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Families Recently Updated

Families Recently Updated

The Austronesian language family stretches halfway around the world, covering a wide geographic area from Madagascar to Easter Island, and from Taiwan and Hawai’i to New Zealand. The family includes most of the languages spoken on the islands of the Pacific with the exception of the indigenous Papuan and Australian languages. The name “Austronesian” comes from the Greek words for ‘south’ and ‘island.’ Austronesia includes Madagascar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and the … Full article

The Austro-Asiatic language family consists of 169 languages spoken in Southeast Asia, in countries located between China and Indonesia. A few are spoken to the west of this area in the Nicobar Islands and in India. The austro– part of the name comes from the Latin word for ‘south.’ It is not known where the speakers of Austro-Asiatic languages came from or … Full article

The Altaic language family derives its name from the Altai Mountain region where it is believed that these languages may have originated. It includes 66 languages spoken by about 250 million people (Ethnologue). Speakers of Altaic languages live over a vast territory that stretches from northeastern Siberia to the Persian Gulf, and from the Baltic Sea to China, with most of them clustering around Central Asia. …

The Berber languages are a group of 26 closely related languages that constitute a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. They are spoken by 14 to 25 million people in Northern Africa throughout the Mediterranean coast, the Sahara desert and Sahel, an area which used to be dominated by Berbers before the arrival of the Arabs. Today, there are large groups of Berber-speaking …

The Algic language family is one of the largest indigenous language families of North America. It consists of 44 languages, the overwhelming majority of which (42 languages) belong to the Algonquian branch. The two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California whose relationship with the Algonquian languages was established by Edward Sapir, the first linguist to use the name Algic. …

Semitic languages constitute a the most populous branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. They are spoken by more than 500 million people across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. They are believed to have evolved from a hypothetical common ancestor called *Proto-Semitic whose place of origin is still disputed: Africa, Arabian Peninsula, and Mesopotamia are the most probable locations. The Semitic branch can be … Full article

Afro-Asiatic, formerly called Hamito-Semitic, is the largest language family of northern Africa. With a total number of speakers estimated at more than 300 million, it is spread throughout North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. Since Arabic, Hebrew, Coptic, and Syriac, are the languages of Islam, Judaism, and two sects of the Christian faith, the language family reaches many millions of people …

Cushitic languages form a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. They are spoken in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti — countries located in the Horn of Africa. The dominant Cushitic languages, both in terms of number of speakers and geographical extension are Oromo, with about 24 million speakers in Ethiopia and Kenya; Somali, with 12.6 million speakers in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti; Sidamo with 1.9 million speakers in Ethiopia; Afar with about 1.4 million speakers in Eritrea; and Bedawi with about …

Indo-European is a family of languages that first spread throughout Europe and many parts of South Asia, and later to every corner of the globe as a result of colonization. The term Indo-European is essentially geographical since it refers to the easternmost extension of the family from the Indian subcontinent to its westernmost reach in Europe. The family includes …