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In historical linguistics, the term homeland (also Urheimat /ˈʊərhaɪmɑːt/; German pronunciation: [ˈʔuːɐ̯ˌhaɪmaːt]; from a German compound of ur- "original" and Heimat "home, homeland") denotes the area of origin of the speakers of a proto-language, the (reconstructed or known) parent language of a group of languages assumed to be genetically related. Depending on the age of the language family under consideration, its homeland may be known with near-certainty (in the case of historical or near-historical migrations) or it may be very uncertain (in the case of deep prehistory). The reconstruction of a prehistorical homeland makes use of a variety of disciplines, including archaeology and archaeogenetics.

Contents

1 Limitations of the concept

1.1 Time depth 1.2 Language contact and creolization 1.3 Isolates

2 Indo-European

2.1 Proto-Indo-European 2.2 Anatolian 2.3 Tocharian 2.4 Western Indo-European 2.5 Armenian 2.6 Balto-Slavic 2.7 Indo-Iranian

3 Dravidian 4 Altaic

4.1 Turkic 4.2 Korean 4.3 Japonic

5 Uralic 6 Yeniseian 7 Eurasian language isolates 8 Khoisan 9 Afro-Asiatic

9.1 Semitic

10 Nilo-Saharan 11 Niger–Congo

11.1 Benue-Congo

12 Sino-Tibetan 13 Austroasiatic 14 Hmong–Mien 15 Austronesian 16 Tai–Kadai 17 Oceania 18 Americas

18.1 Na-Dene 18.2 Eskimo-Aleut 18.3 Uto-Aztecan 18.4 Tupian 18.5 Other groups

19 See also 20 Footnotes 21 References

Limitations of the concept[edit] Further information: Language change The concept of a (single, identifiable) "homeland" of a given language family implies a purely genealogical view of the development of languages. This assumption is often reasonable and useful, but it is by no means a logical necessity, as languages are well known to be susceptible to areal change such as substrate or superstrate influence. Time depth[edit] Further information: Behavioral modernity, Origin of language, Origin of speech, Proto-Human language, Borean languages, Nostratic languages, and Dené–Caucasian
Dené–Caucasian
languages Over a sufficient period of time, in the absence of evidence of intermediary steps in the process, it may be impossible to observe linkages between languages that have a shared urheimat: given enough time, natural language change will obliterate any meaningful linguistic evidence of a common genetic source. This general concern is a manifestation of the larger issue of "time depth" in historical linguistics.[1] For example, the languages of the New World are believed to be descended from a relatively "rapid" peopling of the Americas (relative to the duration of the Upper Paleolithic) within a few millennia (roughly between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago),[2] but their genetic relationship has become completely obscured over the more than ten millennia which have passed between their separation and their first written record in the early modern period. Similarly, the Australian Aboriginal languages are divided into some 28 families and isolates for which no genetic relationship can be shown. [3] The urheimaten reconstructed using the methods of comparative linguistics typically estimate separation times dating to the Neolithic
Neolithic
or later. It is undisputed that fully developed languages were present throughout the Upper Paleolithic, and possibly into the deep Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
(see origin of language, behavioral modernity). These languages would have spread with the early human migrations of the first "peopling of the world", but they are no longer amenable to linguistic reconstruction. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) has imposed linguistic separation lasting several millennia on many Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
populations in Eurasia, as they were forced to retreat into "refugia" before the advancing ice sheets. After the end of the LGM, Mesolithic
Mesolithic
populations of the Holocene
Holocene
again became more mobile, and most of the prehistoric spread of the world's major linguistic families seem to reflect the expansion of population cores during the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
followed by the Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution. The Nostratic languages
Nostratic languages
theory is the best-known attempt to expand the deep prehistory of the main language families of Eurasia (excepting Sino-Tibetan and the languages of Southeast Asia) to the beginning of the Holocene. First proposed in the early 20th century, the Nostratic theory still receives serious consideration, but it is by no means generally accepted. The more recent and more speculative ""Borean" hypothesis attempts to unite Nostratic
Nostratic
with Dené–Caucasian
Dené–Caucasian
and Austric, in a "mega-phylum" that would unite most languages of Eurasia, with a time depth going back to the Last Glacial Maximum. The argument surrounding the "Proto-Human language", finally, is almost completely detached from linguistic reconstruction, instead surrounding questions of phonology and the origin of speech. Time depths involved in the deep prehistory of all the world's extant languages are of the order of at least 100,000 years.[4] Language contact and creolization[edit] The concept of an urheimat only applies to populations speaking a proto-language defined by the tree model. This is not always the case. For example, in places where language families meet, the relationship between a group that speaks a language and the urheimat for that language is complicated by "processes of migration, language shift and group absorption are documented by linguists and ethnographers" in groups that are themselves "transient and plastic." Thus, in the contact area in western Ethiopia
Ethiopia
between languages belonging to the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
and Afroasiatic families, the Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nyangatom and the Afroasiatic-speaking Daasanach have been observed to be closely related to each other but genetically distinct from neighboring Afroasiatic-speaking populations. This is a reflection of the fact that the Daasanach, like the Nyangatom, originally spoke a Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
language, with the ancestral Daasanach later adopting an Afroasiatic language around the 19th century.[5] Creole languages are hybrids of languages that are sometimes unrelated. Similarities arise from the creole formation process, rather than from genetic descent.[6] For example, a creole language may lack significant inflectional morphology, lack tone on monosyllabic words, or lack semantically opaque word formation, even if these features are found in all of the parent languages of the languages from which the creole was formed.[7] Isolates[edit] Some languages are language isolates. That is, they have no well accepted language family connection, no nodes in a family tree, and therefore no known urheimat. An example is the Basque language
Basque language
of Northern Spain and south west France. Nevertheless, it is a scientific fact that all languages evolve. An unknown urheimat may still be hypothesized, such as that for a Proto-Basque, and may be defended by archaeological and historical evidence. Sometimes relatives are found for a language originally believed to be an isolate. An example is the Etruscan language, which, even though only partially understood, is believed to be related to the Rhaetic language and to the Lemnian language. A single family may be an isolate. In the case of the non-Austronesian indigenous languages of Papua New Guinea and the indigenous languages of Australia, there is no published linguistic hypothesis supported by any evidence that these languages have links to any other families. Nevertheless, an unknown urheimat is implied. The entire Indo-European family itself is a language isolate: no further connections are known. This lack of information does not prevent some professional linguists from formulating additional hypothetical nodes (Nostratic) and additional homelands for the speakers. Indo-European[edit]

Part of a series on

Indo-European topics

Languages

List of Indo-European languages

Historical

Albanian Armenian Balto-Slavic

Baltic Slavic

Celtic Germanic Hellenic

Greek

Indo-Iranian

Indo-Aryan Iranian

Italic

Romance

Extinct

Anatolian Tocharian Paleo-Balkan Dacian Illyrian Liburnian Messapian Mysian Paeonian Phrygian Thracian

Reconstructed

Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
language

Phonology: Sound laws, Accent, Ablaut

Hypothetical

Daco-Thracian Graeco-Armenian Graeco-Aryan Graeco-Phrygian Indo-Hittite Italo-Celtic Thraco-Illyrian

Grammar

Vocabulary Root Verbs Nouns Pronouns Numerals Particles

Other

Proto-Anatolian Proto-Armenian Proto-Germanic
Proto-Germanic
(Proto-Norse) Proto-Celtic Proto-Italic Proto-Greek Proto- Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
(Proto-Slavic) Proto-Indo-Iranian (Proto-Iranian)

Philology

Hittite texts Hieroglyphic Luwian Linear B Rigveda Avesta Homer Behistun Gaulish epigraphy Latin
Latin
epigraphy Runic epigraphy Ogam Gothic Bible Armenian Bible Slanting Brahmi Old Irish glosses

Origins

Homeland Proto-Indo-Europeans Society Religion

Mainstream

Kurgan
Kurgan
hypothesis Indo-European migrations Eurasian nomads

Alternative and fringe

Anatolian hypothesis Armenian hypothesis Indigenous Aryans Baltic homeland Paleolithic Continuity Theory

Archaeology

Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
(Copper Age)

Pontic Steppe

Domestication of the horse Kurgan Kurgan
Kurgan
culture Steppe cultures

Bug-Dniester Sredny Stog Dnieper-Donets Samara Khvalynsk Yamna

Mikhaylovka culture

Caucasus

Maykop

East-Asia

Afanasevo

Eastern Europe

Usatovo Cernavodă Cucuteni

Northern Europe

Corded ware

Baden Middle Dnieper

Bronze Age

Pontic Steppe

Chariot Yamna Catacomb Multi-cordoned ware Poltavka Srubna

Northern/Eastern Steppe

Abashevo culture Andronovo Sintashta

Europe

Globular Amphora Corded ware Beaker Unetice Trzciniec Nordic Bronze Age Terramare Tumulus Urnfield Lusatian

