Contents 1 Language groups 1.1 Sino-Tibetan 1.2 Indo-European 1.3 Altaic families 1.4 Mon–Khmer 1.5 Tai–Kadai 1.6 Austronesian 1.7 Dravidian 1.8 Afro-Asiatic 1.9 Siberian families 1.10 Caucasian families 1.11 Small families of Southern Asia 1.12 Creoles and pidgins 1.13 Sign languages 2 Official languages 3 See also 4 References


Language groups[edit] Ethnolinguistic distribution in Central/Southwest Asia of the Altaic, Caucasian, Afroasiatic (Hamito-Semitic) and Indo-European families. The major families in terms of numbers are Indo-European and Dravidian in South Asia and Sino-Tibetan in East Asia. Several other families are regionally dominant. Sino-Tibetan[edit] Main article: Sino-Tibetan languages Sino-Tibetan includes Chinese, Tibetan, Burmese, Karen and numerous languages of the Tibetan Plateau, southern China, Burma, and North east India. Indo-European[edit] Main articles: Indo-Iranian languages, Slavic languages, Armenian languages, Anatolian languages, and Tocharian languages The Indo-European languages are primarily represented by the Indo-Iranian branch. The family includes both Indic languages (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Marathi, Gujarati, Sinhalese and other languages spoken primarily in South Asia) and Iranian (Persian, Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi and other languages spoken primarily in Iran, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and parts of South Asia). In addition, other branches of Indo-European spoken in Asia include the Slavic branch, which includes Russian in Siberia; Greek around the Black Sea; and Armenian; as well as extinct languages such as Hittite of Anatolia and Tocharian of (Chinese) Turkestan. Altaic families[edit] Main article: Altaic languages A number of smaller, but important language families spread across central and northern Asia have long been linked in an as-yet unproven Altaic family. These are the Turkic languages, Mongolic languages, Tungusic languages (including Manchu), Korean, and Japonic languages. Speakers of Turkish (Anatolian Turks) are believed to have adopted the language, having instead originally spoken the Anatolian languages, an extinct group of languages belonging to the Indo-European family.[1] Mon–Khmer[edit] Main article: Austroasiatic languages The Mon–Khmer languages (Austroasiatic languages) are the oldest family in Asia. They include Vietnamese and Khmer (Cambodian). Tai–Kadai[edit] Main article: Tai-Kadai languages The Tai-Kadai languages (or just Kadai) of southern China spread in historic times into Southeast Asia, where Thai (Siamese) and Lao are official languages. Austronesian[edit] Main article: Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages include the languages of the Philippines and most of the languages of Indonesia (excluding inland New Guinea), such as Malay (Indonesian) and Tagalog (Filipino). Dravidian[edit] Main article: Dravidian languages The Dravidian languages of southern India and parts of Sri Lanka include Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam, while smaller languages such as Gondi and Brahui are spoken in central India and Pakistan respectively. Afro-Asiatic[edit] Main article: Semitic languages The Afroasiatic languages (Hamito-Semitic) are presently represented by the Semitic branch spoken in Southwest Asia. It includes Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic, in addition to extinct languages such as Akkadian. The Modern South Arabian languages contain a substratum influence from the Cushitic branch of Afroasiatic, which suggests that Cushitic speakers originally inhabited the Arabian Peninsula alongside Semitic speakers.