In Indo-European linguistics
, the term Indo-Hittite
) refers to Sturtevant
's 1926 hypothesis that the Anatolian languages
may have split off the Proto-Indo-European language
considerably earlier than the separation of the remaining Indo-European languages
. The term is somewhat imprecise, as the prefix Indo-
does not refer to the Indo-Aryan
branch in particular, but is iconic for Indo-European
, and the -Hittite
part refers to the Anatolian language family as a whole.
Proponents of the Indo-Hittite hypothesis claim the separation may have preceded the spread of the remaining branches by several millennia, possibly as early as 7000 BC. In this context, the proto-language
before the split of Anatolian would be called Proto-Indo-Hittite
, and the proto-language of the remaining branches, before the next split, presumably of Tocharian
, would be called Proto-Indo-European
(PIE). This is a matter of terminology, though, as the hypothesis does not dispute the ultimate genetic relation of Anatolian with Indo-European, it just means to emphasize the assumed magnitude of temporal separation.
Traditionally there has been a strong notion among Indo-European linguistics that the Anatolian branch was separated earlier than other branches. Within the Kurgan
framework the split time is estimated at roughly 4000 BC.
Some fundamental shared features, such as the aorist
category of the verb (which denotes action without reference to duration or completion), with... Read More