Which languages ​​are extinct


Extinct languages are historical languages ​​whose speakers have become extinct or whose speakers have switched to another language (have assimilated to another language community).

There are various causes for the extinction of languages. Extinct languages ​​are to be differentiated from "dead" languages, the speakers of which are not extinct in the actual sense, but represent the historical forerunners of today's languages ​​(e.g. the speakers of Latin are not extinct, but have more and more vulgar Latin over time changed until today's Romance languages ​​emerged.)

A variety of languages ​​or language families became extinct after the colonization of America and Australia. Linguists estimate that of the hundreds of Australian languages ​​spoken before European settlement, only 10-20 will survive. The situation is similar in America. Here, too, the majority of the languages ​​disappeared with the arrival of European conquerors, and were replaced by four European languages ​​(English, Spanish, Portuguese, French).

Another area with a high number of endangered languages ​​is New Guinea. Due to the geographical isolation of individual tribes, the interior of the island had a very high language density. The majority of the approximately 1000 languages ​​are threatened with extinction.

A historical displacement is assumed for Africa south of the Sahara. Here the Bantu languages ​​have often replaced older languages. In North Africa it was again Arabic that displaced the previous languages, including the important cultural language Coptic.

Table of Contents

Indo-European languages

Baltic languages

Germanic languages

Iranian languages

Italian languages

Old Italian languages

Romance languages

Celtic languages

Slavic languages

Anatolian languages

Other Indo-European languages

  • Illyrian, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Epirus
  • Liburnian, Croatia
  • Thracian, Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor
  • Tocharian, Xinjiang, China

Turkic languages

Ural languages

Finno-Ugric languages

  • Merjanisch (probably extinct between the 11th century and 14th century)
  • Meschtscherisch (probably extinct in the 16th century)
  • Muromisch (probably extinct between 11th century and 14th century)
  • Kemi Sami (extinct in the 19th century)
  • Akkalaese (last first speaker died in 2003)

Samoyed languages

Caucasian languages

Ancient Mediterranean languages

Ancient oriental languages

Only ancient oriental languages ​​that do not belong to the Indo-European or Afro-Asian language family are listed below.

Afro-Asian languages


Berber languages

  • Garamantisch, North Africa
  • Numidian, North Africa


  • Akkadian, present-day Iraq and Syria
  • Ammonite, Middle East
  • Amorite, Middle East
  • Ausanian, South Arabia
  • Hadramautical, South Arabia
  • Hatrenish, Iraq
  • Lihyan, Northern Arabia
  • Moabite, Middle East
  • Nabatean, Northern Arabia
  • Palmyrenian, Syria
  • Phoenician Punic, Middle East, North Africa
  • Qataban, South Arabia
  • Sabaean, South Arabia
  • Thamudisch, North Arabia

Old American languages

See also


  • Harald Haarmann: Lexicon of the lost languages (= Beck's series. 1456). Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-47596-5 (2nd, revised edition, ibid 2004).
  • David Crystal: Half of World's Languages ​​May Become Extinct by 2100. World Resources Institute, September 19, 2007 (online (Memento from April 13, 2010 in Internet Archive)).

Web links

Individual evidence

Categories:List (language) | Historical linguistics

Status of information: 04/30/2021 8:12:12 AM CEST

Source: Wikipedia (authors [version history]) License: CC-BY-SA-3.0

Changes: All images and most of the design elements associated with them have been removed. Some of the icons have been replaced by FontAwesome icons. Some templates have been removed (such as "Article worth reading", "Excellent article") or rewritten. Most of the CSS classes have been removed or standardized.
Wikipedia-specific links that do not lead to articles or categories (such as "Redlink", "Edit links", "Portal links") have been removed. All external links have an additional FontAwesome icon. In addition to other small design adjustments, media containers, maps, navigation boxes, spoken versions and geo-microformats have been removed.

Important NOTE Since the given content was automatically taken over from Wikipedia at the specified time, manual checking was and is not possible. LinkFang.org therefore does not guarantee the correctness and topicality of the content taken over. If the information is now incorrect or there are errors in the presentation, we ask you to contact us by: E-Mail.
Also note:Imprint & privacy policy.