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The Indo-European languages include some 449 (SIL estimate, 2018 edition) language families spoken by about or more than 3.5 billion people (roughly half of the world population). Most of the major languages belonging to language branches and groups of Europe, and Western and southern Asia, belong to the Indo-European language family. Therefore, Indo-European is the biggest language family in the world by number of mother tongue speakers (but not by number of languages in which it is the 3rd or 5th biggest). Eight of the top ten biggest languages, by number of native speakers, are Indo-European. One of these languages, English, is the de facto World Lingua Franca with an estimate of over one billion second language speakers.
Each subfamily or linguistic branch in this list contains many subgroups and individual languages. Indo-European language family has 10 known branches or subfamilies, of which eight are living and two are extinct. The relation of Indo-European branches, how they are related to one another and branched from the ancestral proto-language is a matter of further research and not yet well known. There are some individual Indo-European languages that are unclassified within the language family, they are not yet classified in a branch and could be members of their own branch.
The 449 Indo-European languages identified in the SIL estimate, 2018 edition, are mostly living languages, however, if all the known extinct Indo-European languages are added, they number more than 800 or close to one thousand. This list includes all known Indo-European languages, living and extinct.
A distinction between a language and a dialect is not clear-cut and simple because there is, in many cases, several dialect continuums, transitional dialects and languages and also because there is no consensual standard to what amount of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and prosody differences there is a language or there is a dialect. (Mutual intelligibility can be a standard but there are closely related languages that are also mutual intelligible to some degree, even if it is an asymmetric intelligibility.) Because of this, in this list, several dialect groups and some individual dialects of languages are shown (in italics), especially if a language is or was spoken by a large number of people and over a big land area, but also if it has or had divergent dialects.
At the end of the second millennium BC Indo-European speakers were many millions and lived in a vast geographical area in most of western and southern Eurasia (including western Central Asia).
In the following two millennia the number of speakers of Indo-European languages increased even further.
By geographical area, Indo-European languages remained spoken in big land areas, although most of western Central Asia and Asia Minor was lost to another language family (mainly Turkic) due to Turkic expansion, conquests and settlement (after the middle of the first millennium AD and the beginning and middle of the second millennium AD respectively) and also to Mongol invasions and conquests (that changed Central Asia ethnolinguistic composition). Another land area lost to non-Indo-European languages was today's Hungary due to Magyar/Hungarian (Uralic language speakers) conquest and settlement.
However, in the second half of the second millennium AD, Indo-European languages expanded their territories to North Asia (Siberia), through Russian expansion, and North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand as the result of the age of European discoveries and European conquests through the expansions of the Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and the Dutch. (These peoples had the biggest continental or maritime empires in the world and their countries were major powers.)
The contact between different peoples and languages, especially as a result of European colonization, also gave origin to the many pidgins, creoles and mixed languages that are mainly based in Indo-European languages (many of which are spoken in island groups and coastal regions).
Hypothetical relation to other language families and their proto-languages (controversial and yet unresolved issue of high level classification of known language families into larger clades of older age that descend from common ancestors in the remote past)
Late Proto-Indo-European (Last phase of indo-European as spoken language before splitting into several languages that originated in the regional dialects that diverged in time, and in space with Indo-European migrations, these languages were the direct ancestors of today's subfamilies or "branches" of descendant languages) (larger clades of Indo-European than the individual subfamilies or the way individual subfamilies are related to each other is still an unresolved issue)
Although all Indo-European languages descend from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-European, the kinship between the subfamilies or branches (large groups of more closely related languages within the language family), that descend from other more recent proto-languages, is not the same because there are subfamilies that are closer or further, and they did not split-off at the same time, the affinity or kinship of Indo-European subfamilies or branches between themselves is still an unresolved and controversial issue and being investigated.
However there is some consensus that Anatolian was the first group of Indo-European (branch) to split-off from all the others and Tocharian was the second in which that happened.
Using a mathematical analysis borrowed from evolutionary biology, Donald Ringe and Tandy Warnow propose the following tree of Indo-European branches:
Tocharian languagesA (blue), B (red) and C (green) in the Tarim Basin. Tarim oasis towns are given as listed in the Book of Han (c. 2nd century BC). The areas of the squares are proportional to population.
North-Tocharian (it was originally spoken in many areas of the Tarim Basin and Turpan Depression) (according to several linguists the languages are inaccurately called "Tocharian" in a misnomer because they view "Tocharian" as a name synonymous with Bactrian, an Iranian language, however there are other linguists who think that the name was correctly applied and only later would Tocharians replace their original language with an Iranian one.)
