The Info List - Mon-Khmer

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The Austroasiatic languages,[note 1] in recent classifications synonymous with Mon–Khmer,[2] are a large language family of Mainland Southeast Asia, also scattered throughout India, Bangladesh, Nepal
and the southern border of China, with around 117 million speakers.[3] The name Austroasiatic comes from the Latin
words for "South" and "Asia", hence "South Asia". Of these languages, only Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon have a long-established recorded history, and only Vietnamese and Khmer have official status as modern national languages (in Vietnam
and Cambodia, respectively). In Myanmar, the Wa language is the de facto official language of Wa State. The rest of the languages are spoken by minority groups and have no official status. Ethnologue
identifies 168 Austroasiatic languages. These form thirteen established families (plus perhaps Shompen, which is poorly attested, as a fourteenth), which have traditionally been grouped into two, as Mon–Khmer and Munda. However, one recent classification posits three groups (Munda, Nuclear Mon-Khmer and Khasi–Khmuic)[4] while another has abandoned Mon–Khmer as a taxon altogether, making it synonymous with the larger family.[5] Austroasiatic languages
Austroasiatic languages
have a disjunct distribution across India, Bangladesh, Nepal
and Southeast Asia, separated by regions where other languages are spoken. They appear to be the extant autochthonous languages of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
(if Andaman islands
Andaman islands
are not included), with the neighboring Indo-Aryan, Tai–Kadai, Dravidian, Austronesian, and Sino-Tibetan languages
Sino-Tibetan languages
being the result of later migrations.[6] A 2015 made analysis using the Automated Similarity Judgment Program resulted in that Japanese is being grouped with the Ainu and the Austroasiatic languages.[7]


1 Typology 2 Proto-language 3 Internal classification

3.1 Diffloth (1974) 3.2 Peiros (2004) 3.3 Diffloth (2005) 3.4 Previously existent branches 3.5 Sidwell (2009, 2011)

4 Writing systems 5 Austroasiatic migrations 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Sources 10 Further reading 11 External links


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2010)

Regarding word structure, Austroasiatic languages
Austroasiatic languages
are well known for having an iambic "sesquisyllabic" pattern, with basic nouns and verbs consisting of an initial, unstressed, reduced minor syllable followed by a stressed, full syllable.[8] This reduction of presyllables has led to a variety among modern languages of phonological shapes of the same original Proto-Austroasiatic prefixes, such as the causative prefix, ranging from CVC syllables to consonant clusters to single consonants.[9] As for word formation, most Austroasiatic languages have a variety of derivational prefixes, many have infixes, but suffixes are almost completely non-existent in most branches except Munda, and a few specialized exceptions in other Austroasiatic branches.[10] The Austroasiatic languages
Austroasiatic languages
are further characterized as having unusually large vowel inventories and employing some sort of register contrast, either between modal (normal) voice and breathy (lax) voice or between modal voice and creaky voice.[11] Languages in the Pearic branch and some in the Vietic branch can have a three- or even four-way voicing contrast. However, some Austroasiatic languages have lost the register contrast by evolving more diphthongs or in a few cases, such as Vietnamese, tonogenesis. Vietnamese has been so heavily influenced by Chinese that its original Austroasiatic phonological quality is obscured and now resembles that of South Chinese languages, whereas Khmer, which had more influence from Sanskrit, has retained a more typically Austroasiatic structure. Proto-language[edit] Main article: Proto-Mon–Khmer language Much work has been done on the reconstruction of Proto-Mon–Khmer in Harry L. Shorto's Mon–Khmer Comparative Dictionary. Little work has been done on the Munda languages, which are not well documented. With their demotion from a primary branch, Proto-Mon–Khmer becomes synonymous with Proto-Austroasiatic. Paul Sidwell (2005) reconstructs the consonant inventory of Proto-Mon–Khmer as follows:

*p *t *c *k *ʔ

*b *d *ɟ *ɡ

*ɓ *ɗ *ʄ

*m *n *ɲ *ŋ

*w *l, *r *j



This is identical to earlier reconstructions except for *ʄ. *ʄ is better preserved in the Katuic languages, which Sidwell has specialized in. Sidwell (2011) suggests that the likely homeland of Austroasiatic is the middle Mekong, in the area of the Bahnaric and Katuic languages (approximately where modern Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia
come together), and that the family is not as old as frequently assumed, dating to perhaps 2000 BCE.[6] Internal classification[edit] Linguists traditionally recognize two primary divisions of Austroasiatic: the Mon–Khmer languages
Mon–Khmer languages
of Southeast Asia, Northeast India
and the Nicobar Islands, and the Munda languages
Munda languages
of East and Central India
and parts of Bangladesh, parts of Nepal. However, no evidence for this classification has ever been published. Each of the families that is written in boldface type below is accepted as a valid clade.[clarification needed] By contrast, the relationships between these families within Austroasiatic are debated. In addition to the traditional classification, two recent proposals are given, neither of which accepts traditional "Mon–Khmer" as a valid unit. However, little of the data used for competing classifications has ever been published, and therefore cannot be evaluated by peer review. In addition, there are suggestions that additional branches of Austroasiatic might be preserved in substrata of Acehnese in Sumatra (Diffloth), the Chamic languages of Vietnam, and the Land Dayak languages of Borneo (Adelaar 1995).[12] Diffloth (1974)[edit] Diffloth's widely cited original classification, now abandoned by Diffloth himself, is used in Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
and—except for the breakup of Southern Mon–Khmer—in Ethnologue.


North Munda

Korku Kherwarian

South Munda

Kharia–Juang Koraput Munda


Eastern Mon–Khmer

Khmer (Cambodian) Pearic Bahnaric Katuic Vietic (includes Vietnamese)

Northern Mon–Khmer

Khasi (Meghalaya, India) Palaungic Khmuic

Southern Mon–Khmer

Mon Aslian (Malaya) Nicobarese (Nicobar Islands)

Peiros (2004)[edit] Peiros is a lexicostatistic classification, based on percentages of shared vocabulary. This means that languages can appear to be more distantly related than they actually are due to language contact. Indeed, when Sidwell (2009a) replicated Peiros's study with languages known well enough to account for loans, he did not find the internal (branching) structure below.

Nicobarese Munda–Khmer

Munda Mon–Khmer

Khasi Nuclear Mon–Khmer

Mangic (Mang + Palyu) (perhaps in Northern MK) Vietic (perhaps in Northern MK) Northern Mon–Khmer

Palaungic Khmuic

Central Mon–Khmer

Khmer dialects Pearic Asli-Bahnaric

Aslian Mon–Bahnaric

Monic Katu–Bahnaric

Katuic Bahnaric

Diffloth (2005)[edit] Diffloth compares reconstructions of various clades, and attempts to classify them based on shared innovations, though like other classifications the evidence has not been published. As a schematic, we have:

Austro - Asiatic 







 Khasi – Khmuic 





 (Nuclear)  Mon–Khmer 










Or in more detail,

Munda languages
Munda languages

Koraput: 7 languages Core Munda languages

Kharian–Juang: 2 languages North Munda languages

Korku Kherwarian: 12 languages

Khasi– Khmuic languages
Khmuic languages
(Northern Mon–Khmer)

Khasian: 3 languages of north eastern India
and adjacent region of Bangladesh Palaungo-Khmuic languages

Khmuic: 13 languages of Laos and Thailand

Palaungo-Pakanic languages

Pakanic or Palyu: 4 or 5 languages of southern China
and Vietnam Palaungic: 21 languages of Burma, southern China, and Thailand

Nuclear Mon–Khmer languages

Khmero- Vietic languages (Eastern Mon–Khmer)

Vieto-Katuic languages ?[13]

Vietic: 10 languages of Vietnam
and Laos, including the Vietnamese language, which has the most speakers of any Austroasiatic language. Katuic: 19 languages of Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Khmero-Bahnaric languages

Bahnaric: 40 languages of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Khmeric languages

The Khmer dialects of Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Pearic: 6 languages of Cambodia.

Nico- Monic languages (Southern Mon–Khmer)

Nicobarese: 6 languages of the Nicobar Islands, a territory of India.