South-Asia

BMAC Yaz Gandhara grave

Iron Age

Steppe

Chernoles

Europe

Thraco-Cimmerian Hallstatt Jastorf

Caucasus

Colchian

India

Painted Grey Ware Northern Black Polished Ware

Peoples and societies

Bronze Age

Anatolians Armenians Mycenaean Greeks Indo-Iranians

Iron Age

Indo-Aryans

Indo-Aryans

Iranians

Iranians

Scythians Persians Medes

Europe

Celts

Gauls Celtiberians Insular Celts

Hellenic peoples Italic peoples Germanic peoples Paleo-Balkans/Anatolia:

Thracians Dacians Illyrians Phrygians

Middle Ages

East-Asia

Tocharians

Europe

Balts Slavs Albanians Medieval Europe

Indo-Aryan

Medieval India

Iranian

Greater Persia

Religion and mythology

Reconstructed

Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
religion Proto-Indo-Iranian religion

Historical

Hittite

Indian

Vedic

Hinduism

Buddhism Jainism

Iranian

Persian

Zoroastrianism

Kurdish

Yazidism Yarsanism

Scythian

Ossetian

Others

Armenian

Europe

Paleo-Balkans Greek Roman Celtic

Irish Scottish Breton Welsh Cornish

Germanic

Anglo-Saxon Continental Norse

Baltic

Latvian Lithuanian

Slavic Albanian

Practices

Fire-sacrifice Horse sacrifice Sati Winter solstice/Yule

Indo-European studies

Scholars

Marija Gimbutas J.P. Mallory

Institutes

Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European

Publications

Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture The Horse, the Wheel and Language Journal of Indo-European Studies Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch Indo-European Etymological Dictionary

v t e

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Indo-European migrations. (Discuss) (January 2018)

Proto-Indo-European[edit] Main article: Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
homeland Early efforts to identify the homeland of the Proto-Indo-European language speakers focused on the presence or absence of geographical indicator words. For example, such words as beech and salmon indicated a location within the range of those genera in the north temperate zone. The word for "ocean" was missing, suggesting an inland location. Words that did not fit this geographical location, such as lion, could be explained by more recent borrowings. Many hypotheses for an urheimat have been proposed. Mallory said,[8] "One does not ask 'where is the Indo-European homeland?' but rather 'where do they put it now?'" He also states that current discussion of the Indo-European homeland problem is largely confined to four basic models, with variations:[9]

The Baltic-Pontic(-Caspian) region in the Mesolithic. The Funnel beaker culture, the Globular Amphora culture, and the Corded Ware culture are possible archaeological representatives of the proto-language speakers, in this theory as it is commonly expressed. Anatolia: Early Neolithic, 7000–6000 BCE. Not only is there no supporting archaeology, but archaeology and word archaeology are to the contrary. Central Europe-Balkans: Early Neolithic, c. 5000 BCE. At least part of the Linear Pottery Culture
Linear Pottery Culture
is within the range. Pontic-Caspian: Eneolithic, c. 4500–3000 BCE. Typically the collection of similar cultures called the Kurgan
Kurgan
culture are presented as supporting the reconstructed Indo-European customs.

Other, less accepted models select the Indian subcontinent:

Indian Urheimat
Urheimat
Theory Indigenous Aryans
Indigenous Aryans
Theory

Some minor hypotheses are:

The Armenian hypothesis
Armenian hypothesis
was suggested by Soviet scholars in the 1980s. the Paleolithic Continuity Theory
Paleolithic Continuity Theory
was suggested by Italian "paleolinguist" Mario Alinei in the 1990s.

Earlier Indo-European phylogenies featured an initial split into Centum
Centum
and Satem languages, a distinction formally based on the word for the number one hundred in each group's supposed proto-language. Today, one phonetic character is hardly enough to define a proto-language. Furthermore, languages studied better or discovered subsequently (including Armenian, the extinct Anatolian languages
Anatolian languages
such as Hittite and the extinct Tocharian language
Tocharian language
of the Tarim basin
Tarim basin
of Asia) were not compatible with any such genetic distinction. Instead, the former shared innovation became the Centum
Centum
Satem isogloss, which did not have to conform to language boundaries or represent any major change of language. It produced dialects instead. Anatolian[edit] Main articles: Proto-Anatolian language and Indo-Hittite Proto-Anatolian was the parent language of the Anatolian languages, which are attested only by inscriptions found in Anatolia
Anatolia
and a few exports. It is the only group to feature an explicit remnant of the laryngeals, sounds that disappeared in late Proto-Indo-European. It is therefore identified as the first branch, chronologically, which means that the ancestral Proto-Anatolians were first to become isolated from the Indo-European speech community. Of the two ways separation could have occurred, the model of an entry into Anatolia
Anatolia
from the north prevails. Indo-European culture featured horses. They were at first hunted and then domesticated on the plains of Asia, not in Anatolia. The other alternative, that all the other Indo-Europeans left Anatolia, leaving a population behind, does not account for the presence of a Hattic interface in Anatolian, but in none of the others. That same Hattic interface suggests that Anatolia
Anatolia
was not entirely the place where Proto-Anatolian formed, but rather the latter encountered the substrate on entering Anatolia
Anatolia
and adjusted itself accordingly. The concept of Indo-Hittite fits a Proto-Anatolian outside of Anatolia, but it was used primarily to refer to an early stage of Proto-Indo-European, before the first separation. Anthony therefore narrows the meaning of Proto-Anatolian to "the language that was immediately ancestral to the three known daughter languages that entered Anatolia
Anatolia
as Pre-Anatolian."[10] He defines the language phases between Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
and Proto-Anatolian as Pre-Anatolian. Tocharian[edit] Main article: Tocharians Because the so-called Tocharian languages
Tocharian languages
– the easternmost Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
before the modern era – became extinct during the first millennium CE, relatively little is known of the peoples who spoke them, including their name/s for themselves and their material culture. Due to their only known location, in the Tarim Basin, the Tocharian-speaking peoples are often connected to the Tarim Mummies[11][12][13][14] Many scholars have also posited links to the preceding Afanasevo culture (c. 3300–2500 BCE), located north of the Tarim, in Siberia. Some scholars have also suggested that the Afanasevo or Andronovo culture were responsible for the introduction of metallurgical technology into China, by way of the Tarim peoples (Peng 1998,[15] Bunker 1998,[16] Mei and Shell 1998,[17]).[18] Western Indo-European[edit] Main articles: Centum, Italo-Celtic, Italic languages, Celtic languages, Proto-Celtic language, and Celts A likely candidate for the homeland of an Italo-Celtic
Italo-Celtic
proto-language or dialect continuum is the Urnfield culture
Urnfield culture
and its predecessor, the Tumulus culture of Central Europe (1600 BCE). Candidates for the first introduction of Proto-Italic speakers to Italy are the Terramare culture
Terramare culture
(1500 BCE) or the Villanovan culture (1100 BCE), although the latter is now usually identified with the non-Italic (indeed, non-Indo-European) Etruscan civilization. The Romance languages
Romance languages
are all derivative of Latin, a member of this Indo-European language subfamily, which was the common language of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
that had its roots in Italic dialect spoken in and around the capital, Rome, until the empire collapsed in the 5th century CE. The Proto-Celtic homeland is usually located in the Early Iron Age Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
of northern Austria. There is a broad consensus that the center of the La Tène culture
La Tène culture
lay on the northwest edges of the Hallstatt culture. Pre-La Tène (6th to 5th century BCE) Celtic expansions reached Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
(Insular Celtic) and Gaul. La Tène groups expanded in the 4th century BCE to Iberia, the Po Valley, the Balkans, and even as far as Galatia
Galatia
in Asia Minor, in the course of several major migrations. Pre-Germanic cultures were the bearers of the Nordic Bronze Age. Proto-Germanic
Proto-Germanic
proper is hypothesized by some to have developed in the Jastorf culture
Jastorf culture
of the Pre-Roman Iron Age.[19]

Map of the Nordic Bronze Age
Bronze Age
culture, c. 1200 BCE

Approximate extent of the Corded Ware horizon
Corded Ware horizon
with adjacent 3rd millennium cultures (after EIEC).

