- belonging to or consisting of those branches of the Indo-European family in which alveolar or palatal fricatives, as the sounds (s) or (sh), developed in ancient times from Proto-Indo-European palatal stops: the satem branches are Indo-Iranian, Armenian, Slavic, Baltic, and Albanian.
Origin of satem
1900–05; < Avestan satəm hundred (cognate with Latin centum; see centum2), exemplifying in s- the outcome of Indo-European palatal stops characteristic of the group
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- denoting or belonging to the group of Indo-European languages in which original velar stops became palatalized (k > s or / ʃ /). These languages belong to the Indic, Iranian, Armenian, Slavonic, Baltic, and Albanian branches and are traditionally regarded as the E groupCompare centum
from Avestan sat ə m hundred; chosen to exemplify the variation of initial s with initial k (as in centum) in Indo-European languages
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