There are seventeen language families listed of which eight have no living, spoken representative today.

Comparative linguistics has clarified the relationships between these families although the picture remains cloudy with respect to some of them.

The origin of the Indo-European is highly controversial and specialists differ in locating the region where Indo-European first emerged. The original undifferentiated Indo-European may have covered a rather wide geographical region before splitting into the main families known today.

The study of ancient names, particularly those of Europe, has helped to form a consensus on the "core" regions for the emergence of the major family members. It now seems to be accepted, for example, that Germanic emerged in the area of Thuringia. It then spread west and north. Celtic differentiated in an area centred on the Salzkammergut

Non Indo-european languages (e.g. proto-Basque, Etruscan, Iberian, Tartessan and possibly, a language found on the Pictish symbol stones) were found in Europe. There is no evidence for a common non Indo-European language sub stratum.

living language