The Phrygian, Macedonian, and Greek proto-languages likely also originate in the Balkans. Armenian[edit] Proto-Armenian
Proto-Armenian
may also be Balkans
Balkans
(Greco-Phrygian) derived, or at least strongly influenced by a Phrygian substrate. The Phrygian influence on [pre-] Proto-Armenian
Proto-Armenian
would date to about the 7th century BCE, in the context of the declining kingdom of Urartu. Balto-Slavic[edit] Main articles: Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
languages, Proto- Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
language, Baltic languages, Balts, Slavic languages, Proto-Slavic, and Slavic peoples The Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
homeland largely corresponds to the common historical distribution of Baltic and Slavic. Proto-Baltic likely emerging in the eastern parts of the Corded Ware horizon. The Slavic languages
Slavic languages
experience a major expansion starting around the 6th century CE, in some cases supplanting earlier Indo-European languages in the region to which they expanded. The Slavic homeland likely corresponds to the distribution of the oldest recognizably Slavic hydronyms, found in northern and western Ukraine
Ukraine
and southern Belarus. Indo-Iranian[edit] Main articles: Proto-Indo-Iranian language, Proto-Indo-Iranians, Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Iranian languages, Proto-Iranian language, Iranian languages, Proto-Iranian language, and Iranian peoples The Proto- Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
are widely identified with the bearers of the Andronovo horizon
Andronovo horizon
of the late 3rd and early 2nd millennia BCE, with the various languages of the Indo-Iranian language family starting to differentiate from Proto-Indo-Iranian around 2000 BCE. There are three language families within the Indo-Iranian language family that derived from the Proto-Indo-Iranian language: the Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and other Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
of South Asia; the Iranian languages, e.g. Persian, Kurdish and Pashto of West Asia and Central Asia; and the Nuristani languages
Nuristani languages
spoken in eastern Afghanistan. The oldest attested Indo-Aryan is loanwords in the Mittani
Mittani
language of northern Syria and western Anatolia, dating to ca. 1400 BCE. The oldest Vedic hymns and sagas written in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
are thought to be of similar age, although these were transmitted orally and not written down. Some scholars associate the Cemetery H culture
Cemetery H culture
of the Northern Indus River Valley
Indus River Valley
(specifically Western Punjab) ca. 1900 BCE with the original Indo-Aryan population of South Asia. The community that originally utilized the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
language for poetry, liturgy and religious purpose, which is also called the Vedic civilization after their semi-legendary account of their community found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas
Vedas
during the Vedic period
Vedic period
from ca. 1700 BCE to ca. 320 BCE. The archaeological cultures in South Asia described as Black and Red Ware
Black and Red Ware
(10th century BCE) and the later Painted Gray Ware (starting ca. 900 BCE) and subsequently the Northern Black Polished Ware (ca. 500 BCE) are all commonly associated with the Sanskrit language speaking Indo-Aryans during the Vedic period. The Iranian languages
Iranian languages
split into Eastern and Western branches in what are known as the Middle Iranian languages
Iranian languages
around the 4th century BCE. The Iranian Avestan language
Avestan language
of Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian
scripture was committed to writing at about this point but was in existence and historically attested long before a script was devised for it. The Median language was the language of the Median empire of western and central Iran (ca. 700–559 BCE). The language of the Scythian
Scythian
people of Central Asia, whose interactions with the Greeks
Greeks
in 512 BCE were attested by Herodotus
Herodotus
ca. 440 BCE, was also an Iranian language. There is some dispute over whether the Dardic languages (spoken in northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, and the Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir, most prominently the Kashmiri language) are Indo-Aryan, Iranian or part of the Nurustani languages. This issue of classification is clouded by the nationalistic implications of such a classification for the political affiliations of the contested Kashmir region of South Asia and by the fact that the Dardic languages are spoken in an area that borders the region where each of the other Indo-Iranian language families is spoken. Dravidian[edit]

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Dravidian homeland. (Discuss) (January 2018)

See also: Elamo-Dravidian
Elamo-Dravidian
languages

Modern Dravidian languages

The Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
have been found mainly in South India
India
since at least the second century BCE (inscriptions, ed. I. Mahadevan 2003). It is, however, a widely-held hypothesis that Dravidian speakers may have been more widespread throughout India, including the northwest region,[20] before the arrival of Indo-European speakers. A map showing where Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
are spoken today appears to the right. Historical records suggest that the South Dravidian language group had separated from a Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
language no later than 700 BCE, linguistic evidence suggests that they probably became distinctive around 1100 BCE,[21] and some scholars using linguistic methods put the deepest divisions in the language group at roughly 3,000 BCE. Russian linguist M.S. Andronov puts the split between Tamil (a written Southern Dravidian language) and Telugu (a written Central Dravidian language) between 1500 BCE and 1000 BCE.[22] Southworth identifies late Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
with the Southern Neolithic culture in the lower Godavari River basin of South Central India, which first appeared ca. 2500 BCE, based upon its agricultural vocabulary, while noting that this "would not preclude the possibility that speakers of an earlier stage of Dravidian entered the subcontinent from western or central Asia, as has often been suggested."[23] Speculations regarding the original homeland have centered on the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
or on Elam
Elam
(whose Elamite language
Elamite language
was spoken in the hills to the east of the ancient Sumerian civilization with whom the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
traded and shared domesticated species) in an Elamo-Dravidian
Elamo-Dravidian
hypothesis, but results have not been convincing. The possibility that the language family is indigenous to the Dravidian area and is a truly isolated genetic unit has also not been ruled out. Prof. Asko Parpola
Asko Parpola
(University of Helsinki), the Jesuit priest Father Heras in the 1930s and other scholars (such as Indian and early Tamil expert Iravatham Mahadevan and Prof. Walter A. Fairservis Jr.) conclude that the Indus sign system represented an ancient Dravidian language, a view that they assume is supported by Tamil artifacts discovered in 2006.[24] Thus, in Parpola's view, the urheimat of Dravidian would be in the Indus River Valley. However, Harvard Indologist Michael Witzel takes the view—that has received serious academic consideration (ca. 2004)—which is critical of an Indus Valley Civilization Dravidian homeland
Dravidian homeland
and of the widely held view that the inscriptions of the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
even constitute a written language.[25] In the essay "Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan" (with RV in this context referring to Rigvedic, i.e. Indo-Aryan), Witzel says "As we can no longer reckon with Dravidian influence on the early RV, this means that the language of the pre-Rigvedic Indus civilization, at least in the Panjab, was of (Para-) Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
nature." There are no written examples of Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages being spoken further west than Central India during the recent historical era. Recent studies of the distribution of alleles on the Y chromosome,[26] microsatellite DNA,[27] and mitochondrial DNA[28] in India
India
have cast doubt for a biological Dravidian "race" distinct from non-Dravidians in the Indian subcontinent;[29] other recent genetic studies have found evidence of Aryan, Dravidian and pre-Dravidian (original Asian) strata in South Asian populations.[30] Geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza proposes that a Dravidian people were preceded in India by Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
people, and were present prior to the arrival of Indo-Aryan language speakers in India.[31] Partha and Majumder (2010) stated that: "In general, the Central Asian populations are genetically closer to the higher-ranking caste populations than to the middle- or lower-ranking caste populations. Among the higher-ranking caste populations, those of northern India
India
are, however, genetically much closer (FST = 0.016) than those of southern India
India
(FST = 0.031)"[30] Altaic[edit] Main article: Altaic
Altaic
languages Further information: Proto-Mongols
Proto-Mongols
and Proto-Turkic language Mongols
Mongols
and Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
share a common geographic origin in the Mongolian Plateau of Inner Asia. Both groups expanded westward founding vast semi-nomadic empires, occasionally creating a fusion of Turkic and Mongol culture. Medieval Europeans referred to the Turco-Mongol
Turco-Mongol
lands collectively as Tartary. Some historians suggest that the people associated with the Slab Grave culture were the direct ancestors of the Mongols.[32] Slab Grave cultural monuments are found in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Northwest China
China
( Xinjiang
Xinjiang
and Qilian Mountains
Qilian Mountains
etc.), Northeast China, Lesser Khingan Mountains and southern Siberia. The identity of the ethnic core of Xiongnu
Xiongnu
has been a subject of varied hypotheses and some scholars insisted on a Mongolic origin.[33] Xiongnu
Xiongnu
Empire (209 BCE – 93 CE) became a dominant power on the steppes of Central Asia. They were active in regions of what is now southern Siberia, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Gansu
Gansu
and Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Province. Genghis Khan, starting around 1206 CE, waged a series of military campaigns that, together with campaigns by his successors, stretched from present-day Poland
Poland
in the west to Korea
Korea
in the east and from Siberia
Siberia
in the north to the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
and Vietnam
Vietnam
in the south, after which the empire ultimately collapsed with little long lasting linguistic impact outside the core Mongolian area.[34] Unlike the Mongol Empire, which eventually withdrew back to its original Urheimat, the Turkic migrations shifted the Turkic center of population and power westward to the Black Sea
Black Sea
region. Turkic[edit]

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Turkic homeland. (Discuss) (January 2018)

The Countries and autonomous regions where a Turkic language
Turkic language
has official status.

