Evolutionary linguists believe they have made a "significant breakthrough" the origin Indo-European languages, including English and Sanskrit. The linguists say an ancient predecessor may have been spoken more than 8,100 years ago. The researchers are the Max Planck Institute Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. Their study may resolve a 200-year-old dispute where the ancestor of English came . One school of thought posits English has its roots the Pontic-Caspian Steppe the northern shore the Black Sea 6,000 years ago. A competing theory is that English originated Anatolia (much of present-day Turkey) 9,000 years ago.
Indo-European languages are spoken nearly half of the world's population. The most commonly-spoken members this family are English, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Bengali, French, Russian, Portuguese and Punjabi. Each of these have over 100 million native speakers. More than 80 language specialists created a huge databank core vocabulary 161 Indo-European languages. The study included 52 ancient and historical languages. Study co-author and Associate-Professor Russell Gray said: "Ancient DNA and [evolutionary language analysis] combine to suggest that the resolution the 200-year-old Indo-European enigma lies a hybrid the [Steppe and Anatolia] hypotheses."