Animated Map Shows How Indo-European Languages Expanded

Have you ever wondered where your language originated from? In 2012, a team of evolutionary biologists led by Dr. Atkinson from the University of Auckland, established that the Indo-European family of languages traces back to one very familiar place: Anatolia, now modern-day Turkey.

The evidence was derived using tools developed for drawing evolutionary family trees. By comparing vocabulary items known to be resistant to linguistic change against the porto-indo-European counterpart for 103 languages, the researchers could compute their relationships and derive the most likely family trees. This study was then enhanced with data of known language splits, geographical information and other historic evidence, which ultimately led to the result shown in the video below.