Paleo-Balkan languages

Paleo-Balkan Languages

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Paleo-Balkan languages

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Paleo-Balkan is a geolinguistic term referring to the Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Balkans in ancient times. Except for Greek and the language that gave rise to Albanian (see below), they are all extinct, due to Hellenization, Romanization, and Slavicisation.


The following languages are reported to have been spoken on the Balkan Peninsula by Ancient Greek and Roman writers:

Although these languages are all members of the Indo-European language family, the relationships between them are unknown. Classification of the languages spoken in the region is severely hampered by the fact that, except for Ancient Greek, they are all scantily attested. Furthermore, many of the individuals who have published studies on these languages have had strong patriotic or nationalistic interests, which compromises the scholarly value of their work.

It is generally considered plausible that Albanian evolved from one of the non-Greek languages of the region, but attempts to connect it to a specific language have been fruitless (see Origin of the Albanians).

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