Indo-European languages

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The Indo-European languages (formerly also called Indo-Germanic)[1][2][3] are a family (or phylum) of several hundred related languages and dialects,[4] including most major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia, and historically also predominant in Anatolia and Central Asia. With written attestations appearing since the Bronze Age, in the form of the Anatolian languages and Mycenaean Greek, the Indo-European family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the longest recorded history after the Afroasiatic family.

Indo-European languages are spoken by almost three billion native speakers,[5] the largest number for any recognised language family. Of the top 20 contemporary languages in terms of native speakers according to SIL Ethnologue, twelve are Indo-European: Spanish, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, German, Marathi, French, Italian, Punjabi, and Urdu, accounting for over 1.7 billion native speakers.[6] Several disputed proposals link Indo-European to other major language families.


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