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(Wikipedia) - Indo-Iranian languages Indo-Iranian Geographic distribution: Linguistic classification: Proto-language: Subdivisions: ISO 639-5: Glottolog:
Aryan
Eastern Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia
Indo-European
  • Indo-Iranian
Proto-Indo-Iranian
  • Indo-Aryan
  • Iranian
  • Nuristani
iir
indo1320
The approximate present-day distribution of the Indo-European branches of Eurasia:   Indo-Iranian

The Indo-Iranian languages, or Indo-Iranic languages, also known as the Aryan languages, constitute the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European language family. It is also the largest branch, with more than 1 billion speakers stretching from Europe (Jasz) and the Caucasus (Ossetian) eastward to Xinjiang (Sarikoli) and Assam (Assamese) and south to Maldives (Dhivehi).

Contents

Languages

Indo-Iranian consists of three groups:

The largest in terms of native speakers are Hindustani (Hindi–Urdu, ~590 million), Bengali (205 million), Punjabi (100 million), Marathi (75 million), Persian (60 million), Pashto (ca. 50 million), Gujarati (50 million), Kurdish (35 million), Bhojpuri (40 million), Awadhi (40 million), Maithili (35 million), Oriya (35 million), Marwari (30 million), Sindhi (25 million), Rajasthani (20 million), Chhattisgarhi (18 million), Assamese (15 million), Sinhalese (16 million), Nepali (17 million), Balochi (30 million), and Rangpuri (15 million).

History

The Indo-Iranian languages derive from a reconstructed common proto-language, called Proto-Indo-Iranian.

Indo-Iranian languages were once spoken across an even wider area. The Scythians, were described by Roman writer Strabo as inhabiting the lands to the north of the Black Sea in present-day Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. The river-names Don, Dnieper, Danube etc. are possibly of Indo-Iranian origin. The so-called Migration Period saw Indo-Iranian languages disappear from Eastern Europe, apart from the ancestor of Ossetian in the Caucasus, with the arrival of the Turkic-speaking Pechenegs and others by the 8th century AD.

The oldest attested Indo-Iranian languages are Vedic Sanskrit (ancient Indo-Aryan), Older and Younger Avestan and Old Persian (ancient Iranian languages). A few words from a fourth language (very closely related to Indo-Aryan; see Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni) are attested in documents from the ancient Mitanni kingdom in northern Mesopotamia and Syria and the Hittite kingdom in Anatolia.

Features
This section requires expansion. (April 2014)

Innovations shared with other languages affected by the satem sound changes include:

Innovations shared with Greek include:

Innovations unique to Indo-Iranian include:

Tags:Anatolia, Asia, Bengali, Caucasus, Central Asia, Danube, Europe, Greek, Hindustani, Hittite, ISO, Iranian, Kurdish, Maldives, Mesopotamia, Old Persian, Persian, Proto-Indo-Iranian, Roman, Romania, Sanskrit, Scythians, South Asia, Syria, Ukraine, Urdu, Vedic, Wikipedia


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