Illyrian language
Illyrian mapIllyrian can be called one of the least researched languages in the Indo-European family, and so the information about is scarce. About 1300 BC, Illyrians, people of Indo-European stock who are considered ancestors of modern Albanians, settled on the northern and eastern coasts of the Adriatic Sea. Included among them were the Dalmatians and the Pannonians. Together with Italics, whose languages were similar to Illyrian, some tribes of that nation invaded South Italy, where they inhabited Apulia - Romans knew the tribes of Yapigs, Yapods and other Illyrians. The Greeks established cities on the Adriatic coast in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, and in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC Macedonian kings conquered parts of Illyria. The last Illyrian kingdom was organized in the 3rd century BC with the capital at Scodra (now Shkodër, Albania). After Dalmatia seceded from the Illyrian kingdom, the Romans conquered Scodra and established, in 168 BC, a colony there that they named Illyricum. Gradually, Dalmatia was conquered and finally added (78-77 BC) to Illyricum; then, by 35-34 BC the southern areas of the former kingdom of Illyria were added, and, in 9 BC, Pannonia in the north. After an Illyrian revolt in AD 6-9, Illyricum was divided into the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia. In the 4th century AD, the name Illyricum was given to a large Roman prefecture that included the former colony as well as a large area north of the Adriatic Sea and much of the Balkan Peninsula. Under Rome the region prospered, and many roads and towns were built; Diocletian and several other emperors came from Dalmatia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the region of ancient Illyria became part of the Byzantine Empire.

In the two next centuries, Slavic peoples were gradually settling on Illyrian lands, and already in the 6th century, North Illyrians, who lived in Pannonia and modern Croatia and Slovenia, were completely assimilated. The only Illyrians who remained in South West Balkans were Albanians or Arbers, still living there and speaking a language descended from Illyrian.

The language was related to Thracian, and from the other side, was close to Italic and Venetic groups of Indo-European tongues. Illyrian grammar is practically unknown, we only know that nouns were inflected and their endings were similar to Proto-Indo-European. We know about 50 Illyrian words, other are hypothetically Illyrian, but those that are known show definite Indo-European glossary. You can see this glossary choosing a link below.

Illyrian language on the Web