The Indo-European Origin of the Burushaski Language and the Dene-Caucasian Hypothesis


  • Ilija Čašule Professor (Former), Department of Linguistics Macquarie University, Australia.


Burushaski, Indo-European Origin, Hunza, Nager, Yasin


The paper is a detailed response to John Bengtson’s and Václav Blažek’s critique of the theory of the Indo-European origin of Burushaski. The scholars (2011) (BB) published in The Journal of Language Relationship an extensive piece in which they take issue with the hypothesis on the Indo-European origin of the language isolate Burushaski and provide examples of their Dene-Caucasian interpretation. This article addresses and discusses the validity of their claims and presents the relevant evidence. All the material presented in this paper at the phonological, morphological and lexical level demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that the language isolate Burushaski is at its core an Indo-European language, perhaps creolised in contact with another non- Indo-European language. The grammatical correspondences in the case system and in the category of number, in the adjectival suffixes, in all of the demonstrative pronouns and adverbs, the personal pronouns, partially in the numerals, in the entire non-finite verbal system, verbal suffixes and prefixes outline the IE make up of Burushaski. A language comparison that has a large number of grammatical correspondences is significantly much stronger. At the lexical level, the evidence is even more powerful and surpasses the tentative Dene-Caucasian hypothesis.




How to Cite

Čašule, I. . (2023). The Indo-European Origin of the Burushaski Language and the Dene-Caucasian Hypothesis. Journal of Asian Civilizations, 45(2), 75–138. Retrieved from