There is considerable dispute over the time and place of origin of the Turkic languages, with candidates for their ancient homeland ranging from the Transcaspian
Transcaspian
steppe to Manchuria
Manchuria
in Northeast Asia
Northeast Asia
and South-Central-Siberia.[35][36][37] The lack of written records prior to the earliest Chinese accounts, and the fact that the early Turkic peoples were nomadic pastoralists, and hence mobile, makes localizing and dating the earliest homeland of the Turkic language
Turkic language
difficult. Attempts to localize the proto-Turkic urheimat are usually connected with the early archaeological horizon of west and central Siberia
Siberia
and in the region south of it.[38] Further attempts also include the Botai culture and the cultural horizon of the Kurgan
Kurgan
cultures (see: Paleolithic Continuity Theory). The Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
lived in the North Eurasian Steppe
Eurasian Steppe
including North China, especially Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Province, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia
Mongolia
and West Siberian Plain possibly as far west as Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
and the Altai Mountains, by the 6th century CE. After Turkic migration, by the 10th century CE, most of Central Asia, formerly dominated by Iranian peoples, was settled by Turkic tribes. Then, the Seljuk Turks from the 11th century invaded Anatolia, ultimately resulting in permanent Turkic settlement there and the establishment of the Turkish nation. The Turkic languages are now spoken in Turkey, Iran, Central Asia
Central Asia
and Siberia. The inferred population genetic contributions of Turkic populations show a cline from a high point in the East to the a low point in the West.[39] In Turkey, the Turkic contribution to the local population genetic mix is about 30%.[40] Korean[edit]

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Korea
Korea
in 576 CE.

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Koreanic languages. (Discuss) (February 2018)

The Korean language
Korean language
is spoken in Korea
Korea
and among emigrants from Korea. Conservative historical linguists tend to classify the Korean language as a language isolate, although other suggest a relationship to the proposed Altaic
Altaic
language family or to Japonic languages. Old Korean is attested in Chinese histories, in the Three Kingdoms period of Korea
Korea
(ca. 0 to 900 CE), when the Silla
Silla
Kingdom (in Eastern Korea), Baekje
Baekje
Kingdom (in Southwestern Korea), and Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Kingdom (in Northern Korea) were simultaneously present on the Korean peninsula, although Korean was not a literary language until later; the hangul script of Korean was invented in the 15th century CE (the earlier Idu script
Idu script
dates to the 6th century CE). There was a group of similar languages called the Buyeo languages
Buyeo languages
in the northern Korean Peninsula and southern Manchuria
Manchuria
and possibly Japan, which included, according to Chinese records, the languages of Buyeo, Goguryeo, Baekje, Dongye, Okjeo, —and possibly Gojoseon, but was different from ancient Manchu languages like Mohe language. Gojoseon
Gojoseon
was a kingdom in Northern Korea
Korea
that is said by tradition to have been founded in 2333 BC (archaeological evidence and Chinese histories support a cultural civilization from around 1500 BCE and a kingdom fused from a federation of smaller states around the 7th century BCE), that was conquered by Han Dynasty China
China
in 108 BC, and re-emereged from Chinese rule as the Kingdom Buyeo. The Three Kingdoms era kingdoms of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
and Baekje
Baekje
were successors to the Kingdom of Buyeo. Dongye
Dongye
was a vassal state of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
in Northeast Korea founded in the 3rd-century BCE that was eventually absorbed by Goguryeo
Goguryeo
around the 5th century CE. Okjeo
Okjeo
was a minor state in Northern Korea
Korea
to the North of Dongye
Dongye
that was a subordinate unit of Gojoseon
Gojoseon
from the 3rd century BCE to 108 BCE, then came under Han rule, and then was a subordinate state of Goguryeo. None of these Buyeo language
Buyeo language
family kingdoms ever included the Kingdom of Silla, which was just a small kingdom on the Southern coast of Korea
Korea
until the Three Kingdoms period during which it expanded and conquered the other two kingdoms. Linguists including Christopher Beckwith argue for Japanese as a descendant of Goguryeo, and for Korean as a descendant of the Silla language, based on lexical similarities between Goguryeo
Goguryeo
and Japanese, and based upon Silla's ultimate triumph in the quest for political control of Korea. Other linguistists, including Kim Banghan, Alexander Vovin, and J. Marshall Unger argue that Japanese is related to the pre- Goguryeo
Goguryeo
language of the central and southern part of Korean peninsula, including what would become the Kingdom of Silla, and that Old Korean is Goguryeo
Goguryeo
with a pre- Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Japonic substrate, in part, because Japanese-like toponyms found in the historical homeland of Silla
Silla
were also distributed in southern part of Korean peninsula, and are not found in the northern part of Korean peninsula or south-western Manchuria.[41] None of the extinct languages is attested in writing well enough to reach definitive conclusions resolving the debate. Japonic[edit]

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Japonic languages#Origins. (Discuss) (February 2018)

Further information: Classification of the Japonic languages The Japonic languages
Japonic languages
are spoken in Japan and among emigrants from Japan and is attested in Japanese language
Japanese language
writing from the 8th century CE, and in imperfect Chinese transcriptions from the late 5th century CE. Conservative historical linguists tend to classify a small number of Japanese languages as a language family of their own. The Ainu languages
Ainu languages
are a barely surviving family of languages or dialects that are spoken by indigenous populations on the island of Hokkaidō in what is now northern Japan as well as on the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Archipelago in what is now the Russian Far East at the time of the oldest extant historical records concerning those islands.[citation needed] There are similarities between the Japanese language
Japanese language
and the Korean language in lexicon and grammatical features, but there is dispute over whether these denote a common origin, or mere linguistic borrowing due to a sprachbund of neighboring languages that are adjacent to each other. Samuel E. Martin, Roy Andrew Miller, and Sergei Starostin
Sergei Starostin
are linguists who have argued that they have common origins.[42][43][44][45][46] In contrast, Alexander Vovin has argued for a regional borrowing model to explain the linguistic similarities.[47] One hypothesis proposes that Japanese is a relative of the extinct languages spoken by the Buyeo- Goguryeo
Goguryeo
cultures of Korea, southern Manchuria, and Liaodong of which the best attested is the extinct language Goguryeo.[48][49][50] This proposal is attributed to Shinmura Izuru, who proposed it in 1916. Modern Korean, in contrast, according to proponents of this hypothesis, appears to have stronger connections the Silla
Silla
language, spoken in the ancient kingdom of Silla
Silla
(57 BCE – 935 CE), one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, whose similarity to the Goguryeo
Goguryeo
language is not clearly established. The earliest Chinese historical records concerning the "Wa" in Japan indicate that they were fractured into many warring states. But, modern Japanese dialects show a common origin, rather than a "bushy" one. So, it is possible that there were many Yayoi dialects in the period before Old Japanese emerged, of which the dialect of the warring states that ended up prevailing politically as the Japanese state was unified superseded other early Yayoi languages or dialects.[51] After a new wave of immigration, probably from the Korean Peninsula some 2,300 years ago, of the Yayoi people, the Jōmon were pushed into northern Japan. Genetic data suggest that modern Japanese are descended from both the Yayoi and the Jōmon. Tradition, as documented by the Nihon Shoki, a legendary account of Japan's history, puts the date of the Yayoi arrival in Japan at 660 BCE. Chinese historical records mention the existence of the Yayoi (called "Wa") starting in 57 BCE. The existing Japanese language
Japanese language
has its origins at approximately this point in time, if not earlier (to the extent that Japanese derives primarily from either the language of the Bronze Age Yayoi people, as it existed prior to their arrival in Japan, or derives primarily from a language of the Jōmon at that point of time, rather than being a creole of some sort). Skeletal remains suggests that the two cultures had fused into a group with a homogeneous physical appearance in Southern Japan by 250 CE.[51] It is possible that the Japanese language
Japanese language
has roots related to the Ainu language, the historical language of the Yayoi, whatever that may have been, or could have been a creole of both. It is also possible the Japanese has roots in a language spoken in Southern Japan that is lost and now unknown.[51]