Romance languages in the World. Countries and sub-national entities where one or more Romance languages are spoken. Dark colours: First language, Light colours: Official or Co-Official language; Very Light colours: Spoken by a significant minority as first or second language. Blue: French; Green: Spanish; Orange: Portuguese; Yellow: Italian; Red: Romanian.
Southern Latin(retention of archaic features in the periphery of the Latin speaking world)
Insular Latin(Not Insular Romance)(Latin that was spoken by the insular populations of Corsica and Sardinia)
African Latin(Not African Romance)(West North Africa, in many regions of today's Maghreb)(Latin that was spoken by the African Romans in North Africa, especially in the Africa province, the origin of the name "Africa" that was later applied to the whole continent)
Latin Sociolects(most provinces)
Imperial Latin(Sociolect used by ruling class Romans)
Reggino(in the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria, especially on the Scilla-Bova line, and excluding the areas of Locri and Rosarno which represent the first isogloss which divide Sicilian from the continental varieties)
Modenese(spoken in the Province of Modena, although Bolognese is more widespread in the Castelfranco area. In the northern part of the province of Modena, the lowlands around the town of Mirandola, a Mirandolese sub-dialect of Modenese is spoken)
Reggiano(spoken in the Province of Reggio Emilia, although the northern parts, such as Guastalla, Luzzara and Reggiolo, of the province are not part of this group and closer to Mantovano)
Parmigiano(spoken in the Province of Parma. Those from the area refer to the Parmigiano spoken outside of Parma as Arioso or Parmense, although today's urban and rural dialects are so mixed that only a few speak the original. The language spoken in Casalmaggiore in the Province of Cremona to the north of Parma is closely related to Parmigiano)
Piacentino(spoken west of the River Taro in the Province of Piacenza and on the border with the province of Parma. The variants of Piacentino are strongly influenced by Lombard, Piedmontese, and Ligurian)
Oïl (Northern Gallo-Romance) (Langues d'Oïl) (dialect continuum) (Gallo-Roman people of today's Northern France, who called their own language simply as "Latin" or "Roman"/"Romans" or even "Langue d'Oïl", later adopted the adjective "French" - "François"/"Français" for the language based on the name of most of their ruling elite - the Franks, a Germanic people that conquered most of the ancient Roman province called Gallia and founded the Frankish Empire)
Eastern Waloon/Liégeois (Walon do Levant) - in many respects the most conservative and idiosyncratic of the dialects, spoken in Liège (Lidje), Verviers (Vervî), Malmedy (Måmdi), Huy (Hu), and Waremme (Wareme)
Southern Waloon/Wallo-Lorrain (Walon Nonnrece) - close to the Lorrain and to a lesser extent Champenois languages, spoken in Bastogne, Marche-en-Famenne (Måtche-el-Fåmene), and Neufchâteau (Li Tchestea), all in the Ardennes region.
Poitevin-Saintongeais (Southwest Oïl) (South Gallo-Romance Occitan substrate)
Central Aragonese (roughly in the original area where the Romance language called "Navarro-Aragonese" originated) (extinct)(people shifted to an Aragonese Castilian variety with an Aragonese substrate)
Astur-Leonese (Asturllionés/Astur-Llionés/Llengua Astur-Llionesa) (at the present time it is spoken in Asturias and Northwestern León, however, in the past, until late 17th and 18th centuries, it was spoken in a wider area, including almost all of Leon region) (Astur-Leonese dialects have eastern, central and western dialect strips from north towards south with Asturian and Leonese subdialects or variants, although there is no clear linguistic division between both because the east, central and west dialect strips have more importance than an Asturian versus Leonese or vice versa distinction, that is, a North versus South dialectal distinction)
Northern(some features are transitional to Galician)(a typical feature of the Northern Portuguese dialects is that they have betacism, i.e. they don't distinguish between b [b or ?] and v [v] phonemes, i.e v [v] phoneme is absent)
Central-Southern(a typical feature of the Central and Southern Portuguese dialects is that in the phonetics they don't have betacism, i.e. they distinguish between b [b] and v [v] phonemes, i.e. v [v] phoneme is clearly pronounced)
