Geographical distribution of the major Indo-Aryan languages.
|(approximately 1.21 billion)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|India||Over 856 mil|
|Pakistan||Over 164 mil[not in citation given]|
|Bangladesh||Over 150 mil|
|Nepal||Over 26 mil|
|Sri Lanka||Over 14 mil|
|Burma||Over 1 mil|
|Indian religions (Mostly Hindu and Buddhist; with Sikh and Jain minorities) and Islam, some non-religious atheist/agnostic and Christians|
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Indo-Aryan peoples are a diverse Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of peoples who speak Indo-Aryan languages. The Indo-Aryan languages belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Today, there are over one billion native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, most of them native to South Asia, where they form the majority.
The Indo-European languages were introduced into northern India by Indo-Aryans. The Indo-Aryan migration theory[note 1] explains the introduction of the Indo-Aryan languages in the Indian subcontinent by proposing a migration from Sintashta culture through Bactria-Margiana Culture and into northern Indian subcontinent (modern day India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan). These migrations started approximately 1,800 BCE, after the invention of the war chariot, and also brought Indo-Aryan languages into the Levant and possibly Inner Asia. It was part of the diffusion of Indo-European languages from the proto-Indo-European homeland at the Pontic steppe, a large area of grasslands in far Eastern Europe, which started in the 5th to 4th millennia BCE, and the Indo-European migrations out of the Eurasian steppes, which started approximately 2,000 BCE.
The theory posits that these Indo-Aryan speaking people may have been a genetically diverse group of people who were united by shared cultural norms and language, referred to as aryā, "noble." Diffusion of this culture and language took place by patron-client systems, which allowed for the absorption and acculturalisation of other groups into this culture, and explains the strong influence on other cultures with which it interacted.The Proto-Indo-Iranians, from which the Indo-Aryans developed, are identified with the Sintashta culture (2100–1800 BCE), and the Andronovo culture, which flourished ca. 1800–1400 BCE in the steppes around the Aral sea, present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The proto-Indo-Iranians were influenced by the Bactria-Margiana Culture, south of the Andronovo culture, from which they borrowed their distinctive religious beliefs and practices. The Indo-Aryans split off around 1800-1600 BCE from the Iranians, whereafter the Indo-Aryans migrated into the Levant and north-western India.
List of Indo-Aryan peoples
- Assamese people
- Bengali people
- Bihari people
- Dom people
- Garhwali people
- Gujarati people
- Khas people
- Koli people
- Konkani people
- Kumaoni people
- Dhivehi people
- Marathi people
- Naga Rajputs
- Oriya people
- Punjabi people
- Romani people
- Rohingya people
- Saraiki people
- Sinhalese people
- Sindhi people
- Sylheti people
- "India". The World Factbook.
- "Pakistan". The World Factbook.
- "Bangladesh". The World Factbook.
- Witzel 2005, p. 348.
- Anthony 2007, pp. 408–411.
- Kuz'mina 2007, p. 222.
- Anthony 2007, p. 390 (fig. 15.9), 405-411.
- Anthony 2009, p. 49.
- Anthony 2007, p. 408.
- George Erdosy(1995) "The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity.", p.279
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- Loewe, Michael; Shaughnessy, Edward L. (1999). The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC. Cambridge University Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0-5214-7030-7. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Mallory, JP. 1998. "A European Perspective on Indo-Europeans in Asia". In The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia. Ed. Mair. Washington DC: Institute for the Study of Man.
- Trubachov, Oleg N., 1999: Indoarica, Nauka, Moscow.
- Witzel, Michael (2005), "Indocentrism", in Bryant, Edwin; Patton, Laurie L., TheE Indo-Aryan Controversy. Evidence and inference in Indian history (PDF), Routledge