[2] Siberian families[edit] Main article: Paleosiberian languages Besides the Altaic families already mentioned (of which Tungusic is today a minor family of Siberia), there are a number of small language families and isolates spoken across northern Asia. These include the Uralic languages of western Siberia (better known for Hungarian and Finnish in Europe), the Yeniseian languages (linked to Turkic and to the Athabaskan languages of North America), Yukaghir, Nivkh of Sakhalin, Ainu of northern Japan, Chukotko-Kamchatkan in easternmost Siberia, and—just barely—Eskimo–Aleut. Some linguists have noted that the Koreanic languages shares more similarities with the Paleosiberian languages than with the Altaic languages. The extinct Ruan-ruan language of Mongolia is unclassified, and does not show genetic relationships with any other known language family. Caucasian families[edit] Main article: Languages of the Caucasus Three small families are spoken in the Caucasus: Kartvelian languages, such as Georgian; Northeast Caucasian (Dagestanian languages), such as Chechen; and Northwest Caucasian, such as Circassian. The latter two may be related to each other. The extinct Hurro-Urartian languages may be related as well. Small families of Southern Asia[edit] Although dominated by major languages and families, there are number of minor families and isolates in South Asia & Southeast Asia. From west to east, these include: extinct languages of the Fertile Crescent such as Sumerian, Elamite, and Proto-Euphratean extinct languages of South Asia: the unclassified Harappan language small language families and isolates of the Indian subcontinent: Burushaski, Kusunda, and Nihali. The Vedda language of Sri Lanka is likely an isolate that has mixed with Sinhalese. the two Andamanese language families: Great Andamanese and Ongan; Sentinelese remains undocumented to date, and hence unclassified. isolates and languages with isolate substrata of Southeast Asia: Kenaboi, Enggano, and the Philippine Negrito languages Manide and Umiray Dumagat Language isolates and independent language families in Arunachal: Digaro, Hrusish (including the Miji languages[3]), Midzu, Puroik, Siangic, and Kho-Bwa Hmong–Mien (Miao–Yao) scattered across southern China and Southeast Asia several "Papuan" families of the central and eastern Malay Archipelago: languages of Halmahera, East Timor, and the extinct Tambora of Sumbawa. Numerous additional families are spoken in Indonesian New Guinea, but this lies outside the scope of an article on Asian languages. Creoles and pidgins[edit] Main articles: Creole languages and Pidgin language The eponymous pidgin ("business") language developed with European trade in China. Of the many creoles to have developed, the most spoken today are Chavacano, a Spanish-based creole of the Philippines, and various Malay-based creoles such as Manado Malay influenced by Portuguese. A very well-known Portuguese-based creole is the Kristang, which is spoken in Malacca, a city-state in Malaysia. Sign languages[edit] Main articles: Sign language and List of sign languages § Asia/Pacific A number of sign languages are spoken throughout Asia. These include the Japanese Sign Language family, Chinese Sign Language, Indo-Pakistani Sign Language, as well as a number of small indigenous sign languages of countries such as Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Many official sign languages are part of the French Sign Language family.