Location of Ezo

The Ainu people
Ainu people
are genetic descendants of the Jōmon, with some contribution from the Okhotsk people.[52] The Ainu languages
Ainu languages
that are now spoken by Ainu minorities in Hokkaidō; and were formerly spoken in southern and central Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands (an area also known as Ezo), and perhaps northern Honshū island by the Emishi people (until approximately 1000 CE), are associated with the founding Jōmon people
Jōmon people
of Japan from than 14,000 years ago or earlier, and the Satsumon culture of Hokkaidō, although the Ainu also had contact with the Paleo-Siberian Okhotsk culture
Okhotsk culture
whose modern descendants include the Nivkh people
Nivkh people
(whose original homeland was mostly occupied by the Tungusic peoples), which could have linguistically influenced the Ainu language.[53] Thus, as a result of this important outside cultural influence, it is impossible to know with certainty how similar the language of the original language of the Jōmon people
Jōmon people
was to that spoken by the Ainu people
Ainu people
today. Some linguists have suggested other language family connections for the Ainu language: Shafer has suggested a distant connection to the Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages.[54] Vovin, had viewed that suggestion as merely preliminary.[55] Japanese linguist Shichirō Murayama tried to link Ainu to the Austronesian languages, which include the languages of the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia
Indonesia
through both vocabulary and cultural comparisons. There is no consensus, however, that the Ainu languages
Ainu languages
have sources in any other known language, and the unique population genetics of the Ainu people support the hypothesis that they were largely isolated from the rest of the world for many thousands of years. The Yayoi people
Yayoi people
had strong physical, genetic and cultural similarities to the Chinese during the Western Han Dynasty
Western Han Dynasty
(202 BCE- 9 CE) in the Jiangsu
Jiangsu
province on China's Eastern Coast.[56] The Yayoi also have strong cultural similarities to the Koreans of that time period.[51][57]

Location of Ryukyu Islands

Some linguists, such as Turchin,[58] see a connection between Japanese and Korean and an Altaic
Altaic
language family or similar larger grouping of languages, with those speakers coming from an area North of Korea, based in part upon similarities in lexical roots. The statistical method used by Turchin, however, would not discriminate between Jōmon and Yayoi sources for any Altaic
Altaic
linguistic affinities. Turchin's analysis also did not look at the various proposed ancient predecessors of the Korean language
Korean language
in Korea
Korea
or the relationship of those languages to any of the proto- Altaic
Altaic
languages, despite the fact that the hypothesis would require one of those ancient Korean peninsular languages to be intermediate between Japanese and one of the proto- Altaic
Altaic
languages. Old Japanese when first attested had eight vowels, rather than the current five (which were lost within a century of the oldest preserved writings) which was close to the vowel system seen in Uralic and Altaic
Altaic
languages.[59] Old Japanese also had more grammatical similarity to Altaic languages
Altaic languages
than modern Japanese. These classifications of the origins of Japanese language
Japanese language
origins ignore significant borrowing from other languages in recent times. Current estimates are that "wago" (i.e. words attributable to the original Yayoi language) make up 33.8% of the Japanese lexicon, that "kango" (i.e. words with roots borrowed from Chinese since the 5th century CE) make up 49.1% of Japanese words (and in addition, the Chinese ideograms used in the Japanese written language), that foreign words called gairaigo make up 8.8% of Japanese words, and that 8.3% of Japanese words are konshugo that draw upon multiple languages.[60] This account attributes only a small number of words in modern Japanese to Ainu roots. The six Ryukyuan languages
Ryukyuan languages
spoken in the islands to the South of Japan, are descended from Japanese but are not mutually intelligble with Japanese with which they share about 72% of their words (or each other) and started to diverge from Japanese around the 7th century CE. these islands were united in a Ryukyuan kingdom from 1429 CE (prior to that there were multiple divided kingdoms which were tributary states of China
China
after 1372 CE); the kingdom was a tributary state of China until 1609 when it became a vassal state of Japan, until it was annexed by Japan in 1879. These languages were then suppressed and while they have about a million native speakers, there are relatively few native speakers under the age of twenty. They are effectively minority languages in their own countries at this point. Uralic[edit]

Neolithic
Neolithic
period

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Uralic_peoples#Urheimat. (Discuss) (February 2018)

The Uralic homeland is unknown. A possible focus is the Comb Ceramic Culture of ca 4200 – ca 2000 BCE (shown on the map to the right). This is suggested by the high language diversity around the middle Volga River, where three highly distinct branches of the Uralic family, Mordvinic, Mari, and Permic, are located. Reconstructed plant and animal names (including spruce, Siberian pine, Siberian Fir, Siberian larch, brittle willow, elm, and hedgehog) are consistent with this location. This is adjacent to the proposed homeland for Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
under the Kurgan
Kurgan
hypothesis. French anthropologist Bernard Sergent, in La Genèse de l'Inde (1997),[61] argued that Finno-Ugric (Uralic) may have a genetic source or have borrowed significantly from proto-Dravidian or a predecessor language of West African origins. Some linguists see Uralic (Hungarian, Finnish) as having a linguistic relationship to both Altaic
Altaic
(Turkic, Mongol) language groups[62] (as in the outdated Ural- Altaic
Altaic
hypothesis) and Dravidian languages. The theory that the Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
display similarities with the Uralic language group, suggesting a prolonged period of contact in the past,[63] is popular amongst Dravidian linguists and has been supported by a number of scholars, including Robert Caldwell,[64] Thomas Burrow,[65] Kamil Zvelebil,[66] and Mikhail Andronov.[67] This theory has, however, been rejected by some specialists in Uralic languages,[68] and has in recent times also been criticised by other Dravidian linguists like the late Bhadriraju Krishnamurti.[69] As noted below, many notable linguists have proposed that the Eskimo-Aleut languages
Eskimo-Aleut languages
and Uralic languages
Uralic languages
have a common origin, although there is no consensus that this connection is genuine. A genetic relationship between Uralic and the Indo-European languages has also been proposed (see Indo-Uralic languages). Yeniseian[edit] The Yeniseian language family has been recently tied by linguist Edward Vajda to the Native American Na-Dene languages
Na-Dene languages
of North American (e.g. Navajo),[70] in a proposal named Dene-Yeniseian. Several well-known linguists have reviewed the hypothesis as favorable, although several linguists, such as Lyle Campbell, still reject it. This family of languages is sometimes described as Paleosiberian, a classification that rests on a belief that it represents a stratum of Siberian populations that preceded the speakers of the other modern languages of Siberia
Siberia
(mostly of the Indo-European and Altaic
Altaic
language families), possibly one that dates back to the Paleolithic era when North America was initially populated. However, Paleosiberian is usually considered a – negatively defined – collective term of convenience, not a genetic nor even areal grouping, similarly to Papuan. There is some evidence that the speakers of the Yeniseian languages
Yeniseian languages
(such as the Ket language, which is the only surviving member of the moribund language family) migrated to their current homeland along the Yenisei
Yenisei
River in Central Siberia
Siberia
from an area south of the Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains
in the general vicinity of Mongolia
Mongolia
or Northwest China
China
within the last 2500 years or so (although there is no evidence that the Yeniseian languages are linguistically related to the Altaic languages).[71][72][73] One sentence of the language of the Jie, a Xiongnu
Xiongnu
tribe who founded the Later Zhao state in Chinese history, appears consistent with being a Yeniseian language. Other linguists have suggested, with far less widespread acceptance in the linguistics community, that the Yeniseian languages
Yeniseian languages
have a genetic relationship to one or more of the Caucasian languages and the Sino-Tibetan languages (such as Chinese).[74][75] Eurasian language isolates[edit] The only languages which are predominantly found in Europe, North Asia and South Asia and are not part of the language families above are the Basque language
Basque language
spoken in Northern Spain and Southwestern France, the three living language families of the Caucasus mountains
Caucasus mountains
(Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian and South Caucasian, with the first two sometimes proposed as members of a single North Caucasian language family), the Paleosiberian languages
Paleosiberian languages
(the Yukaghir languages
Yukaghir languages
of Central Siberia, viewed by some linguists as a divergent branch of the Uralic languages;[76][77] and the Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages
Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages
of Eastern Siberia, a grouping which sometimes includes Yenesian language and the geographically adjacent, although sometimes treated as a language isolate, Nivkh language), and a few South Asian linguistic isolates, such as Burushaski, spoken mostly in isolated pockets of Northern Pakistan, and the two indigenous language families of the Andamanese people
Andamanese people
(Great Andamanese and Ongan), and perhaps Nihali (spoken in West Central India).[78] In each of these cases, the languages are spoken in an area that is geographically compact, were spoken in that area at the time that they were first attested historically, and there is no definitive evidence of an origin for the languages in question outside the area where they are spoken now. Joseph Greenberg and Stephen Wurm have both noted lexical similarities between the Great Andamanese language and the West Papuan languages. Wurm noted that the lexical similarities "are quite striking and amount to virtual formal identity [...] in a number of instances." There is no agreement, even between these two linguists, on a narrative that gave rise to these similarities. Michael Fortescue, a specialist in Eskimo–Aleut as well as in Chukotko-Kamchatkan, argues for a link between Uralic, Yukaghir, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Eskimo–Aleut in Language Relations Across Bering Strait (1998). He calls this proposed grouping Uralo-Siberian. There have been determined efforts by multiple linguists from at least the 19th century to link these languages to other language families, particularly in the case of the Basque language, where numerous connections to language families living and dead have been proposed by linguists. Frequently, efforts to look for deeper linguistic origins of these languages will also attempt to integrate them into attested extinct languages of Europe, such as the Etruscan language
Etruscan language
of Northern Italy, the Ligurian language of Italy, the Lemnian language
Lemnian language
of the Aegean Island of Lemnos, the Minoan language
Minoan language
aka Linear A
Linear A
of ancient Crete, the Sumerian language
Sumerian language
once spoken in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
(which is the oldest attested written language), the language of the Indus River Valley civilization, the Elamite language
Elamite language
of Iran, and the Hurrian language and Hattic language of Anatolia. None of these efforts has achieved wide support among linguists, although some have been viewed as sufficiently credible to receive serious consideration from multiple linguists.[78][79][80][81][82][83]