Coastal Central(Extremaduran Portuguese)(Português Estremenho)(Transitional Northern-Southern)(basis of Modern Standard European Portuguese but not identical)(although in the 20th century a province in the Central Coastal Lowlands region was called Beira Litoral, i.e. Litoral/Coastal Beira, older and traditional Beira Province was an inland province in the Highlands, while all Central Coastal Lowlands region of Mainland Portugal, from south of the Douro river, in the north, till the northern banks of the Tagus river, in the south, was the province of Estremadura until the middle of the 18th century) ("Beira" name means edge, slope, mountain slope, or border, with the specific meaning of "Mountainous Borderland" or "Edge Borderland") (until the 14th century the broad or colective name for all the portuguese territories south of Douro river was "Extremadura", i.e. "Far Border Land", the name derives from "Extrema", "Extremada" - extreme in the sense of extreme borderland, far borderland)(this name is cognate and has equivalents with the Leonese, Castilian and Aragonese Extremaduras, that were also old Borderlands at the beginning of the Christian Reconquista)(therefore "Estremadura" and "Beira" names had the meaning of "Borderland" in the context of the Christian Reconquista)
Northern Coastal Central(more features in common with Central and Southern dialects, but in the phonetics, some areas, mainly in Aveiro District, don't distinguish between b [b] and v [v] phonemes, i.e. they don't have v [v] phoneme, a typical feature of the Northern dialects)
Aveiro dialect(in most of the Aveiro District)(Portuguese District = County)
Southern Coastal Central(Standard European Portuguese is mainly based on this dialect with also important contribution from Coimbra, i.e. the coastal central region, the ancient and traditional Portuguese Extremadura, from north till south - Aveiro, Coimbra, Leiria, Santarem and Lisbon, is the main basis of Modern Standard European Portuguese)
Lisbon dialect(early Lisbon dialect, Lisboeta, was only spoken in Lisbon itself and was an enclave, however today it is spoken in Lisbon metropolitan area, and is a very widespread dialect, many dialects are under pressure and being replaced by the standard language that closely resembles Lisbon dialect)
Far Western Algarvian(geographically in the Algarve but is more related to the Beira Baixa dialect and not to the Algarvian dialect, it is an Inland Southern Central dialect enclave in Far Southwestern Mainland Portugal)(has the ü [y] phoneme but doesn't have the ö [ø] phoneme)
Setubalense(in the Setubal Peninsula)(its more typical phonetic feature is that it doesn't distinguish between trilled r [r] and guttural r [?] i.e. r is always pronounced as guttural r [?])(overlaps and under pressure of the modern Lisbon metropolitan area dialect)
Alentejano(its more typical phonetic feature is the pronunciation of more open vowels than in Standard European Portuguese, final vowel e [e] is generally pronounced as i [i] or the [i] vowel is added after a final consonant where Standard European Portuguese doesn't have a final vowel after a consonant, and has a distinct prosody)(in South Alto Alentejo and Baixo Alentejo Provinces) ("Alentejo - Além Tejo" name means "Beyond Tagus")(roughly matches south Portalegre District and Évora and Beja Districts)
Islander(Geographical Grouping and not a Linguistic Genealogical one)(a divergent group of Portuguese dialects in phonetics and some vocabulary, several linguistic archaisms from Middle Portuguese when the islands were settled)(Azores and Madeira didn't had native Pre-European peoples)
Azorean(nine dialects in the nine islands of the Azores Archipelago, it's not only a single dialect)
Micaelense(São Miguel Island dialect)(its more typical phonetic feature is the presence of the vowels ö [ø] and ü [y] in its phonemes, a common phonetic feature with Inland Southern Central dialects, mainly Baixo Beirão dialect, and with the more distant Gallo-Romance languages and dialects, it has more vowels than Standard European Portuguese and several long vowels, and it has a "French-like" prosody)
Terceirense(Terceira Island dialect)(its more typical phonetic feature is the presence of the semivowels [j] and [w] before a vowel in many words where Standard European Portuguese only has one vowel and a "singing-like" prosody)
Faialense(Faial Island dialect)(Faial island dialect is closer to Standard European Portuguese than the dialects of other islands, initial Flemish settlers, that spoke the germanic Flemish dialect of Dutch, some years later were rapidly surpassed and assimilated by a big majority of Portuguese settlers that came from Coastal Central Portugal, whose dialect is the basis of European Standard Portuguese, and did not influenced Faial Island dialect)
Madeirense(Madeira Island dialect)(its more typical phonetic feature is the pronunciation of the vowels u [u] and i [i], in many cases, as a Schwa [?] or as [?], where Micaelense and Baixo-Beirão dialects have ü [y] and the palatalization of l [l] to [?] before i [i])
Amazonic Range(Serra Amazônica)/Deforestation Arc(Arco do Desflorestamento)
Southern/Broad Southern(one of its earlier centers, in the 16th century, was São Vicente, in the western half of the island with the same name, closely offshore of São Paulo State coast, in the eastern half of the island is Santos city)
Goidelic language and culture would eventually become dominant in the Pictish area and far northern Brittonic area.