Official languages[edit] Main article: List of official languages by state Asia and Europe are the only two continents where most countries use native languages as their official languages, though English is also widespread. Language Native name Speakers Language Family Official Status in a Country Official Status in a Region Abkhaz Aԥсшәа 240,000 Northwest Caucasian  Abkhazia  Georgia Arabic العَرَبِيَّة 230,000,000 Afro-Asiatic  Qatar,  Jordan,  Saudi Arabia,  Iraq,  Yemen,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Syria,  Palestine,  Lebanon,  Oman,  UAE,  Israel Armenian հայերեն 5,902,970 Indo-European  Armenia,  Nagorno-Karabakh Assamese অসমীয়া 15,000,000 Indo-European  India (in Assam) Azerbaijani Azərbaycanca 37,324,060 Turkic  Azerbaijan  Iran Bangla বাংলা 230,000,000 Indo-European  Bangladesh  India (in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Jharkhand) Bodo Boro 1,984,569 Sino-Tibetan  India (in Bodoland) Burmese မြန်မာစာ 33,000,000 Sino-Tibetan  Myanmar Cantonese 廣東話/广东话 7,877,900 Sino-Tibetan  Hong Kong(China),  Macau(China) Chinese 普通話/普通话,國語/国语,華語/华语 Sino-Tibetan  China,  Taiwan,  Singapore Dari دری 19,600,000 Indo-European  Afghanistan Dhivehi ދިވެހި 400,000 Indo-European  Maldives Dzongkha རྫོང་ཁ་ 600,000 Sino-Tibetan  Bhutan English English 301,625,412 Indo-European  Philippines,  Singapore,  India,  Pakistan  Hong Kong (China) Filipino Wikang Filipino 90,000,000 Austronesian  Philippines Formosan 171,855 Austronesian  Taiwan Georgian ქართული 4,200,000 Kartvelian  Georgia Gujarati ગુજરાતી 50,000,000 Indo-European  India (in Gujarat, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli) Hakka 臺灣客家語 2,370,000 Sino-Tibetan  Taiwan Hebrew עברית 7,000,000 Afro-Asiatic  Israel Hindi हिन्दी 550,000,000 Indo-European  India Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia 240,000,000 Austronesian  Indonesia  East Timor (as a working language) Japanese 日本語 120,000,000 Japonic  Japan Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ 51,000,000 Dravidian  India (in Karnataka) Karen ကညီကျိး 6,000,000 Sino-Tibetan  Myanmar (in Kayin State) Kazakh Қазақша 18,000,000 Turkic  Kazakhstan Khmer ភាសាខ្មែរ 14,000,000 Austroasiatic  Cambodia Korean 한국어/조선말 80,000,000 Koreanic  South Korea,  North Korea  China (in Yanbian and Changbai) Kurdish Kurdî/کوردی 20,000,000 Indo-European  Iraq Kyrgyz кыргызча 2,900,000 Turkic  Kyrgyzstan Lao ພາສາລາວ 7,000,000 Tai-Kadai  Laos Malay Bahasa Melayu/بهاس ملايو 30,000,000 Austronesian  Malaysia,  Brunei,  Singapore Malayalam മലയാളം 33,000,000 Dravidian  India (in Kerala, Lakshadweep and Mahe) Marathi मराठी 73,000,000 Indo-European  India (in Maharashtra and Dadra and Nagar Haveli) Mongolian Монгол хэлᠮᠣᠨᠭᠭᠣᠯ ᠬᠡᠯᠡ 2,000,000 Mongolic  Mongolia  China (in Inner Mongolia) Nepali नेपाली 29,000,000 Indo-European    Nepal  India (in Sikkim and West Bengal) Odia ଓଡ଼ିଆ 33,000,000 Indo-European  India (in Odisha and Jharkhand) Ossetian Ирон 540,000 (50,000 in South Ossetia) Indo-European  South Ossetia  North Ossetia–Alania (Russia) Pashto پښتو 45,000,000 Indo-European  Afghanistan Template:Flage Persian فارسی 50,000,000 Indo-European  Iran Punjabi پنجابی / ਪੰਜਾਬੀ 100,000,000 Indo-European  India (in Punjab, India, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh)  Pakistan (in Punjab, Pakistan) Portuguese Português 1,200,000 Indo-European  Timor Leste  Macau (China) Russian Русский 260,000,000 Indo-European  Abkhazia,  Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Russia,  South Ossetia  Uzbekistan,  Tajikistan (as an inter-ethnic language),  Turkmenistan (as an inter-ethnic language) Saraiki سرائیکی‬ 18,179,610 Indo-European  Pakistan (in Bahawalpur )  India (in Andhra Pradesh ) Sinhala සිංහල 18,000,000 Indo-European  Sri Lanka Tamil தமிழ் 77,000,000 Dravidian  Sri Lanka,  Singapore  India (in Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Puducherry) Telugu తెలుగు 