By Baugh, Albert Croll; Cable, Thomas
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Romanian is the easternmost of the Romance languages, representing the continued influence of Roman legions in ancient Dacia. In addition to these six languages, about a dozen Romance languages are spoken by smaller populations. Other languages on the Iberian peninsula are Catalan, a language of the northeast but also found in Corsica, and one with an extensive literature, and Galician in the northwest, similar to both Spanish and Portuguese, having features of each, just as Catalan shares features of Provençal and Spanish.
The parent tongue from which the Indo-European languages have sprung had already become divided and scattered before the dawn of history. When we meet with the various peoples by whom these languages are spoken they have lost all knowledge of their former association. Consequently we have no written record of the common Indo-European language. By a comparison of its descendants, however, it is possible to form a fair idea of it and to make plausible reconstructions of its lexicon and inflections.
Chief among the literary works in this language is the great Persian epic the Shahnamah. Persian contains a large Arabic admixture so that today its vocabulary seems almost as much Arabic as Iranian. In addition to Persian, several other languages differing more or less from it are today in use in various provinces of the old empire—Afghan or Pashto and Baluchi in the eastern territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Kurdish in the west, in Kurdistan. Besides these larger groups there are numerous languages and dialects in the highlands of the Pamir, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, and in the valleys of the Caucasus.
A history of the English language by Baugh, Albert Croll; Cable, Thomas