Indo-Uralic languages

Indo-Uralic Languages

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Indo-Uralic languages

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Indo-Uralic is a proposed language family consisting of Indo-European and Uralic.

A genetic relationship between Indo-European and Uralic was first proposed by the Danish linguist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1869 (Pedersen 1931:336) but was received with little enthusiasm. Since then, the predominant opinion in the linguistic community has remained that the evidence for such a relationship is insufficient. However, a minority of linguists has always taken the contrary view (e.g. Henry Sweet, Holger Pedersen, Björn Collinder, Warren Cowgill and Jochem Schindler).

There are two distinct questions here (cf. Greenberg 2005:325):

(1) Are Indo-European and Uralic genetically related?

(2) If so, do Indo-European and Uralic constitute a valid genetic node? The Eurasiatic and Nostratic hypotheses both consider Indo-European and Uralic (or Uralic–Yukaghir) to be genetically related. However, the Indo-Uralic hypothesis in the strict sense is distinct from this: it maintains that Indo-European and Uralic have an especially close genetic relationship, and does not necessarily include assertions that Indo-European and Uralic are related to any other language families.

At the same time, most of the supporters of a relationship between Indo-European and Uralic have also supported their relationship to additional language families, leading some to regard Indo-Uralic as a subset of the larger Nostratic hypothesis.

This article focuses on question (1), genetic relationship, and only treats incidentally of...
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