Little is known about these agglutinative languages, but they do not belong to the Semitic or Indo-European language families. Some observers such as I. M. Diakonoff and Sergei Starostin have seen affinities between Hurro-Urartian and the Northeast Caucasian languages, and proposed a larger Alarodian family for these. As is typical of theories on linguistic groupings in the Caucasus region, however, there is little evidence for a relationship of Hurro-Urartian to other language families that rises above what may be areal features, and it is prudent to view the group as an independent family at present.
Hurrian was the language of the Hurrians (occasionally called "Hurrites"), a people who spread to northern Mesopotamia probably coming from the Caucasus starting from 2500 BC, and whose apogee was the kingdom of Mitanni (1450–1270 BC). The language was probably extinct by 1000 BC. It has been proposed that two little known groups, the Nairi and the Mannae might have been Hurrian speakers, but as little is known about them, it is hard to draw any conclusions about what languages they spoke.
Urartian was the language of Urartu, an ancient kingdom located around Lake Van (presently in Turkey) between 1200 BC or earlier and 580 BC. It is claimed by some Armenian scholars that the region was populated by the Phrygians during that period, and then mixed with the Armenians but this is purely speculative.
Kurdish and Armenian have many layers of loanwords, and show traces of long language contact with Hurro-Urartian.
There was a strong Hurrian cultural influence on Hittite in ancient times, and there may also be areal influence of Hurro-Urartian on the Kurdish language currently spoken in former Hurro-Urartian territories.