Asli-Monic languages

Aslian: 19 languages of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. Monic: 2 languages, the Mon language of Burma and the Nyahkur language of Thailand.

This family tree is consistent with recent studies of migration of Y-Chromosomal haplogroup O2a1-M95. However, the dates obtained from by Zhivotovsky method DNA studies are several times older than that given by linguists.[14] The route map of the people with haplogroup O2a1-M95, speaking this language can be seen in this link.[15] Other geneticists criticise the Zhivotovsky method. Previously existent branches[edit] Roger Blench (2009)[16] also proposes that there might have been other primary branches of Austroasiatic that are now extinct, based on substrate evidence in modern-day languages.

Pre- Chamic languages (the languages of coastal Vietnam
prior to the Chamic migrations). Chamic has various Austroasiatic loanwords that cannot be clearly traced to existing Austroasiatic branches (Sidwell 2006).[17] Acehnese substratum (Sidwell 2006).[17] Acehnese has many basic words that are of Austroasiatic origin, suggesting that either Austronesian speakers have absorbed earlier Austroasiatic residents in northern Sumatra, or that words might have been borrowed from Austroasiatic languages in southern Vietnam
– or perhaps a combination of both. Sidwell (2006) argues that Acehnese and Chamic had often borrowed Austroasiatic words independently of each other, while some Austroasiatic words can be traced back to Proto-Aceh-Chamic. Sidwell (2006) accepts that Acehnese and Chamic are related, but that they had separated from each other before Chamic had borrowed most of its Austroasiatic lexicon. Bornean substrate languages (Blench 2010).[18] Blench cites Austroasiatic-origin words in modern-day Bornean branches such as Land Dayak (Bidayuh, Dayak Bakatiq, etc.), Dusunic (Central Dusun, Visayan, etc.), Kayan, and Kenyah, noting especially resemblances with Aslian. As further evidence for his proposal, Blench also cites ethnographic evidence such as musical instruments in Borneo shared in common with Austroasiatic-speaking groups in mainland Southeast Asia. Lepcha substratum ("Rongic").[19] Many words of Austroasiatic origin have been noticed in Lepcha, suggesting a Sino-Tibetan superstrate laid over an Austroasiatic substrate. Blench (2013) calls this branch "Rongic" based on the Lepcha autonym Róng.

Other languages with proposed Austroasiatic substrata are:

Jiamao, based on evidence from the register system of Jiamao, a Hlai language (Thurgood 1992).[20] Jiamao is known for its highly aberrant vocabulary. Kerinci: Van Reijn (1974)[21] notes that Kerinci, a Malayic language of central Sumatra, shares many phonological similarities with Austroasiatic languages, such as sesquisyllabic word structure and vowel inventory.

John Peterson (2017)[22] suggests that "pre-Munda" languages may have once dominated the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plain, and were then absorbed by Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
at an early date as Indo-Aryan spread east. Peterson notes that eastern Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
display many morphosyntactic features similar to those of Munda languages, while western Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
do not. Sidwell (2009, 2011)[edit]

Paul Sidwell and Roger Blench propose that the Austroasiatic phylum had dispersed via the Mekong
River drainage basin.

Paul Sidwell (2009a), in a lexicostatistical comparison of 36 languages which are well-known enough to exclude loan words, finds little evidence for internal branching, though he did find an area of increased contact between the Bahnaric and Katuic languages, such that languages of all branches apart from the geographically distant Munda and Nicobarese show greater similarity to Bahnaric and Katuic the closer they are to those branches, without any noticeable innovations common to Bahnaric and Katuic. He therefore takes the conservative view that the thirteen branches of Austroasiatic should be treated as equidistant on current evidence. Sidwell & Blench (2011) discuss this proposal in more detail, and note that there is good evidence for a Khasi–Palaungic node, which could also possibly be closely related to Khmuic.[6] If this would the case, Sidwell & Blench suggest that Khasic may have been an early offshoot of Palaungic that had spread westward. Sidwell & Blench (2011) suggest Shompen as an additional branch, and believe that a Vieto-Katuic connection is worth investigating. In general, however, the family is thought to have diversified too quickly for a deeply nested structure to have developed, since Proto-Austroasiatic speakers are believed by Sidwell to have radiated out from the central Mekong
river valley relatively quickly.

