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Centum

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For other uses, see Centum (disambiguation).

Centum is the collective name for the branches of Indo-European in which the so-called Satem shift, the change of palato-velar *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵh, into fricatives or affricates, did not take place, and the palato-velar consonants merged with plain velars (*k, *g, *gh). Most of the Centum languages preserve Proto-Indo-European labio-velars (*kw, *gw, *gwh) or their historical reflexes as distinct from plain velars; for example, PIE *k, *kw > Latin c /k/, qu /kw/, Greek /k/, /p/ (or /t/ before front vowels), Gothic /h/, /hw/, etc.

The name Centum comes from the Latin word centum '100', pronounced [kentum] < PIE *ḱmtom, illustrating the falling together of *k and *ḱ. Compare Sanskrit śata- or Russian sto, in which *ḱ changed into a fricative.

The Centum branches include Anatolian, Tocharian, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Greek, and a number of minor and little known extinct groups (such as Venetic and the ancient Macedonian language and probably the Illyrian languages).pl:Kentum sv:Kentumspråk

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