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Families Recently Updated

Families Recently Updated

The Sino-Tibetan language family is one of the largest in the world. It is second only to the Indo-European language family in terms of number of speakers. The family consists of 403 highly differentiated languages with a vast geographical spread, great linguistic complexity, and a long historical record. As the name itself implies, this family consists of two main branches: The Sino– … Full article

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 … Full article

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 …

All Romance languages are descendants of Vulgar Latin dialects spoken by the common people in the Roman Empire. Spread of the Romance languages occurred in two main stages: The first stage occurred in 240-100 BC, owing to the expansion of the Roman Empire over a good part of Europe, England, Northern Africa and portions of the Middle East. After the breakup of the Roman …

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 …

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 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 …