Austroasiatic: Mon–Khmer
















Integrating computational phylogenetic linguistics with recent archaeological findings, Paul Sidwell (2015)[23] further expanded his Mekong
riverine hypothesis by proposing that Austroasiatic had ultimately expanded into Indochina
from the Lingnan
area of southern China, with the subsequent Mekong
riverine dispersal taking place after the initial arrival of Neolithic farmers from southern China. Sidwell (2015) tentatively suggests that Austroasiatic may have begun to split up 5,000 years B.P. during the Neolithic transition
Neolithic transition
era of mainland Southeast Asia, with all the major branches of Austroasiatic formed by 4,000 B.P. Austroasiatic would have had two possible dispersal routes from the Pearl River watershed of Lingnan, which would have been either a coastal route down the coast of Vietnam, or downstream through the Mekong
River via Yunnan.[23] Both the reconstructed lexicon of Proto-Austroasiatic and the archaeological record clearly show that early Austroasiatic speakers around 4,000 B.P. cultivated rice and millet, kept livestock such dogs, pigs, and chickens, and thrived mostly in estuarine rather than coastal environments.[23] At 4,500 B.P., this "Neolithic package" suddenly arrived in Indochina
from the Lingnan
area without cereal grains and displaced the earlier pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherer cultures, with grain husks found in northern Indochina
by 4,100 B.P. and in southern Indochina
by 3,800 B.P.[23] However, Sidwell (2015) found that iron is not reconstructable in Proto-Austroasiatic, since each Austroasiatic branch has different terms for iron that had been borrowed relatively lately from Tai, Chinese, Tibetan, Malay, and other languages. During the Iron Age
Iron Age
about 2,500 B.P., relatively young Austroasiatic branches in Indochina
such as Vietic, Katuic, Pearic, and Khmer were formed, while the more internally diverse Bahnaric branch (dating to about 3,000 B.P.) underwent more extensive internal diversification.[23] By the Iron Age, all of the Austroasiatic branches were more or less in their present-day locations, with most of the diversification within Austroasiatic taking place during the Iron Age.[23] Roger Blench (2017)[24] suggests that vocabulary related to aquatic subsistence strategies (such as boats, waterways, river fauna, and fish capture techniques), can be reconstructed for Proto-Austroasiatic. Blench (2017) finds widespread Austroasiatic roots for 'river, valley', 'boat', 'fish', 'catfish sp.', 'eel', 'prawn', 'shrimp' (Central Austroasiatic), 'crab', 'tortoise', 'turtle', 'otter', 'crocodile', 'heron, fishing bird', and 'fish trap'. Archaeological evidence for the presence of agriculture in northern Indochina
(northern Vietnam, Laos, and other nearby areas) dates back to only about 4,000 years B.P. (2,000 B.C.), with agriculture ultimately being introduced from further up to the north in the Yangtze valley where it has been dated to 6,000 B.P.[24] Hence, this points to a relatively late riverine dispersal of Austroasiatic as compared to Sino-Tibetan, whose speakers had a distinct non-riverine culture. In addition to living an aquatic-based lifestyle, early Austroasiatic speakers would have also had access to livestock, crops, and newer types of watercraft. As early Austroasiatic speakers dispersed rapidly via waterways, they would have encountered speakers of older language families who were already settled in the area, such as Sino-Tibetan.[24] Writing systems[edit] Other than Latin-based alphabets, many Austroasiatic languages
Austroasiatic languages
are written with the ancient Khmer alphabet, Thai alphabet
Thai alphabet
and Lao alphabet. Vietnamese divergently had an indigenous script based on Chinese logographic writing. This has since been supplanted by the Latin
alphabet in the 20th century. The following are examples of past-used alphabets or current alphabets of Austroasiatic languages.

