Indo-European is a family of languages that, asassociated with its name, first spread across Europe as well as South Asia, andlater to every corner of the globe as a result of colonization.
As mentionedbefore, the name is strictly geographical and represents the primary landswhere the family of languages were used. It is one of the most popular familyof language spoken by almost 45% of the world population.The various subgroups of the Indo-Europeanlanguage family include ten major branches: “Albanian, Anatolian, Armenian,Balto-Slavic, Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic and Indo-Aryan, Italic andTocharian”.
“Indo-European languages are classified genealogically”, meaningthat some of the subgroups might have the same ancestors and were divided lateron, however the languages can be also classified by the sequence of rules likefor example Germanic group. Languages in the Germanic group usually follow thesame or very similar principles with grammar or even word-formation. It wouldnot have been possible to establish the existence of the Indo-European languagefamily if scholars had not compared the systematically recurring resemblancesamong European languages and Sanskrit, the oldest language of the Indiansubcontinent that left many written documents.
The common origin of Europeanlanguages and Sanskrit was first proposed by Sir William Jones. Later the sametheory was sustained and it has been discovered that all Indo-Europeanlanguages descended from a common ancestor, Proto-Indo-European (PIE) onlyto later on split into different branches which, in turn, split into differentlanguages. What I found interesting is the fact, that PIE left no writtenrecords. However, historical linguists decided to construct family trees on thebasis of the comparative method. The comparative method takes shared featuresamong languages and uses procedures to establish their common ancestry. Unevennessof existing records and huge gaps in the chronology among Indo-Europeanlanguages make the reconstruction of PIE grammar a difficult task. ModernIndo-European languages reflect the rich morphology of PIE to various degrees.
This, we can see in nouns, pronouns andadjectives:Case: Sanskrit had the most cases (8), followed by Old Church Slavonic,Lithuanian, and Old Armenian (7), Latin (6), Greek, Old Irish, Albanian (5),Germanic (5). Gender: The three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) have survived in a numberof Indo-European languages. Number: The three numbers (singular, dual, plural) survived in Sanskrit, Greek,and Old Irish. Vestiges of the dual number can be found in many otherIndo-European languages. Adjective-Noun agreement: which has survived in manyIndo-European languages. As well as in verbs as PIE verbs had different sets of endingstense/aspect, voice and mood in addition to person and number:Tense and aspect: It isthought that the PIE verb system was aspect-based, although traditionally,aspect has been confused with tense.
Although tense was not formally marked inPIE, most Indo-European languages define their verbal systems in terms oftense, rather than aspect.Voice: PIE had two voices: active(e.g., The child broke the glass) and medio-passive whichcombined reflexive and passive voices (e.g.
, The child washed himself and Thechild was washed by his mother). In addition to the active voice, variousIndo-European languages use the middle or the passive voices.Mood: It is hypothesized the PIEhad four moods: indicative, optative, subjunctive, and imperative.
Most ofthese moods exist in all Indo-European languages.Person and number: PIE verbs were marked for person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) andnumber (singular, dual, plural).It is suspected, that despite being unaware of their common linguisticorigin, diverse groups of Indo-European speakers continued to culturallydominate and replace the indigenous languages of the western two-thirds ofEurasia. Due to colonization and the modern dominance of Indo-Europeanlanguages in the fields of global science, technology, education, finance, andsports many modern countries whose populations largely speak non-Indo-European languageshave Indo-European languages as official languages. What is more, English beingone of the most popular and universal language of the world is one of the mostfrequent language used on the Internet.
Knowing how powerful the Internet is,it is believed to spread the Indo-European languages family even more.