Indo-Iranian languages

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The Indo-Iranian languages , formerly also known as Aryan languages, form a primary branch of Indo-European . The Indo-Iranian language family consists of the main branches

The Dardic languages used to be counted among the Nuristani languages; According to the current majority opinion, they represent a subgroup of the Indo-Aryan language branch.

The Indo-Iranian languages ​​have so many common innovations compared to the Urindo-European that they can be combined into a clearly defined genetic unit of their own . So there is no language in which one has doubts whether it belongs to this group or not. The internal structure of this unit is much more problematic. In particular, reaching today's tripartite division was a lengthy scientific process; the position of the Dardic languages ​​- today counted as part of the northwest branch of the Indo-Aryan languages ​​- is still not completely clear. The Nuristani languages ​​represent a link between the Iranian and Indo-Aryan languages, but are linguistically closer to Iranian. On the subject of the internal structure of the three subgroups, see there.

The division of the Iranian and Indo-Aryan languages ​​is to be set before the beginning of the colonization of North India by Indo-Aryans, i.e. before 1500 BC. A common origin from the north (Central Asian steppe) is undisputed, mostly the so-called Andronovo culture is associated with the Indo-Iranians.

Interesting in this context is the language of the Mitanni , a ruling class of the Hurrians in northern Mesopotamia and Anatolia around 1500 BC. BC (so-called Mitanni Empire). Above all, the names of the rulers that have been preserved indicate that they are Indo-Aryan ; Furthermore, some words have been found that are almost identical to Indian Sanskrit . In connection with the Anatolia Hypothesis , this is seen as evidence of the origin of the Indo-European languages. Another theory is that early Indo-Aryans immigrated to Anatolia from India . Old loanwords in the Uralic languages , which reflect a highly archaic level of Indo-Iranian (in some cases even older than the reconstructed Ur -Indo-Iranian), decisively support the assumption of a northern origin of Indo-Iranian and contradict the thesis of a (direct) origin from Anatolia.

The web link below provides an overview of all Indo-Iranian languages ​​and their genetic classification.

See also


  • Nicholas Sims-Williams (Ed.): Indo-Iranian Languages ​​and Peoples (= Proceedings of the British Academy. Vol. 116). Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 2002, ISBN 0-19-726285-6 (anthology by respected linguists on the subject).
  • George van Driem: The Languages ​​of the Himalayas. An ethnolinguistic Handbook of the greater Himalayan Region (= Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 2: India. Vol. 10, 1-2). 2 volumes. Brill, Leiden et al. 2001, ISBN 90-04-10390-2 (there a representation of the cultural background of the Indo-Iranian peoples, their migratory movements and the intrusion into their current habitats).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul Thieme, The 'Aryan Gods' of the Mitanni Treaties , Journal of the American Oriental Society 80, 301-317 (1960).
  2. ^ Witzel, Michael (2001). "Autochthonous Aryans? The evidence from Old Indian and Iranian texts". Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies . 7 (3): 1-115. doi: 10.11588 / ejvs.2001.3.830
  3. Jaakko Häkkinen: Uralic evidence for the Indo-European homeland (PDF) February 13, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  4. Jaakko Häkkinen: Problems in the method and interpretations of the computational phylogenetics based on linguistic data. An example of wishful thinking: Bouckaert et al. 2012 (PDF) September 23, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2019.