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This map shows the regions of the world where Tocharian was commonly spoken (red circle). The Tocharian language is something of a mystery. Our only evidence of it includes some fragmentary texts found in the early twentieth-century in Chinese Turkestan (central Asia). This language appears in two forms, which linguists unimaginatively call "Tocharian A" and "Tocharian B," which split from each other about 700 CE. The Tocharians lived in the region until about 950 CE, and their writing makes reference to Chinese rulers. What makes them so mysterious is that they appear to be a people of European descent in an area of non Indo-European races. Their language is clearly most similar to those of the Centum branch of Indo-European, but from their geographic position we would expect the language to be most similar to that of the Satem branch of Indo-European. Somewhere in the Tocharians' lost past, this people must have engaged in a race-wide exodus to the far east. The reasons for this herculean migration are unknown.


Daniel M. Short originally created this map and the other Indo-European language charts for his website at http://www.danshort.com/. I reproduce these images here with the author's permission, but they are copyrighted by Daniel Short as of 2002. These charts should not be reproduced or reused without Mr. Short's approval. You may contact him at danshort@gte.net for more information. These images are not public domain.

 

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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.