CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: I don’t have a dog in this fight and I not an Indo-Europeanist. But check this anti-Kurgan Hypothesis video. The talk about ‘wheel’ cognates across three continents is fascinating.
I know some Indo-Europeanists pretty well. We communicate back and forth. And they have told me that it is now unanimous among Indo-Europeanists that the proper name for the family is Indo-Anatolian, similar to Joseph Greenberg’s Indo-Hittite. In other words, Anatolian itself is so divergent from the rest of IE that it is a sister to all of the non-Anatolian languages.
The argument is over. Indo-European is divided into Anatolian and everything else, so Anatolian is a sister family to all of the rest of IE. That right there shows that Anatolian split far before all the rest. According to the Kurgan Hypothesis, that can’t be so.
And if Anatolian split is that far from the rest of IE, obviously it was the initial homeland and Colin Renfrew’s Anatolian homeland theory gained backing when a phylogenetic or Bayesian analysis by Atkinson and Grey showed that IE goes back 9,000 YBP.
However, the Kurgan Hypothesis is also correct. Obviously, the Kurgan area was a secondary homeland for the IE people. It looks like IE sat in Anatolia for ~3,000 years, not doing a whole lot, and then went to the Kurgan area 6,000 YBP. I would argue for a secondary split of Tocharian after Anatolian and then all of the rest of IE splitting off from that.
Indo-European being divided into Anatolian first and then all non-Anatolian languages after that, similar to how
- Turkic is actually Bulgaro-Turkic, as Turkic is divided into Chuvash, etc. and all of the non-Bulgaric languages.
- Tungusic is now divided into Manchu-Tungus, ie, Tungusic is divided into Manchu and all of the non-Manchu languages.
- Tai is split into the Kadai languages and then all of the non-Kadai languages.
- Inuit is divided into Aleut and then all of the non-Aleut languages.
- Austronesian is obviously divided into the languages of Taiwan and then all of the non-Taiwan languages, but they are not formally split that way.
We don’t have a lot of these splits in IE itself that I’m aware of.