Paleo-Balkan languages

Paleo-Balkan are called the Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Balkan peninsula during ancient times.

All these languages have disappeared without leaving any descendants with the exception of Ancient Greek and the language from which Albanian came from (it is still unknown what it was, only assumptions are made)  due to Hellenization, Latinization  and Slavisization.

Most of these languages are very poorly attested to allow safe conclusions about their affiliation with each other.

Ancient Greek and Roman writers mention that the following languages were spoken in the Balkans: 

Ancient Greek, Venetian, Dacian, Thracian, Illyrian,Liburnian, Paeonian, Phrygian (Brygian) and Celtic. 

Ancient Macedonian
A language that was spoken in the Ancient kingdom of Macedon now considered to be a dialect of northwest Greek with Doric traits or a sister language to Greek proper that form a Greco-Macedonian branch (Hellenic).

Macedonian may had been influenced more or less by Illyrian and Thracian.

Only one long text has been found thought to be in Ancient Macedonian, the Pella curse tablet written in a distinct northwest Greek dialect,found in the Macedonian capital of Pella.

Little is known about the Illyrian language. There are no inscriptions found in Illyrian. Only names of rivers,people and places considered to be Illyrian. Some reconstructed Illyrian words exist that are debatable.

It is divided in south Illyrian (Illyrian proper) and Dalmatian-Pannonian.
The Illyrian language.

Illyrian is considered by some the anscestor of Albanian. The fact is that we know so little about Illyrian that it cannot be safely connected to Albanian at the moment. 

The Messapian language in Apulia, southern Italy is considered by some to be a dialect of Illyrian but nowadays the mainstream view is that is was related to Illyrian but it was a distinct language.

Thracian is known by a few inscriptions written in the Greek alphabet. It may have been related to Illyrian but its connection to it is unclear.

It is considered,though a dialect of the same language along with Dacian forming the Daco-Thracian branch.
The Ezerovo ring with an inscription in the Thracian language written in Greek letters.

It came in two varieties ,Dacian proper that was spoken north of the Danube River and Daco-Moesian south of the Danube in modern day Northern Bulgaria.

Dacian is known by some place names, names of people and a list of plants found in Dacia written by Dioscorides.

Thracian and Dacian are considered two versions of the same language.

It has been proposed by linguists that a dialect continuum existed in the Balkans with Illyrian in one side and Daco-Thracian in the other.

Even less is known about the Paeonian language that was spoken north of Macedon. Some Paeonian kings had Greek names and later Paeonians became Hellenized.

Some linguists have proposed a Paeonian-Macedonian-Greek language branch within Indo-European.

Phrygians lived in the Balkans before settling in Asia Minor after the Bronze Age Collapse that saw the Hittite Empire disappear in the area.

Phrygian was spoken in the Balkans initially by the Phrygians who were then called Brygians according to the Ancient Macedonians.

Phrygian is well attested in Asia minor with many inscriptions in the Phrygian and then the Greek alphabet. 

The inscriptions are classified in two categories- Old Phrygian written in a variant of the Phoenician alphabet and New Phrygian written in Greek.


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