|Total speakers:||ca. 50,000|
|Basic word order:||varies|
Hesperic is a family of diachronic conlangs by Jörg Rhiemeier spoken in the world of Atla. This family forms an early diverging branch of the Indo-European family, even more archaic than Anatolian, and is a "re-creation" of the hypothetical Aquan language group. So far, Old Albic is the best-elaborated language of the family.
The Hesperic language family was originally built on an internal reconstruction (by the author himself, but drawing on the ideas of various scholars such as T. V. Gamkrelidze, V. V. Ivanov and the late, lamented J. E. Rasmussen) of an early stage of Proto-Indo-European; a part of the vocabulary is based on words in Celtic and Germanic languages without good PIE etymologies which may be loanwords from a substratum language. Further inspiration for the building of the family came from the Uralic and Kartvelian language families.
Since then, the author has changed his view concerning the degree of relationship between Hesperic and Indo-European, from a sister group of IE as a whole to a branch that forked off at about the same time as Anatolian, and he is currently reworking the fictional history of the family in order to make it fit the new assumptions regarding its origin.
The Hesperic languages are spoken in various residual zones in Central and Western Europe, with a total number of speakers not exceeding 50,000 today, though the family once had many more speakers (Old Albic alone is estimated to have been spoken by about 2 million people at its apogee about 600 BC).
This family is a branch of Indo-European that separated from the rest of the family early, perhaps around 3500 BC, and is probably associated with the first wave of Indo-European expansion which also resulted in the formation of the Anatolian branch. The Old European hydronymy may be Hesperic in origin, but as the original meanings of those names are unknown, such an identification remains speculative.
Proto-Hesperic would have been spoken about 3000 BC in Central Europe, and thus probably contemporaneous to the Late PIE the standard reconstruction represents (which may have been likewise about 3000 BC, but the dating is controversial). The family also shows similarities to the Uralic languages, and appears to be something like the "missing link" between Indo-European and Uralic. Typological similarities also exist to the Kartvelian languages, but this does not appear to reveal a relationship, unless these similarities can be ascribed to a Krelian substratum.
Today, however, all Hesperic languages have to be considered endangered, and none has official status in the country or countries where it is spoken.
- North Hesperic
- South Hesperic
Influence of Standard Average European
The Hesperic languages have been influenced to various degrees by the Standard Average European linguistic area. The influence of this Sprachbund is strongest in Alpianic and weakest in Albic.
Main sound correspondences