A map of the modern distribution of the Celtic languages. Red: Welsh; Purple:Cornish; Black: Breton; Green: Irish Gaelic; Blue: Scottish Gaelic: Yellow: Manx Gaelic. Areas where languages overlap are shown in stripes.
Armenian dialects, according to Adjarian (1909) (before 1st World War and Armenian Genocide). In many regions of the contiguous area shown in the map, Armenian speakers were the majority or a significant minority.
Modern geographical distribution of the Armenian language.
Northern-Central Anatolian Greek/Northern-Central Asia Minor Greek (more divergent than Western and Southern Anatolian Greek, that were more in contact with other Greek dialects, divergent enough to be considered separate languages although closely related to Modern Greek, they descend from Medieval or Byzantine Greek)
Geographic distribution of modern Indo-Iranian languages. Blue, dark purple and green colour shades: Iranic languages. Dark pink: Nuristani languages. Red, light purple and orange colour shades: Indo-Aryan languages. Areas where languages overlap are shown in stripes.
Modern main Iranian languages geographic distribution. Areas where languages overlap are shown in stripes. With some exceptions, they roughly match the Iranian Plateau and mountains, the Iranian Highlands.
Jassic(extinct)(Ossetic variant, more closely related to Digor, of a nomadic tribe, the Jassic people, settled in Hungary at the 13th century, in Jaszsag)(not confuse with the language of the Iazyges, a related but separate language)
Wanetsi (Tar?n?/Chalgar?) ( - Wats?; - Tar?n?; - Tsalgar?) (an archaic and divergent Pakhto/Pashto variety) (divergent enough to be considered a separate language with its own dialects, although closely related to the other Pakhto or Pashto languages)
(older name: Kafiri) (according to some scholars there is the possibility that the older name "Kapisi" that was synonymal of Kambojas, related to the ancient Kingdom of Kapisa, in modern day Kapisa Province, changed to "Kafiri" and came to be confused and assimilated with "kafiri", meaning "infidel" in Arabic and used in muslim religion)
Distribution of language groups and major modern Indo-Aryan languages. Pink: Dardic; Dark Blue: Northwestern Indo-Aryan; Purple: Northern Indo-Aryan; Red: Western Indo-Aryan; Orange: Central and East Central Indo-Aryan; Yellow: Eastern Indo-Aryan; Green: Southern Indo-Aryan. Areas where languages overlap are shown in stripes.
Present-day geographical distribution of the major Indo-Aryan language groups. Romani, Domari, Kholosi and Lomavren are outside the scope of the map. Colors indicate the branches - yellow is Eastern, purple is Dardic, blue is Northwestern, red is Southern, green is Western, brown is Northern and orange is Central. Data is from "The Indo Aryan Languages" as well as census data and previous linguistic maps. Dardic
Sambalpuri/Western Odia (Kosali) (spoken in western Odisha, East India, in Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Debagarh, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur districts of Odisha and in Raigarh, Mahasamund, Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh state) (it is not to be confused with "Kosali", a term sometimes also used for Awadhi and related languages)
Reli/Relli (spoken in Southern Odisha and bordering areas of Andhra Pradesh)
Kupia (spoken by the Valmiki caste people in the Indian state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, mostly in Hyderabad, Mahabubnagar, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts)
Tharu (? - Tharu) (not only one language) (pre-Indo-European, pre-Dravidian and pre-Sino-Tibetan substrate of an unknown language or languages of a possible indigenous language family) (mainly in the Terai)
Germanic languages and main dialect groups in Europe.
Germanic languages in the World. Countries and sub-national entities where one or more Germanic languages are spoken. Dark Red: First language; Red: Official or Co-Official language, Pink: Spoken by a significant minority as second language.
Pennsylvania German (Pennsylvania "Dutch") (Deitsch/Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch) (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch is the self name or autonym of the language, "Deitsch" and "Dutch" are cognates but now have different meanings: one for Germanic language in a broad sense, not only for German in a narrow sense, and the other for specifically the Dutch or Nederlandic language, hence the name "Pennsylvania Dutch" for the language in English due to the similarity of names)