Languages and language families

From Wikiversity
Jump to: navigation, search
Tulliana launch.png Completion status: this resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help!
Nuvola apps edu science.svg Development status: this resource is experimental in nature.
Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01b.svg Educational level: this is a secondary education resource.
Sciences humaines.svg Educational level: this is a tertiary (university) resource.
Nuvola apps edu science.svg Educational level: this is a research resource.
38254-new folder-12.svg Resource type: this resource is an article.
Nuvola apps edu languages.svg Resource type: this resource contains a lecture or lecture notes.
Tysons Pygmy (73549097).jpg Subject classification: this is an Anthropology resource.
ParseTree.svg Subject classification: this is a linguistics resource.


Notation: let the symbol Def. indicate that a definition is following.

Notation: let the symbols between [ and ] be replacement for that portion of a quoted text.


Def. "[a] set of languages which have evolved from a common ancestor"[1] is called a language family.

Major geographical language families[edit]

In the following, each "bulleted" item is a known language family. The geographic headings over them are meant solely as a tool for grouping families into collections more comprehensible than an unstructured list of the dozen or two of independent families. Geographic relationship is convenient for that purpose, but these headings are not a suggestion of any "super-families" phylogenetically relating the families named.

Families of Africa and Southwest Asia[edit]

Families of Europe, and North Asia, West Asia, and South Asia[edit]

Families of East Asia and Southeast Asia and the Pacific[edit]

Families of the Americas[edit]

Proposed Language Super-Families[edit]

Creoles, Pidgins, and Trade languages[edit]

Isolate languages[edit]

Def. "[a] natural language with no proven relationship with another living language"[2] is called a language isolate.

Isolate languages share no apparent traits with any known language family.

  • Basque (The language of the Basques, people of unknown origin inhabiting the western Pyrenees and the Bay of Biscay in France and Spain.)
  • Burushaski
  • Ainu
  • Vascan

Sign languages[edit]

Other Natural Languages of Special Interest[edit]

Artificial Languages[edit]

Besides the above languages that have arisen spontaneously out of the capability for vocal communication, there are also languages that share many of their important properties.

See also[edit]


  1. "language family". Wiktionary (San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc). June 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  2. "language isolate". Wiktionary (San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc). August 31, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Yesno' not found.

| type = notice | image = none | imageright = | class = | style = width:250px; float:right; clear:right; margin-left:10px; margin-right:0px; | textstyle =

| text =

Wikibooks  Wikipedia  Wiktionary  Wikiquote  Wikisource  Wikimedia Commons  Wikispecies  Wikinews

Learn more about Languages and language families

| small = | smallimage = | smallimageright = | smalltext = | subst = | date = | name = }}