Baltic languages

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The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. The language group is sometimes divided into two sub-groups: Western Baltic, containing only extinct languages, and Eastern Baltic, containing both extinct and the two living languages in the group: Lithuanian (including both Standard Lithuanian and Samogitian) and Latvian (including both literary Latvian and Latgalian). The range of Eastern Balts reached to the Ural mountains.[1][2][3] While related, the Lithuanian, the Latvian, and particularly the Old Prussian vocabularies differ substantially from one another and are not mutually intelligible. The now-extinct Old Prussian language has been considered the most archaic of the Baltic languages{[4]}.

Contents

Branches

Western Baltic languages †

Eastern Baltic languages

  • Latvian (~2 - 2.5 million speakers (~1.39 million native speakers, 0.5 - 1million ethnic Russian speakers, 0.15 million others)
    • Latgalian (150 thousand speakers; usually considered a dialect of Latvian, but has its own ISO 639-3 code ltg)
  • Lithuanian (~3.9 million speakers)
    • Samogitian (~0.5 million speakers; usually considered a dialect of Lithuanian)
  • Old Curonian † (sometimes considered Western Baltic)
    • New Curonian (nearly extinct; status as Eastern / Western Baltic is disputed)
  • Selonian
  • Semigallian
  • Golyad'- Голядь †

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