Japhetic languages

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Japhetic languages is an obsolete term that has been used for two different language groups. The term is derived from Japhet, the third son of Noah, the Biblical ancestor of the peoples of Europe.

Japhetic as Indo-European

Some 19th-century linguists used the term Japhetic languages for the Indo-European family. This usage never caught on and is now obsolete.

Japhetic as Non-Indo-European

The Georgian linguist Nikolai Marr used Japhetic languages in the early 20th century for a hypothetical language family consisting of Basque and the three Caucasian families, i.e. for the surviving Paleo-European languages. Later, he gave up the concept of a language family in favour of a stadial theory; see Marrism.

See also