Chữ Nôm[25] Khmer alphabet[26] Warang Citi (Ho alphabet)[27] Mon script Ol Chiki alphabet
Ol Chiki alphabet
(Santali alphabet)[28] Sorang Sompeng alphabet
Sorang Sompeng alphabet
(Sora alphabet)[29] Khom script
Khom script
(used for a short period in the early 20th century for indigenous languages in Laos)

Austroasiatic migrations[edit] According to Chaubey et al., "Austro-Asiatic speakers in India
today are derived from dispersal from Southeast Asia, followed by extensive sex-specific admixture with local Indian populations."[30][note 2] According to Riccio et al. (2011), the Munda people are likely descended from Austroasiatic migrants from southeast Asia.[31][32] According to Zhang et al. (2015), Austroasiatic migrations from southeast Asia into India
took place after the last Glacial maximum, circa 10,000 years ago.[33] Arunkumar et al. (2015) suggest Austroasiatic migrations from southeast Asia occurred into northeast India
5.2 ± 0.6 kya and into East India
4.3 ± 0.2 kya.[34] See also[edit]

Munda languages Austric languages


^ Sometimes also as Austro-Asiatic or Austroasian ^ See also: * Dienekes Anthropology Blog, Origin of Indian Austroasiatic speakers * Razib Khan (2010), Sons of the conquerors: the story of India? * Razib Khan (2013), Phylogenetics implies Austro-Asiatic are intrusive to India


^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Austroasiatic". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Bradley (2012) notes, MK in the wider sense including the Munda languages of eastern South Asia
South Asia
is also known as Austroasiatic. ^ "Austroasiatic". www.languagesgulper.com. Retrieved 15 October 2017.  ^ Diffloth 2005 ^ Sidwell 2009 ^ a b c Sidwell, Paul, and Roger Blench. 2011. "The Austroasiatic Urheimat: the Southeastern Riverine Hypothesis." Enfield, NJ (ed.) Dynamics of Human Diversity, 317–345. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. ^ Gerhard Jäger, "Support for linguistic macrofamilies from weighted sequence alignment." PNAS vol. 112 no. 41, 12752–12757, doi:10.1073/pnas.1500331112. Published online before print 24 September 2015. ^ Alves 2014:524 ^ Alves 2014:526 ^ Alves 2014, 2015 ^ DIPFLOTH, Gerard. "Proto-Austroasiatic creaky voice." (1989). ^ Roger Blench, 2009. Are there four additional unrecognised branches of Austroasiatic? Presentation at ICAAL-4, Bangkok, 29–30 October. Summarized in Sidwell and Blench (2011). ^ a b Sidwell (2005) casts doubt on Diffloth's Vieto-Katuic hypothesis, saying that the evidence is ambiguous, and that it is not clear where Katuic belongs in the family. ^ Kumar, Vikrant; et al. (2007). "Y-chromosome evidence suggests a common paternal heritage of Austroasiatic populations". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 7 (1): 47. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-47.  ^ "Figure". www.biomedcentral.com. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-47. Retrieved 11 March 2012.  ^ Blench, Roger. 2009. "Are there four additional unrecognised branches of Austroasiatic?." ^ a b Sidwell, Paul. 2006. "Dating the Separation of Acehnese and Chamic By Etymological Analysis of the Aceh-Chamic Lexicon Archived 5 June 2013 at WebCite." In The Mon-Khmer Studies Journal, 36: 187–206. ^ Blench, Roger. 2010. "Was there an Austroasiatic Presence in Island Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
prior to the Austronesian Expansion?" In Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Vol. 30. ^ Blench, Roger. 2013. Rongic: a vanished branch of Austroasiatic. m.s. ^ Thurgood, Graham. 1992. "The aberrancy of the Jiamao dialect of Hlai: speculation on its origins and history". In Ratliff, Martha S. and Schiller, E. (eds.), Papers from the First Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, 417–433. Arizona State University, Program for Southeast Asian Studies. ^ Van Reijn, E.O. (1974). "Some Remarks on the Dialects of North Kerintji: A link with Mon-Khmer Languages." Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 31, 2: 130–138. JSTOR 41492089. ^ Peterson, John. 2017. The prehistorical spread of Austro-Asiatic in South Asia. Presented at ICAAL 7, Kiel, Germany. ^ a b c d e f Sidwell, Paul. 2015. Phylogeny, innovations, and correlations in the prehistory of Austroasiatic. Paper presented at the workshop Integrating inferences about our past: new findings and current issues in the peopling of the Pacific and South East Asia, June 22nd – June 23rd, 2015, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany. ^ a b c Blench, Roger. 2017. Waterworld: lexical evidence for aquatic subsistence strategies in Austroasiatic. Presented at ICAAL 7, Kiel, Germany. ^ "Vietnamese Chu Nom script". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 11 March 2012.  ^ "Khmer/Cambodian alphabet, pronunciation and language". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 11 March 2012.  ^ Everson, Michael (19 April 2012). "N4259: Final proposal for encoding the Warang Citi script in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2016.  ^ "Santali alphabet, pronunciation and language". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 11 March 2012.  ^ "Sorang Sompeng script". Omniglot.com. 18 June 1936. Retrieved 11 March 2012.  ^ Chaubey et al. 2010, p. 1013. ^ Riccio et al. (2011), The Austroasiatic Munda population from India and Its enigmatic origin: a HLA diversity study. ^ The Language Gulper, Austroasiatic Languages ^ Zhang 2015. ^ Arunkumar; et al. (2015). "A late Neolithic expansion of Y chromosomal haplogroup O2a1-M95 from east to west". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 53 (6): 546–560. doi:10.1111/jse.12147. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link)