Map showing the distribution of the major language families represented in Africa.

Khoisan[edit] The Khoisan
Khoisan
click languages of Africa
Africa
do not form a language family and so do not, as a family, have a homeland. However, limited genetic evidence from some Khoisan-language speakers in southern Africa suggest an origin "along the African rift and a possible wider East African range."[84] Thus, the Bushmen of the Kalahari who occupy the largest geographic region where click languages are spoken are viewed as a relict population far removed from the place where click languages probably originated. The Khoe languages, Tuu languages, Kx'a languages, Hadza language
Hadza language
and Sandawe language
Sandawe language
(the latter two being Tanzanian language isolates) are frequently grouped together in the catch all Khoisan
Khoisan
categorization, despite the lack of a definitive recent common origin of these languages in a common language family. However, for the Khoe-Kwadi group, a more recent origin by immigration from East Africa
Africa
(around the beginning of the Christian Era) has been suggested by Tom Güldemann, based on his observation of similarities with Sandawe. Afro-Asiatic[edit] Main article: Afro-Asiatic Urheimat The Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
include Arabic, Hebrew, Berber, and a variety of other languages now found mostly in Northeast Africa, although the exact boundaries of this language family are disputed in the case of a small number of languages spoken by small numbers of individuals in a few localized areas of Sudan
Sudan
and East Africa. The limited area of the Afro-Asiatic Sprachraum (prior to its expansion to new areas in the historic era) has limited the potential areas where that family's urheimat could be. Generally speaking, two proposals have been developed: that Afro-Asiatic arose in a Semitic urheimat in the Middle East aka Southwest Asia, or that Afro-Asiatic languages arose in northeast Africa
Africa
(generally, either between Darfur and Tibesti
Tibesti
or in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and the other countries of the Horn of Africa). The African hypothesis is considered to be rather more likely at the present time, because of the greater diversity of languages with more distant relationships to each other there. There have been serious linguistic proponents of almost every conceivable possible set of relationships of the Afro-Asiatic language subfamilies to each other, although there is reasonably great consensus concerning the subfamily classification of all but a few of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Some of this difficulty in resolving the Afro-Asiatic family tree flows from the time depth of these languages. The Afro-Asiatic Egyptian language
Egyptian language
of ancient Egypt (whose latest stage is known as Coptic) is one of the two oldest written languages on Earth (the other being the Sumerian language, a language isolate) dating in written form to approximately 3000 BCE, and the Semitic Akkadian language
Akkadian language
was also attested in writing from a very early date (ca. 2000 BCE). A common Afro-Asiatic proto-language is necessarily older than these very old written languages which belonged to language families that had already diverged from each other considerably by that point. There is also no one genetic profile that is uniform among Afro-Asiatic language speakers that clearly unites them. There are also competing theories on whether the Afro-Asiatic language family owes its expansion to the Neolithic
Neolithic
revolution that originated in an area that includes the range of the Afro-Asiatic language, or was already widespread in the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
era. Notably, the Afro-Asiatic language family is spoken in most of the places that are leading candidates for the origins of the modern human species and most of intermediate species between modern humans and the Great Apes in human evolution. Semitic[edit] Main article: Proto-Semitic language § Homeland There has been speculation regarding the specific Semitic subfamily of Afro-Asiatic languages, again with the Horn of Africa
Africa
and Southwest Asia—specifically the Levant—being the most common proposals. The large number of Semitic languages
Semitic languages
present in the Horn of Africa
Africa
seems at first glance to support the hypothesis that the Semitic homeland lies there. However, the Semitic languages
Semitic languages
in the Horn of Africa
Africa
all belong to the South Semitic subfamily and appear to all have relatively recent common origins in a single Ethio-Semitic proto-language, while the East and Central Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are native solely to Asia. These features, and the presence of certain common Semitic lexical items in all Ethio- Semitic languages
Semitic languages
referring to items that arrived in Africa
Africa
from the Levant
Levant
at a time after Semitic languages
Semitic languages
were known to have been spoken in the Levant, have lent weight to the Levantine proposal. Hebrew
Hebrew
is relatively closely related to the Arabic
Arabic
language even within the Semitic language family, being part of the same Central Semitic group. The Maltese language, the only other Semitic language of Europe, is a derivative of the Arabic
Arabic
language as it was spoken in Sicily starting sometime after the rise of the Islamic empire in North Africa. Nilo-Saharan[edit] Genetic studies of Nilo-Saharan-speaking populations are in general agreement with archaeological evidence and linguistic studies that argue for a Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
homeland in eastern Sudan
Sudan
before 6000 BCE, with subsequent migration events northward to the eastern Sahara, westward to the Chad Basin, and southeastward into Kenya
Kenya
and Tanzania.[85] Linguist Roger Blench has suggested that the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
languages and the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages may be branches of the same macro–language family.[86][87] Earlier proposals along this line were made by linguist Edgar Gregersen in 1972.[88] These proposals have not reached a linguistic consensus, however, and this connection presupposes that all of the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
languages are actually related in a single family, which has not been definitively established. Razib Khan, based on analysis of the autosomal genetics of the Tutsi ethnic group of Africa, suggests that "the Tutsi
Tutsi
were in all likelihood once a Nilotic speaking population, who switched to the language of the Bantus amongst whom they settled."[89][90] Niger–Congo[edit] Main article: Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
homeland The homeland of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages, which has as its subfamily the Benue–Congo
Benue–Congo
languages, which in turn includes the Bantu languages, is not known in time or place, beyond the fact that it probably originated in or near the area where these languages were spoken prior to Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
(i.e. West Africa
Africa
or Central Africa) and probably predated the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
of ca. 3000 BCE by many thousands of years.[91] Its expansion may have been associated with the expansion of Sahel agriculture in the African Neolithic period.[91] According to linguist Roger Blench, as of 2004, all specialists in Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages believe the languages to have a common origin, rather than merely constituting a typological classification, for reasons including their shared noun-class system, their shared verbal extensions and their shared basic lexicon.[92][93] Similar classifications have been made ever since Diedrich Westermann
Diedrich Westermann
in 1922.[94] Joseph Greenberg continued that tradition making it the starting point for modern linguistic classification in Africa, with some of his most notable publications going to press starting in the 1960s.[95] But, there has been active debate for many decades over the appropriate subclassifications of the languages in that language family, which is a key tool used in localizing a language's place of origin.[92] No definitive "Proto-Niger–Congo" lexicon or grammar has been developed for the language family as a whole. An important unresolved issue in determining the time and place where the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages originated and their range prior to recorded history is this language family's relationship to the Kordofanian languages
Kordofanian languages
now spoken in the Nuba mountains of Sudan, which is not contiguous with the remainder of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
language speaking region and is at the northeasternmost extent of the current Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
linguistic region. The current prevailing linguistic view is that Kordofanian languages
Kordofanian languages
are part of the Niger–Congo language family, and that among the many languages still surviving in that region these may be the oldest.[96] The evidence is insufficient to determine if this outlier group of Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
language speakers represent a prehistoric range of a Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
linguistic region that has since contracted as other languages have intruded, or if instead, this represents a group of Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
language speakers who migrated to the area at some point in prehistory where they were an isolated linguistic community from the beginning. The prehistoric range for the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages has implications, not just for the history of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
languages, but for the origins of the Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
and Nilo-Saharan languages whose homelands have been hypothesized by some to overlap with the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
linguistic range prior to recorded history. If the consensus view regarding the origins of the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
languages which came to East Africa
Africa
is adopted, and a North African or Southwest Asian origin for Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
is assumed, the linguistic affiliation of East Africa
Africa
prior to the arrival of Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
and Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
is left open. The overlap between the potential areas of origin for these languages in East Africa
Africa
is particularly notable because includes the regions from which the Proto-Eurasians who brought anatomically modern humans Out of Africa, and presumably their original proto-language or languages originated. However, there is more agreement regarding the place of origin of the Benue–Congo
Benue–Congo
subfamily of languages, which is the largest subfamily of the group, and the place of origin of the Bantu languages
Bantu languages
and the time at which it started to expand is known with great specificity. The classification of the relatively divergent family of Ubangian languages which are centered in the Central African Republic, as part of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
language family where Greenberg classified them in 1963 and subsequently scholars concurred,[97] was called into question, by linguist Gerrit Dimmendaal in a 2008 article.[98] Benue-Congo[edit] Further information: Bantu expansion

