Urbian or Urian is a possible Old European or Pre-Indo-European (Pre-IE) language defined by Sorin Paliga. The Proto-Indo-European (Proto-IE) language, the descendants of which have replaced the Pre-IE language(s), ought not to include a root corresponding to Latin urbs, as the Proto-IE were nomadic or semi-nomadic (in the Kurgan model and most reconstructions of IE society from the roots). Therefore, a reconstructed *OR/UR- or *OL/UL-, "huge, big, elevated", used also to refer to an urban settlement, may well be the root of a cross-cultural repertory of words, such as Latin urbs, "city", Thracian Az-oros, Uri (Swiss location), Basque uri, hiri "township", Greek lab-yr-inthos and Sumerian Urbillum, today the city of Irbil in Iraq.

On the other hand, many mainstream historical linguists, such as J.P. Mallory, are skeptical of alleged linguistic connections based on allegedly common individual roots rather than systematic sound change patterns that demonstrate similar shifts across a range of words.