Adams, K. L. (1989). Systems of numeral classification in the Mon–Khmer, Nicobarese and Aslian subfamilies of Austroasiatic. Canberra, A.C.T., Australia: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0-85883-373-5 Alves, Mark J. (2014). Mon-Khmer. In Rochelle Lieber and Pavel Stekauer (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, 520–544. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Alves, Mark J. (2015). Morphological functions among Mon-Khmer languages: beyond the basics. In N. J. Enfield & Bernard Comrie (eds.), Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia: the state of the art. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, 531–557. Bradley, David (2012). "Languages and Language Families in China", in Rint Sybesma (ed.), Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics. Chakrabarti, Byomkes. (1994). A Comparative Study of Santali and Bengali. Chaubey, G.; et al. (2010), "Population Genetic Structure in Indian Austroasiatic Speakers: The Role of Landscape Barriers and Sex-Specific Admixture", Mol Biol Evol, 28 (2): 1013–1024, doi:10.1093/molbev/msq288 , PMC 3355372 , PMID 20978040  Diffloth, Gérard (2005). "The contribution of linguistic palaeontology and Austro-Asiatic". in Laurent Sagart, Roger Blench and Alicia Sanchez-Mazas, eds. The Peopling of East Asia: Putting Together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics. 77–80. London: Routledge Curzon. ISBN 0-415-32242-1 Filbeck, D. (1978). T'in: a historical study. Pacific linguistics, no. 49. Canberra: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0-85883-172-4 Hemeling, K. (1907). Die Nanking Kuanhua. (German language) Jenny, Mathias and Paul Sidwell, eds (2015). The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages. Leiden: Brill. Peck, B. M., Comp. (1988). An Enumerative Bibliography of South Asian Language Dictionaries. Peiros, Ilia. 1998. Comparative Linguistics in Southeast Asia. Pacific Linguistics Series C, No. 142. Canberra: Australian National University. Shorto, Harry L. edited by Sidwell, Paul, Cooper, Doug and Bauer, Christian (2006). A Mon–Khmer comparative dictionary. Canberra: Australian National University. Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0-85883-570-3 Shorto, H. L. Bibliographies of Mon–Khmer and Tai Linguistics. London oriental bibliographies, v. 2. London: Oxford University Press, 1963. Sidwell, Paul (2005). "Proto-Katuic Phonology and the Sub-grouping of Mon–Khmer Languages". In Sidwell, ed., SEALSXV: papers from the 15th meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society. Sidwell, Paul (2009a). The Austroasiatic Central Riverine Hypothesis. Keynote address, SEALS, XIX. Sidwell, Paul (2009b). Classifying the Austroasiatic languages: history and state of the art. LINCOM studies in Asian linguistics, 76. Munich: Lincom Europa. Zide, Norman H., and Milton E. Barker. (1966) Studies in Comparative Austroasiatic Linguistics, The Hague: Mouton (Indo-Iranian monographs, v. 5.). Zhang; et al. (2015), "Y-chromosome diversity suggests southern origin and Paleolithic backwave migration of Austro-Asiatic speakers from eastern Asia to the Indian subcontinent", Nature Scientific Reports, 5: 1548, Bibcode:2015NatSR...515486Z, doi:10.1038/srep15486, PMC 4611482 , PMID 26482917 

