethnolinguistic prehistory" (PDF). Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne. Helsinki, Finland: Finno-Ugrian Society. 266: 63–117. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
Archaeology and cultureEdit
- Anthony, David with Jennifer Y. Chi (eds., 2009). The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000–3500 BC.
- Bogucki, Peter I. and Pam J. Crabtree (eds. 2004). Ancient Europe 8000 BC—1000 AD: An Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- Gimbutas, Marija (1973). Old Europe c. 7000–3500 B.C.: the earliest European cultures before the infiltration of the Indo-European peoples. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 1/1-2. 1-20.
- Tilley, Christopher (1996). An Ethnography of the Neolithic. Early Prehistoric Societies in Southern Scandinavia. Cambridge University Press.
- Bammesberger, Alfred and Theo Vennemann (eds., 2003). Languages in Prehistoric Europe. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
- Blench, Roger and Matthew Spriggs (eds. 1). Archaeology and Language. Vol. I. Theoretical and Methodological Orientations.
- Dolukhanov, Pavel M. (2003) Archaeology and Languages in Prehistoric Northern Eurasia // Japan Review, 15:175-186. http://shinku.nichibun.ac.jp/jpub/pdf/jr/IJ1507.pdf
- Gimbutas, Marija (1989). The Language of the Goddess
- Greppin, John and T.L.Markey (eds., 1990). When Worlds Collide: The Indo-Europeans and the Pre-Indo-Europeans, Ann Arbor.
- Haarmann, H. (2014). Ethnicity and language in the ancient Mediterranean. In J. McInerney (Ed.). A companion to ethnicity in the ancient Mediterranean (pp. 17–33). Wiley Blackwell.
- Lehmann, Winfred P. Pre-Indo-European. Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man. 2002. ISBN 0-941694-82-8.
- Mailhammer, Robert (2010). Diversity vs. Uniformity. Europe before the Arrival of Indo-European Languages. http://www.lrz.de/~mailhammer/htdocs/pdf/SWE_paper-MTP_draft.pdf // to appear in: Mailhammer, Robert and Theo Vennemann. Linguistic Roots of Europe. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
- Pre-Indo-European // Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe. Edited by: Glanville Price. 2000. ISBN 978-0-631-22039-8.
- Ringe, Don (January 6, 2009). "The Linguistic Diversity of Aboriginal Europe". Language Log. Mark Liberman. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Vennemann, Theo. Languages in Prehistoric Europe north of the Alps. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8670/Languages-in-prehistoric-Europe-north-of-the-Alps
- Vennemann, Theo (2008). Linguistic reconstruction in the context of European prehistory. Transactions of the Philological Society. Volume 92, Issue 2, pages 215–284, November 1994
- Woodard, Roger D. (ed., 2008) Ancient Languages of Asia Minor. Cambridge University Press.
- Woodard, Roger D. (2008) Ancient Languages of Europe. Cambridge University Press.