The Benue-Congo homeland

Roger Blench, relying particularly on prior work by Professor Kay Williamson of the University of Port Harcourt, and the linguist P. De Wolf, who each took the same position, has argued that a Benue–Congo linguistic subfamily of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
language family, which includes the Bantu languages
Bantu languages
and other related languages and would be the largest branch of Niger–Congo, is an empirically supported grouping which probably originated at the confluence of the Benue and Niger Rivers in Central Nigeria.[92][99][100][101][102][103] These estimates of the place of origin of the Benue-Congo language family do not fix a date for the start of that expansion other than that it must have been sufficiently prior to the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
to allow for the diversification of the languages within this language family that includes Bantu. There is a widespread consensus among linguistic scholars that Bantu languages of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo
family have a homeland near the coastal boundary of Nigeria
Nigeria
and Cameroon, prior to a rapid expansion from that homeland starting about 3000 BCE.[85][91][104][105][106][107][108] Linguisic, archeological and genetic evidence also indicates that during the course of the Bantu expansion, "independent waves of migration of western African and East African Bantu-speakers into southern Africa
Africa
occurred."[85] In some places, Bantu language, genetic evidence suggests that Bantu language expansion was largely a result of substantial population replacement.[109] In other places, Bantu language expansion, like many other languages, has been documented with population genetic evidence to have occurred by means other than complete or predominant population replacement (e.g. via language shift and admixture of incoming and existing populations). For example, one study found this to be the case in Bantu language speakers who are African Pygmies
Pygmies
or are in Mozambique,[109] while another population genetic study found this to be the case in the Bantu language speaking Lemba of Zimbabwe.[110] Where Bantu was adopted via language shift of existing populations, prior African languages were spoken, probably from African language families that are now lost, except as substrate influences of local Bantu languages (such as click sounds in local Bantu languages). Sino-Tibetan[edit]

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Sino-Tibetan homeland. (Discuss) (January 2018)

The Sino-Tibetan languages

According to the Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus project of the University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Berkeley
(2011), the Proto-Sino-Tibetan (PST) homeland may have been in the general area in the east of the Tibetan Plateau. Regarding the time depth of Sino-Tibetan separation, they estimate an age of at least 6,000 years, comparable to the age of Proto-Indo-European.[111] Some scholars place the Tibeto-Burman homeland in the area encompassing western Sichuan, northern Yunnan
Yunnan
and eastern Tibet.[112] Population genetic evidence, favors an origin for Proto-Sino-Tibetan languages in the upper and middle Yellow River
Yellow River
basin, with part of that source population branching off to settle in the Himalayas, with the split of the population that would provide the genesis of the Chinese language from the population that would provide the genesis of the larger Sino-Tibetan language family in the East Asian Neolithic era:[113]

"[T]he closest relatives of the Tibetans are the Yi people, who live in the Hengduan Mountains
Hengduan Mountains
and were originally formed through fusion with natives along their migration routes into the mountains. The Tibetan and Yi languages belong to the Tibeto-Burman language group and their ancestries can be traced back to an ancient tribe, the Di-Qiang . . . After the ancestors of Sino-Tibetans reached the upper and middle Yellow River
Yellow River
basin, they divided into two subgroups: Proto-Tibeto-Burman and Proto-Chinese. . . . The ancestral component which was dominant in Tibetan and Yi arose from the Proto-Tibeto-Burman subgroup, which marched on to south-west China
China
and later, through one of its branches, became the ancestor of modern Tibetans. Proto-Tibeto-Burmans also spread over the Hengduan Mountains where the Yi have lived for hundreds of generations. Taking the optimal living condition and the easiest migration route into account, we favor the single-route hypothesis; it is more likely that their migration into the Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan Plateau
through the Hengduan Mountain valleys occurred after Tibetan ancestors separated from the other Proto-Tibeto-Burman groups and diverged to form the modern Tibetan population."

One of the earliest Neolithic
Neolithic
cultures of China
China
in the upper to middle Yellow River
Yellow River
basin was the Peiligang culture
Peiligang culture
of 7000 BCE to 5000 BCE, so the population genetic reference in the quoted material is to a date on or after this time period. The Neolithic
Neolithic
era concluded in the Yellow River
Yellow River
around 1500 BCE. This is not inconsistent with the linguistically based estimate from the Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus project. By the early and middle Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE–256 BCE), the language spoken in the Zhou court had become the standardized dialect for that kingdom.[114] In contrast, four of the other main language families of East Asia and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
outside the Sino-Tibetan language family, Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Hmong–Mien and Tai–Kadai, are generally believed to have at origins at some stage of their development in Southern China. Austroasiatic[edit]

It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages. (Discuss) (February 2018)

Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages

The homeland of the Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages (e.g. Vietnamese, Cambodian) which are found from Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
to India
India
is hypothesized to be located "the hills of southern Yunnan
Yunnan
in China," between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE,[115] with influences from Aryan and Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
at the Western edge of its expanse in India, and influence from Chinese at the Eastern edge of the regions where it is found. The disjoint distribution of Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
languages suggests that they were once spoken in most of the areas where the Tai–Kadai languages are now dominant. However, Paul Sidwell has recently advocated a homeland in Southeast Asia instead,[116] preferring a late date of dispersal of about 2000 BCE.[117] There is a strong correlation between the population genetic distribution Y-Chromosomal haplogroup O2a1-M95 and the distribution of Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
language speakers.[118] Hmong–Mien[edit] The most likely homeland of the Hmong–Mien languages
Hmong–Mien languages
(aka Miao–Yao languages) is in Southern China
China
between the Yangtze and Mekong rivers, but speakers of these languages may have migrated from Central China either as part of the Han Chinese
Han Chinese
expansion or as a result of exile from an original homeland by Han Chinese.[119] Migration of people speaking these languages from South China
China
to Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
took place ca. 1600–1700 CE. Ancient DNA
DNA
evidence suggests that the ancestors of the speakers of the Hmong–Mien languages
Hmong–Mien languages
were a population genetically distinct from that of the Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
and Austronesian language source populations at a location on the Yangtze River.[120] Recent Y- DNA
DNA
phylogeny evidence supports the proposition that people who speak the Hmong-Mien languages are descended from the population that now speaks Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
Mon-Khmer languages.[121] Austronesian[edit] Main article: Austronesian homeland

The Austronesian Expansion

The homeland of the Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
is widely accepted by linguists to be in what is now Taiwan. On this island the deepest divisions in Austronesian are found, among the families of the native Formosan languages. According to Blust (1999), the Formosan languages form nine of the ten primary branches of the Austronesian language family. Comrie (2001:28) noted this when he wrote:

... the internal diversity among the... Formosan languages... is greater than that in all the rest of Austronesian put together, so there is a major genetic split within Austronesian between Formosan and the rest... Indeed, the genetic diversity within Formosan is so great that it may well consist of several primary branches of the overall Austronesian family.

