The Indo-European language
of the Tocharian
people living in the Tarim River
until about 1000 AD. It is comprised of an eastern dialect (Tocharian A
), from the area of Turfan
, and a western dialect (Tocharian B
), chiefly from the region of Kucha
but also from the Turfan
area. Tocharian is the easternmost Indo-European language
. The earliest known record is from the 7th century AD.
Tocharian was written in a northern Indian syllabary known as Brahmi, which was also used in writing Sanskrit manuscripts from the same area.
Tocharian forms an independent branch of the Indo-European language family not closely related to other neighbouring Indo-European languages, such as the Indo-Aryan and Iranian. Rather, Tocharian shows a closer affinity with the Indo-European languages of the northwest. The vocabulary of the language shows the influence of Iranian and, later, Sanskrit. Chinese had little influence.