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Indo-European languages are classified into 11 major groups, 2 of which are extinct, comprising 449 languages (Ethnologue).
This shift occurred before the 7th century when records started to be kept.First Germanic Sound Shift (Grimm’s Law) You probably know of Jacob Grimm as the author of fairy tales.But he was also one of the great linguists of the 19th century.Discoveries of Hittite, Tocharian and Mycenaean Greek in the 20th century have made changes in the data base on which the reconstruction of PIE is based that in turn have modified existing views of PIE. Many of the older well-documented languages, such as Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, have rich morphologies with clearly marked gender and number, as well as elaborately marked case systems for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives.Verbs in these languages also have elaborately marked systems of tense, aspect, mood, and voice, in addition to person, number, and gender.Reconstructed PIE is based on the assumption that it contained all the features found in attested languages.
If a given language lacks a particular feature, it is assumed that the feature was lost or that it had merged with other features.
On the other hand, Germanic, Romance, Albanian, and Tocharian do not possess quite as many finely differentiated morphological features.
Nouns, pronouns and adjectives Word order Less is know about the syntax of PIE than about its morphology.
The family includes most of the languages of Europe, as well as many languages of Southwest, Central and South Asia.
With over 2.6 billion speakers (or 45% of the world’s population), the Indo-European language family has the largest number of speakers of all language families as well as the widest dispersion around the world.
Since PIE left no written records, historical linguists construct family trees, an idea pioneered by August Schleicher, on the basis of the comparative method.