Further reading[edit]

Mann, Noel, Wendy Smith and Eva Ujlakyova. 2009. Linguistic clusters of Mainland Southeast Asia: an overview of the language families. Chiang Mai: Payap University.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Austroasiatic languages.

Swadesh lists for Austro-Asiatic languages (from Wiktionary's wikt:Appendix:Swadesh lists Swadesh-list appendix) Austro-Asiatic at the Linguist List MultiTree Project (not functional as of 2014): Genealogical trees attributed to Sebeok 1942, Pinnow 1959, Diffloth 2005, and Matisoff 2006 Mon–Khmer.com: Lectures by Paul Sidwell Mon–Khmer Languages Project at SEAlang http://projekt.ht.lu.se/rwaai RWAAI (Repository and Workspace for Austroasiatic Intangible Heritage) http://hdl.handle.net/10050/00-0000-0000-0003-66A4-2@view RWAAI Digital Archive

v t e

Austroasiatic languages



Jeh Halang Kayong Kaco’ Takua Monom Todrah Sedang Rengao Hrê Duan Katua


Lavi Jru' Laven Su' Juk Nyaheun Sapuan Oi Brao


Alak Tariang Tampuan Bahnar Chrau Koho Stieng Ra’ong Mnong Mel? Khaonh? Thmon?




Katu Phuong Bru Kuy Pacoh Ta’Oi


Vietnamese Mường Nguồn Cuoi Thavưng Chứt Arem Maleng Kri


Khmu Mlabri Phai Mal Ksingmul O’du Phray Phong Khao


Danau Palaung Riang Lamet Kiorr Kuan


Hu U Man Met Mok Muak Sa-aak Va Tai Loi


Blang Lawa Wa Meung Yum Savaiq


Bit Quang Lam Kháng Bumang


Khasi Pnar War Lyngngam


Mang Bolyu Bugan


Khmer Northern Khmer Western Khmer Khmer Khe


Pear Suoi Saoch Chong Samre Somray Kasong


Mon Nyah Kur



Cheq Wong Batek Jahai Jedek Minriq Mintil Kintaq Kensiu Ten'edn Wila'


Semai Temiar Lanoh Sabüm Semnam

Jah Hut

Jah Hut


Temoq Semelai Semaq Beri Mah Meri




Car Chaura Teressa Central Nicobarese Nancowry Camorta Katchal Southern Nicobarese





Korku Korwa Santali Turi Birhor Mundari Ho Koda Kol Asur Birjia Agariya


Kharia Juang Gta’ Remo Gutob Gorum Sora Juray Lodhi

v t e

List of primary language families


Afro-Asiatic Austronesian Khoe Kx'a Niger–Congo Nilo-Saharan? Tuu Mande? Songhay? Ijaw? Ubangian? Kadu?


Bangime Hadza Jalaa Sandawe Kwadi? Laal? Shabo?

Sign languages

Arab BANZSL French Lasima Tanzanian Others

Europe and Asia

Afro-Asiatic Ainu Austroasiatic Austronesian Chukotko-Kamchatkan Dravidian Eskimo–Aleut Great Andamanese Hmong–Mien Hurro-Urartian Indo-European Japonic Kartvelian Koreanic Mongolic Northeast Caucasian Northwest Caucasian Ongan Sino-Tibetan Tai–Kadai Tungusic Turkic Tyrsenian Uralic Yeniseian Yukaghir Dené–Yeniseian? Altaic? Austronesian–Ongan? Austro-Tai? Sino-Austronesian? Digaro? Kho-Bwa? Siangic? Miji? Vasconic?


