Southern Balkans, Anatolia (now Turkey) and Cyprus
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
  • Graeco-Phrygian

Graeco-Phrygian (/ˌɡrkˈfrɪiən/) is a proposed subgroup of the Indo-European language family which comprises Greek and Phrygian.[1]


The linguist Claude Brixhe points to the following features Greek and Phrygian are known to have in common and in common with no other language:[2]

Obrador-Cursach (2019) has presented further phonological, morphological and lexical evidence for a close relation between Greek and Phrygian.[3]

Other proposals

Greek has also been variously grouped with Armenian and Indo-Iranian (Graeco-Armenian; Graeco-Aryan), Ancient Macedonian (Graeco-Macedonian) and, more recently, Messapian. Greek and Ancient Macedonian are often classified under Hellenic; at other times, Hellenic is posited to consist of only Greek dialects. The linguist Václav Blažek states that, in regard to the classification of these languages, "the lexical corpora do not allow any quantification" (see corpus and quantitative comparative linguistics).[4]


  1. ^ Ligorio & Lubotsky (2018), p. 1816: "Phrygian is most closely related to Greek. The two languages share a few unique innovations [...] It is therefore very likely that both languages emerged from a single language, which was spoken in the Balkans at the end of the third millennium BCE.
  2. ^ Brixhe (2008, p. 72)
  3. ^ Obrador-Cursach (2019), p. 243: "With the current state of our knowledge, we can affirm that Phrygian is closely related to Greek."
  4. ^ Blažek (2005, p. 6)


  • Blažek, Václav (November 2005). "On the internal classification of Indo-European languages: survey" (PDF). Linguistica Online. ISSN 1801-5336.
  • Brixhe, Claude (2008). "Phrygian". In Woodard, Roger D. (ed.). The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor. Cambridge University Press. p. 72. ISBN 9781139469333.
  • Ligorio, Orsat; Lubotsky, Alexander (2018). "Phrygian". In Jared Klein; Brian Joseph; Matthias Fritz (eds.). Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. HSK 41.3. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 1816–1831. doi:10.1515/9783110542431-022.
  • Obrador-Cursach, Bartomeu (2019). "On the place of Phrygian among the Indo-European languages". Journal of Language Relationship. 17 (3–4): 239. doi:10.31826/jlr-2019-173-407. S2CID 215769896.

Further reading

  • Blažek, Václav (2005). "Paleo-Balkanian Languages I: Hellenic Languages" (PDF). Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity. 10. Brno: Masarykova univerzita. pp. 15–33. ISBN 80-210-3784-9.
  • Brixhe, Claude (2002). "Interactions between Greek and Phrygian under the Roman Empire". In Adams, J. N.; Janse, Mark (eds.). Bilingualism in Ancient Society: Language Contact and the Written Text. Oxford University Press. pp. 246–266.
  • Fortson, Benjamin W. (2011). Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Blackwell. pp. 203, 252.
  • Masson, Olivier (1991). "Anatolian Languages". In Boardman, John; Edwards, I. E. S. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 668–9.
  • Woudhuizen, Fred C. (2008–2009). "Phrygian & Greek" (PDF). Talanta, Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society. 40–41. pp. 181–217. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014.

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