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Europic is an obsolete hypothesis of a language family proposed by Jörg Rhiemeier. It consists of Indo-European and various smaller language groups of Europe which are all extinct and lost in history. In 2017, Rhiemeier abandoned the hypothesis for lack of favourable evidence, and in the light of evidence against it.

The hypothesis

Proto-Europic may have been spoken about 8,000 years ago in southeastern Europe, perhaps by the group of people known to archaeologists as the Starčevo culture. (If the Black Sea Flood, which is controversial, actually happened, it may be connected to the spread of Europic.) From there, one branch of Europic spread northeastward into the Pontic Steppe and became Indo-European. Another branch spread northwestward into Central Europe in connection with the Linear Pottery culture and left its traces in the Old European hydronymy. A third group may have been established in the Lower Danube region and become the language of the Vinča culture. That language may have been the world's first written language, if the Vinča symbols are indeed writing, but that is controversial. The language of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture would also have belonged to this group. The Tyrrhenian languages such as Etruscan, which shows some morphological similarities to Indo-European, are possibly related as well.

The main reason for this hypothesis is that the cultures mentioned above are those Neolithic cultures of Europe which apparently spread by demic diffusion, i.e. by migrations of farmers and assimilation of the indigenous hunter-gatherers, which would have entailed the spread of a new language. As the Old European hydronymy appers to be related to Indo-European, a relationship of these languages to Indo-European appears plausible.


It turned out that the notion that the languages of the Linear Pottery Culture, the Vinča culture and the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture should be related to Proto-Indo-European is entirely unsupported by the facts. These Neolithic groups were genetically and culturally dissimilar to the Proto-Indo-Europeans, and from its likely relationship to Uralic and languages even further east, one can conclude that Proto-Indo-European is in itself probably of an eastern origin, and it is unlikely that related languages were spoken by the Neolithic cultures mentioned in the proposal. Also, the Black Sea Flood is now doubted to have ever happened at least at a time that would fit this hypothesis.

Rhiemeier now assumes the Aquan, as he now calls the hypothetical language of the Old European hydronymy, to be an early diverging branch (or sister family) of Indo-European, probably branching off even earlier than Anatolian.

See also

This article is one of quite a few pages about Natlangs.

Indo-european natlangs:

Balto-Slavic Natlangs: Czech * Russian
Celtic Natlangs: Revived Middle Cornish * Pictish
Germanic Natlangs:
North Germanic Natlangs: Norwegian
West Germanic Natlangs: Anglo-Saxon * Dutch * English (Old English * Middle English * Modern English * Scots) * German (High German * Low German)
Indo-Iranian Natlangs: Pahlavi
Italic Natlangs: French * Italian * Latin * Spanish
Debated: Cimmerian

Uralic Natlangs: Finnish * Khanty * Mansi * Mordvinic * Proto-Uralic
Altaic (controversial): Japanese
Sino-Tibetan Natlangs:
Uto-Aztecan Natlangs: Nahuatl


Isolate Natlangs: Basque * *
Hypothetical/debated Natlangs and Natlang families: Danubian * Europic (obsolete)