Linguists have long agreed that Indo-European languages are the modern descendants of a language family which first emerged from a common ancestor spoken thousands of years ago.
    
Now, a new study gives us more information on when and where it was most likely used. Using data from over 150 languages, linguists at the University of California, Berkeley provide evidence that this ancestor language originated 5,500-6,500 years ago, on the Pontic-Caspian steppe stretching from Moldova and Ukraine to Russia and western Kazakhstan.
    
The research provides new support for the "steppe hypothesis" or "Kurgan hypothesis," which proposes that Indo-European languages first spread with cultural developments in animal husbandry around 4500-3500 BC.
    
In future research, methods from this study could be used to study the origins of other language families, such as Afro-Asiatic and Sino-Tibetan, researchers said.
    
The research appears in the journal Language.

 

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