Half of All Languages Come from One Root Language.
Half of All Languages Come from One Root Language. How it Spread Is Something of Debate
by: PHILIP PERRY
The sheer variety of languages on Earth is dizzying in their array and divergence. What’s more intriguing, is that about half of them spoken today by some three billion people, come from a single root language, used thousands of years ago. Hindi, Bengali, Persian, English, German, Spanish, and Greek, all come from the same root, known as Proto-Indo-European (PIE). In total, 400 languages and dialects originate from PIE.
German linguist August Schleicher reconstructed its vocabulary back in 1868. He wondered what PIE sounded like. So he created a fable called “The Sheep and the Horses.” Over the years, as more information has been unearthed about the Bronze Age cultures who spoke this language, the fable has been updated. Of course, scholars argue over what PIE actually sounded like. Nothing is definitive. But we have an approximation.
The full article plus video, audio and some interesting images can be found here:
Certainly an interesting and worthwhile topic but the title of this thread is poorly worded and factually wrong.
While a bit under half the people in the world speak Indo-European languages, the 400 languages mentioned in the original post is closer to about a tenth of the total number of natural languages (not including conlangs) spoken in the world today.
The article is a decent summary of the other articles. It is my experience of these forums that most users are looking for short quick bits of info not in depth research. If you read the article you can then go to the other articles they mention and get a better view of what they are summarizing.