Indo-European language origins

According to an article I came across today on the BBC, a study by researchers in New Zealand suggests that Indo-European languages originated in Anatolia about 8-9,500 years ago, and not in the Central Asian steppes about 5-6,000 years ago, as many believe.

The researchers used methods developed to study virus epidemics to work out the relationships between Indo-European languages and where they came from, and they concluded that the spread of the languages coincided with the expansion of farming 8-9,500 years ago. There aren’t many details of their method in the article, but it does mention that they compared vocabulary across 100 modern and ancient languages using phylogenetic analysis.

More details are available in Science (if you have access).

This entry was posted in Language.

3 Responses to Indo-European language origins

  1. TJ says:

    Do they count for the interaction between different nations and the struggle in between for survival?
    In my own dialect for example, we do use lot of Persian, Turkish, Indian and of course, English words. This comes only by the fact that many people in the past like in 1700s and 1800s did come from these areas and lived here, developing some dialect of Arabic with amalgamation of such words.
    The result, we have families that use different words for some subject but all in all we do understand each other (well, excluding the embarrassing moments of course).

  2. missjane says:

    I liked the NYT article on this – it presented opposing opinions, and pointed out that neither of the scientists involved are linguists:

    And of course languagelog has discussion, as well as a free link to more of the data:

  3. renato says:

    Goodbye India theory.
    In the next months and years we will have a lot to discuss about Turkey theory.

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