79,000,000 Dravidian  India (in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Puducherry) Tajik тоҷикӣ 7,900,000 Indo-European  Tajikistan Tetum Lia-Tetun 500,000 Austronesian  Timor Leste Thai ภาษาไทย 60,000,000 Tai-Kadai  Thailand Tulu ತುಳು 1,722,768 Dravidian  India (in Mangalore, Udupi, Kasargod, Mumbai) Turkish Türkçe 70,000,000 Turkic  Turkey,  Cyprus,  Northern Cyprus Turkmen Türkmençe 7,000,000 Turkic  Turkmenistan Urdu اُردُو‬ 62,120,540 Indo-European  Pakistan  India (in Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh) Uzbek Oʻzbekcha 25,000,000 Turkic  Uzbekistan Vietnamese Tiếng Việt 80,000,000 Austroasiatic  Vietnam Zopau Zomi 5,000,000 Sino-Tibetan  Myanmar (in Chin State, Sagaing Region)  Bangladesh (in Chittagong Hill Tracts)  India (in Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Nagaland and Tripura)


See also[edit] Asianic languages East Asian languages Languages of South Asia List of extinct languages of Asia Classification schemes for Southeast Asian languages


References[edit] ^ Z. Rosser et al. (2000). "Y-Chromosomal Diversity in Europe is Clinal and Influenced Primarily by Geography, Rather than by Language" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics. 67 (6): 1526–1543. doi:10.1086/316890. PMC 1287948 . PMID 11078479. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link) ^ Blažek, Václav. "Afroasiatic Migrations: Linguistic Evidence" (PDF). Retrieved 25 September 2017.  ^ Blench, Roger. 2015. The Mijiic languages: distribution, dialects, wordlist and classification. m.s. 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Wikipedia:Citing SourcesWikipedia:VerifiabilityHelp:Introduction To Referencing With Wiki Markup/1Wikipedia:VerifiabilityHelp:Maintenance Template RemovalEnlargeLanguageAsiaAltaic LanguagesAustroasiatic LanguagesAustronesian LanguagesCaucasian LanguagesDravidian LanguagesIndo-European LanguagesSemitic LanguagesMongolic LanguagesSino-Tibetan LanguagesTai-Kadai LanguagesEnlargeAltaic LanguagesCaucasian LanguagesAfroasiatic LanguagesIndo-European LanguagesIndo-European LanguagesDravidian LanguagesSino-Tibetan LanguagesSino-Tibetan LanguagesChinese LanguageTibetic LanguagesBurmese LanguageKaren LanguagesIndo-Iranian LanguagesSlavic LanguagesArmenian LanguagesAnatolian LanguagesTocharian LanguagesIndo-European LanguagesIndo-Iranian LanguagesIndic LanguagesHindi LanguageUrdu LanguageBengali LanguagePunjabi LanguageKashmiri LanguageMarathi LanguageGujarati LanguageSinhalese LanguageSouth AsiaIranian LanguagesPersian LanguageKurdish LanguagePashto LanguageBalochi LanguageIndo-European 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LanguagesChukotko-Kamchatkan LanguagesEskimo–Aleut LanguagesKoreanic LanguagesPaleosiberian LanguagesAltaic LanguagesRuan-ruan LanguageLanguages Of The CaucasusCaucasusKartvelian LanguagesGeorgian LanguageNortheast Caucasian LanguagesChechen LanguageNorthwest Caucasian LanguagesCircassian LanguageHurro-Urartian LanguagesSouth AsiaSoutheast AsiaFertile CrescentSumerian LanguageElamite LanguageProto-Euphratean LanguageHarappan LanguageIndian SubcontinentBurushaskiKusunda LanguageNihali LanguageVedda LanguageSri LankaSinhalese LanguageAndamanese LanguagesGreat Andamanese LanguagesOngan LanguagesSentinelese LanguageSubstratumKenaboi LanguageEnggano LanguagePhilippine Negrito LanguagesManide LanguageUmiray Dumagat LanguageLanguage Isolates And Independent Language Families In ArunachalDigaro LanguagesHrusish LanguagesMiji LanguagesMidzu LanguagesPuroik LanguageSiangic LanguagesKho-Bwa LanguagesHmong–Mien LanguagesPapuan LanguagesHalmahera LanguagesEast Timor LanguagesTambora 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