During ancient times, Indo-Iranians self-designated themselves as Aryans. They were also known as non-Aryans. Today, the Aryan language is spoken by a minority of Indo-Europeans in India and Central Asia. It is considered an endangered language.
Origins of Indo-Europeans
Several theories have been proposed about the origins of Indo-Europeans. While most of these theories presuppose an economic deterministic model, others focus on the spiritual production process as a more appropriate domain.
The most prominent theory is the Kurgan theory. According to this theory, Proto-Indo-Europeans arrived in Europe from Asia Minor during the early Neolithic period. They migrated to Southern and Central Europe and introduced IE into these areas. The language-tree divergence times support this hypothesis.
A second theory holds that Proto-Indo-Europeans came from the Pontic steppe and that they migrated to the Mediterranean area around 5,000 YA. The putative causal distance matrix includes various distances, including geographic, linguistic, and cultural.
A third theory focuses on the Ponto-Caspian steppe. It claims that the Proto-Indo-European language developed in the Pontic region. It also argues that these populations later expanded into the Mediterranean and Anatolian regions and became Indo-European speakers. It suggests that a protolanguage existed in the Pontic region, and that this protolanguage would eventually break up and be absorbed into the Indo-European languages.
Migration of Indo-Europeans to the Central Asian steppe
During the first half of the second millennium BCE, Eurasian steppe migrants arrived in the Indian subcontinent. In addition, they stayed in a secondary homeland north of the Black Sea.
These migrants contributed a small proportion of genes to the IE gene pool, mainly from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. They did not establish cities. They were horse-raising nomads. Their lifestyle was similar to that of Turkic peoples. They were the first successful nomadic people on the Eurasian continent. They were a threat to organised civilisations.
Indo-Europeans were the first militarily aggressive nomadic people on the Eurasian landmass. Their success in Asia was mixed. Some remained in their original homelands while others expanded into Asia. The Indo-European contribution to the world’s civilization has been considerable.
The Pontic-Caspian steppe played an important role in European history. It extended from the Danube estuary to the Ural Mountains. It was the site of the first Bronze Age settlement. After the Bronze Age, more incursions into Europe followed.
Reconstruction of Aryan parent language
Using historical comparative linguistics, we can reconstruct the Aryan parent language. This parent language is the common ancestor of the various historical Aryan languages. The Proto-Aryan pantheon included gods of various natural forces. They also had gods of abstract ideas.
The Proto-Aryan cult included fire as a symbol of sacrifice. The Indo-Iranian “mitra” or “pact” is a derivative of this word. During this period, Iranians inhabited a steppe habitat in Eastern Iran. They may have reached western Iran before 1300 BCE. Afterwards, they moved into the Fertile Crescent.
The Indo-Aryan language system developed in a dialectal process. The two main stages are the Old Indo-Aryan and the Middle Indo-Aryan. Both of these stages have a literary register that uses a different lexicon than the spoken vernacular. During the Middle Indo-Aryan, the nominal and pronominal forms were replaced by a genitive.
The Old Indo-Aryan developed from the Vedic language. The verb system used in the Vedic language is a finite verb. Generally, three genders were used. The Old Indo-Aryan accentual system has three basic tones. It also has a complex suffix-tavat. A nominal form can be formed with the complex suffix-tavat. This type of form is often compared to the instrumental plural -bhis of the Old Indo-Aryan.
Impact of Aryan language on Indo-Europeans
Historically, the Aryan language is thought to have originated in the Indian subcontinent. There is evidence of an Aryan population living in ancient Iran. They probably migrated into western Iran before 1300 BCE. They may have also travelled south to ancient India.
The word “arya” was first used in India to refer to people who spoke the Indo-Aryan language. However, the term came to mean a social epithet. It was used interchangeably with “dasha.” Dasas were considered to be the racial designation of Dravidian-speaking peoples.
During the late 18th century, scholars discovered the existence of a language family, the Indo-European languages. It was then proposed that the Indo-European languages were spread throughout the Eurasian continent by waves of migration. These settlers displaced natives. In modern times, the languages of the Indo-European family are widely spoken in the world. They are the predominant languages of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. The Aryan languages are the closest relatives to the Proto-Indo-European languages.