Indo-European homeland 

Proto-Indo-European is the hypothetical language spoken by the so-called Indo-European people before they split up into various groups and it is considered the ancestor of all Indo-European languages.

Up to this day no written record of it has been found and its vocabulary and structure are being reconstructed on the basis of comparisons between Indo-European languages, modern and ancient.

It is estimated that its break-up into different groups began around the 4th millennium BC.

Early Indo-European vocabulary

The Indo-Europeans left no written monuments and the reconstruction of their language is based on comparative studies among all known Indo-European languages.

From this comparison and the use of some phonological rules, the reconstructed words and the structure of Proto-Indo-European are derived.These words are written with an asterisk '*' in front.

To reconstruct a root, corresponding words in meaning and sound from all Indo-European languages are compared.

The most common letters in all these similar words are then isolated and the Proto-Indo-European root is obtained.

In Proto-Indo-European the word *wodr meant water.The proto-root word was derived by comparing the word water in many Indo-European languages such as Greek which is 'water',English water ,German wasser,Russian vanda and Bulgarian voda.

In all these words there are common letters and their similarity is striking.

the word water in various Indo-European languages

*note:The word Vedy is presumed to have existed in ancient Macedonian and if this is the case it may be a loan from the Phrygian language, which is very likely since the Phrygians before migrating to Asia Minor lived next to the Macedonians and were called Bryges according to Herodotus.


The language was clitic,i.e. with endings that changed according to gender,number etc.,and its grammar was quite complex.

It had many cases,three genders and showed vowel alternation within the word,a phenomenon that in linguistics is called ablaut.

split in Indo-European languages

Almost all modern European languages as well as the languages of Iran and India are derived from Proto-Indo-European.

In ancient times, Hittite was also spoken in Asia Minor and Tocharian in China, which is the most distant known Indo-European language.

Other ancient Indo-European languages less well known were the Paleo-Balkan languages, Thracian, Illyrian, Phrygian and Dacian.

Proto-Indo-European was split into many large groups, such as the Germanic languages (English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Gothic etc.), the Romance languages (Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian, Vlach etc.), the Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish, Czech etc.) and the Baltic languages.

Greek and Albanian are each a branch in their own right.Greek is sometimes classified in a wider linguistic subgroup of Indo-European along with Phrygian and Armenian.

A major distinction made between the Indo-European languages is between kentum and satem languages; each group has distinctive features.

The name is derived from the word 'hundred' in Latin and Abyssinian respectively.

For example, in Latin the cent is centum (centum), in Greek 'cent' and French cent, so these languages are centum; in Russian and Bulgarian the cent is 'in', so these two languages are considered satem; 'satem' is the cent in the now extinct Abyssinian language.

the Indo-Europeans

cradle of the Indo-Europeans according to the theory of the Kurgan.

The Indo-Europeans were a hypothetical people and there are many theories about their place of origin.The most popular is the so-called 'Kurgan theory' according to which the original cradle of the Indo-Europeans was the Pontic Steppe, north and east of the Black Sea.

The kurgan were burial mounds that have been discovered in this geographical area.

Sarmatian kurgan (4th century BC)

From this original cradle the Indo-European people spread westward to Europe and eastward,Asia Minor,Iran and India.

History of the study of Indo-European

In the 18th century philologists first noticed similarities in vocabulary and structure between Greek,Latin and Sanskrit so the theory of Indo-European homolingualism was created and started.

see also

In the link below you can see materials for learning modern Indo-European language.

The purpose of this website is, as they state, to revive Indo-European as a living and spoken language!

In fact, there you can download Indo-European lessons in a format similar to that of modern language learning methods, with dialogues, vocabulary and grammatical explanations and etymologies.

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