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These migrations ultimately seeded the cultures and languages of most of Europe, Greater Iran, and much of the Indian subcontinent (and subsequently resulted in the largest and most broadly spoken language family in the world).
Modern knowledge of these migrations is based on data from linguistics, archaeology, anthropology and genetics.
The Indo-Iranian language and culture emerged at the Sintashta culture (c.
2100–1800 BCE), at the eastern border of the Yamna horizon and the Corded ware culture, growing into the Andronovo culture (c. Indo-Aryans moved into the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (c.
The largest developments of the 20th century have been the discovery of Anatolian and Tocharian languages and the acceptance of the laryngeal theory.
This process started with the introduction of cattle at the Eurasian steppes around 5200 BCE, and the mobilisation of the steppe herder cultures with the introduction of wheeled wagons and horse-back riding, which led to a new kind of culture.
Indo-European migrations were the migrations of pastoral peoples speaking the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE), who departed from the Yamnaya and related cultures in the Pontic–Caspian steppe, starting at .
Their descendants spread throughout Europe and parts of Asia, forming new cultures with the people they met on their way, including the Corded Ware culture in Northern Europe and the Vedic culture in the Indian subcontinent.
PIE is thought to have had a complex system of morphology that included inflections (suffixing of roots, as in who, whom, whose), and ablaut (vowel alterations, as in sing, sang, sung).
Nouns used a sophisticated system of declension and verbs used a similarly sophisticated system of conjugation.
Of the 20 languages with the largest numbers of native speakers according to Ethnologue, twelve are Indo-European: Spanish, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, German, Punjabi, Marathi, French, Urdu, Italian, accounting for over 1.7 billion native speakers.