Basque Burushaski Elamite Hattic Kusunda Nihali Nivkh Sumerian Hruso? Miju? Puroik?

Sign languages

BANZSL French German Japanese Swedish Chinese Indo-Pakistani Arab Chiangmai–Bangkok Others

New Guinea and the Pacific

Arai–Samaia Arafundi Austronesian Baining Binanderean–Goilalan Border Bulaka River Central Solomons Chimbu–Wahgi Doso–Turumsa East Geelvink Bay East Strickland Eleman Engan Fas Kaure–Kosare Kiwaian Kutubuan Kwomtari Lakes Plain Lower Mamberamo Lower Sepik Madang Mairasi North Bougainville Pauwasi Piawi Ramu Senagi Sentani Sepik Skou South Bougainville Teberan Tor–Kwerba–Nimboran Torricelli Trans-Fly Trans–New Guinea Turama–Kikorian West Papuan Yam Yawa Yuat North Papuan? Northeast New Guinea? Papuan Gulf?


Abinomn Anêm? Ata? Kol Kuot Porome Taiap? Pawaia Porome Sulka? Tambora Wiru

Sign languages

Hawai'i Sign Language Others


Arnhem/Macro-Gunwinyguan Bunuban Darwin River Eastern Daly Eastern Tasmanian Garawan Iwaidjan Jarrakan Mirndi Northern Tasmanian Northeastern Tasmanian Nyulnyulan Pama–Nyungan Southern Daly Tangkic Wagaydyic Western Daly Western Tasmanian Worrorran Yangmanic (Wardaman)


Giimbiyu Malak-Malak Marrgu Tiwi Wagiman

North America

Algic Alsea Caddoan Chimakuan Chinookan Chumashan Comecrudan Coosan Eskimo–Aleut Iroquoian Kalapuyan Keresan Maiduan Muskogean Na-Dene Palaihnihan Plateau Penutian Pomoan Salishan Shastan Siouan Tanoan Tsimshianic Utian Uto-Aztecan Wakashan Wintuan Yokutsan Yukian Yuman–Cochimí Dené–Yeniseian? Hokan? Penutian?


Chimariko Haida Karuk Kutenai Seri Siuslaw Takelma Timucua Waikuri Washo Yana Yuchi Zuni

Sign languages

Inuit (Inuiuuk) Plains Sign Talk Others


Chibchan Jicaquean Lencan Mayan Misumalpan Mixe–Zoque Oto-Manguean Tequistlatecan Totonacan Uto-Aztecan Xincan Totozoquean?


Cuitlatec Huave Tarascan/Purépecha

Sign languages

Plains Sign Talk Mayan Others

South America

Arawakan Arauan Araucanian Arutani–Sape Aymaran Barbacoan Boran Borôroan Cahuapanan Cariban Catacaoan Chapacuran Charruan Chibchan Choco Chonan Guaicuruan Guajiboan Jê/Gê Harákmbut–Katukinan Jirajaran Jivaroan Kariri Katembri–Taruma Mascoian Matacoan Maxakalian Nadahup Nambikwaran Otomákoan Pano-Tacanan Peba–Yaguan Purian Quechuan Piaroa–Saliban Ticuna–Yuri Timotean Tiniguan Tucanoan Tupian Uru–Chipaya Witotoan Yabutian Yanomaman Zamucoan Zaparoan Chimuan? Esmeralda–Yaruro? Hibito–Cholón? Lule–Vilela? Macro-Jê? Tequiraca–Canichana?

Isolates (extant in 2000)

Aikanã? Alacalufan Andoque? Camsá Candoshi Chimane Chiquitano Cofán? Fulniô Guató Hodï/Joti Irantxe? Itonama Karajá Krenak Kunza Leco Maku-Auari of Roraima Movima Mura-Pirahã Nukak? Ofayé Puinave Huaorani/Waorani Trumai Urarina Warao Yamana Yuracaré

See also

Language isolates Unclassified languages Creoles Pidgins Mixed languages Artificial languages List of sign languages

Families with more than 30 languages are in bold. Families in italics have no living members.

Authority control

GND: 4143669-6 SUDO