Chapter 5.4 Origin and diffusion

Languages diffuse from their place of origin by migration

Origin and diffusion of Indo-European: "War" hypothesis

The and and early diffusion of language families pre-date recorded history. Linguists and Anthropologists disagree on when and where Indo-European originated and the process and routes by which it diffused. The first Indo-European speakers where are believed to be the Kurgan who live near the border of what is present day Russia and Kazakhstan. The kurgan were nomads, who where among the first to domesticate horses and cattle around 5 millennia ago. In there search for grassland for their animals the kurgan warriors Conquered most of Europe and South Asia using their domesticated horses as weapons. According to Marija Gimbutas influential hypothesis, Indo-European language spread with the kurgan migration.

Origin and diffusion of Indo-European:"Peace" hypothesis

Archaeologists Colin Renfrew argues that the first Indo-European speakers lived 2 milinea before the kurgans, in eastern Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey. Renfrew believes that Indo-European migrated into Europe and South Asia along with agricultural practices rather than by military conquest. The language triumphed because it's speakers became more numerous and prosperous by growing their own food rather then hunting. Regardless of how Indo-European diffused, communication was poor among people, whether warriors or farmers. After many generations of complete isolation, these migrants evolved into speaking increasingly distinct branches, groups, and individual languages.
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Animated map shows how Indo-European languages may have evolved
Diffusion Of Proto-Indo-European