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Pre-Indo-European languages are any of several unclassified 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 BC 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 BC (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; however, some others (like Etruscan, Minoan, Iberian etc.) are also attested from inscriptions.

Surviving languages[edit]

Surviving pre-Indo-European languages include the Basque language, Nihali, and Burushaski.

Substrate languages[edit]

Examples of suggested or known substrate influences on specific Indo-European languages:

Attested languages[edit]

Several of these languages are attested in inscriptions. These include Etruscan, Minoan, Aquitanian, Iberian, and Urartian.

See also[edit]


Archaeology and culture[edit]

  • 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 civilization 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.

Linguistic reconstructions[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Indo-European_languages — Please support Wikipedia.
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