Archaeological evidence (e.g., Bellwood 1997) suggests that speakers of pre-Proto-Austronesian spread from the South Chinese mainland to Taiwan
Taiwan
at some time around 6000 BCE. Evidence from historical linguistics suggests that it is from this island that seafaring peoples migrated, perhaps in distinct waves separated by millennia, to the entire region encompassed by the Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
(Diamond 2000). It is believed that this migration began around 4000 BCE (Blust 1999). However, evidence from historical linguistics cannot bridge the gap between those two periods. It is possible that the ancient Taiwan
Taiwan
aborigines were related to the ancient Minyue, derived in ancient times from the southeast coast of Mainland China, as suggested by linguists Li Jen-Kuei and Robert Blust. It is suggested that in the southeast coastal regions of China, there were many sea nomads during the Neolithic
Neolithic
era and they may have spoken ancestral Austronesian languages, and were skilled seafarers. The specific origins of most far flung member of this language family, the Malagasy language
Malagasy language
of Madagascar
Madagascar
off the coast of Africa, are described above in the part of this article concerning African languages. The Austro-Tai
Austro-Tai
hypothesis suggests a common origin for the Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
and the Tai–Kadai languages
Tai–Kadai languages
whose hypothesized place of origin is geographically close to Taiwan. The Malagasy language
Malagasy language
of Madagascar
Madagascar
is not related to nearby African languages, instead being the westernmost member of the Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian
branch of the Austronesian language family. The similarity between Malagasy and Malay and Javanese was noted as long ago as 1708 by the Dutch scholar Adriaan van Reeland.[122] Malagasy is related to the Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian
languages of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and more closely with the Southeast Barito group of languages spoken in Borneo
Borneo
except for its Polynesian morphophonemics.[123] Tai–Kadai[edit]

The Tai–Kadai languages
Tai–Kadai languages
today

Many scholars have addressed the question of the origins of the Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
languages.[124][125][126][127][128] There is a consensus that the Tai–Kadai languages
Tai–Kadai languages
have their origins in Southern China
China
or on major nearby islands (such as Taiwan
Taiwan
or Hainan). The leading hypothesis is that the likely homeland of proto- Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
was coastal Fujian
Fujian
or Guangdong. The spread of the Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
peoples may have been aided by agriculture, but any who remained near the coast were eventually absorbed by the Chinese. Weera Ostapirat is one academic who articulates this position.[129] Laurent Sagart, on the other hand, holds that Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
is a branch of Austronesian which migrated back to the mainland from northeastern Formosa
Formosa
(i.e. Taiwan) long after Formosa
Formosa
was settled, but probably before the expansion of Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian
out of Formosa.[130][131][132] The language was then largely relexified from what he believes may have been an Austroasiatic
Austroasiatic
language. Sagart suggests that Austro-Tai
Austro-Tai
is ultimately related to the Sino-Tibetan languages and has its origin in the Neolithic
Neolithic
communities of the coastal regions of prehistoric North China
China
or East China. Ostapirat, by contrast, sees connections with the Austroasiatic languages (in Austric), as has Benedict.[133][134][135] Reid notes that the two approaches are not incompatible, if Austric is valid and can be connected to Sino-Tibetan.[136] Robert Blust
Robert Blust
(1999) suggests that proto- Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
speakers originated in the northern Philippines
Philippines
and migrated from there to Hainan
Hainan
(hence the diversity of Tai–Kadai languages
Tai–Kadai languages
on that island), and were radically restructured following contact with Hmong–Mien and Sinitic. However, Ostapirat maintains that Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
could not descend from Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian
in the Philippines, and likely not from the languages of eastern Formosa
Formosa
either. His evidence is in the Tai–Kadai
Tai–Kadai
sound correspondences, which reflect Austronesian distinctions that were lost in Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian
and even Eastern Formosan. Genetic evidence coroborates evidence from Kadai speaking people's oral traditions that puts a Kadai homeland on Hainan.[137] Ancient DNA evidence also shows a connection between speakers of Tai–Kadai speaking populations and Austronesian language speaking populations,[120] and a genetically distinct population at a different location on the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
as a possible source of Hmong–Mien languages.[120] Oceania[edit] Further information: Australian Aboriginal languages The only language isolates or language families predominantly spoken in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania that do not belong to one of the language families above are the indigenous languages of Melanesia (which number more than eight hundred or more in perhaps sixty language families), which are described with a geographic term that does not presume a genetic relationship between them as the Papuan languages, and the Australian aboriginal languages
Australian aboriginal languages
(of which there are about one hundred and fifty remaining in about ten language families, all of which, except the languages of the Pama–Nyungan languages
Pama–Nyungan languages
are largely confined to the central Northern coast of Australia). No linguists have found a language family connection between indigenous Papuan and Australian aboriginal languages
Australian aboriginal languages
and those of Asia, Africa, the Americas or any other part of the world. Indeed, no linguistic connection has been established between the indigenous languages of Melanesia and the indigenous languages of the Aboriginal Australians.[138] This is consistent with the mainstream view, supported by population genetics and archaeology, that Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as some of the islands neighboring Papua New Guinea, were first inhabited by hominins (humans or otherwise) at least 40,000 years ago in migrations that were either separate or swiftly segregated, and that many of these populations have had only limited contact with outside populations until the modern era. While there are plausible reasons to infer that the Melanesian languages and the aboriginal Australian languages, respectively, have common origins in a small founding population with a single language, the linguists have not been able to marshal lexical, phonetic and grammatical evidence from these languages in their current form to support these inferences. Americas[edit] Further information: Indigenous languages of the Americas
Indigenous languages of the Americas
and Classification schemes for indigenous languages of the Americas Na-Dene[edit]

Area of the Na-Dene languages

Since 2008, linguist Edward Vajda has been advocating, and attempting to demonstrate, a genetic link between the Na-Dene languages
Na-Dene languages
of North America and the Yeniseian languages
Yeniseian languages
of central Siberia, suggesting a homeland in Siberia
Siberia
or a back migration of Na-Dene speakers from Beringia. Na-Dene languages
Na-Dene languages
are spoken by Native Alaskans and some people from the First Nations
First Nations
of Western Canada, in the Pacific Northwest, and also includes the Southern Athabaskan languages
Southern Athabaskan languages
spoken in the American Southwest (e. g., the languages Apache and Navajo). The proposal, which does not originate with Vajda but is considerably older, is not generally accepted among linguists.[according to whom?] Eskimo-Aleut[edit] The Eskimo–Aleut languages
Eskimo–Aleut languages
are spoken by native peoples of the Arctic regions of Alaska
Alaska
and Canada
Canada
and Greenland, generally to the North of Na-Dene linguistic areas (shown on the map on the left).

Eskimo-Aleut languages

Current ancient and modern DNA
DNA
scholarship and archaeology supports a three-layer paradigm in which first the Saqqaq
Saqqaq
(Arctic Paleo-Eskimos) which was present 2000 BCE, then the Dorset (second wave Arctic Paleo-Eskimos), and finally the Thule
Thule
(proto-Inuit) from ca. 500 CE – 1000 CE, successively sweep Arctic North America while having little genetic impact on Native American populations further South, that presumably have origins that date back to the initial colonization of the Americas by modern humans from Asia (who are the first hominins to live there), and ancient DNA
DNA
shows genetic continuity from the Thule
Thule
to modern Inuit
Inuit
(whose genetics are remarkably homogeneous), dominated by the A2a, A2b, and D3 mtDNA haplotypes, while "Haplotype D2 (3%), found among modern Aleut and Siberian Eskimos, was identified at a low frequency in the modern samples but not the ancient. This haplotype was recently identified in an ancient Paleo-Eskimo
Paleo-Eskimo
Saqqaq
Saqqaq
individual from western Greenland. . . . Whole genomic sequencing of the 4,000-year-old PaleoEskimo, "Inuk," indicated that the Saqqaq
Saqqaq
sequences clustered with the Chukchi and Koryaks of Siberia-suggesting an earlier migration from Siberia
Siberia
along the northern slope of Alaska
Alaska
to Greenland."[139] Evidence such as bronze artifacts produced in East Asia from ca. 1000 CE, further supports a proto-Eskimo-Aleut arrival in the polar regions of North America ca. 500 CE – 1000 CE.[140]

Wakashan languages

The proto-Eskimo-Aleut migration to North America, associated with the Thule
Thule
expansion in North America ca. 500 CE, took place much more recently than the initial human population of North America, which took place more than 14,000 years ago. Also, the modern Inuit populations are genetically distinct from other indigenous populations of the Americas. Thus, evidence from genetics and archaeology strongly supports an East Asian origin for Eskimo-Aleut languages
Eskimo-Aleut languages
sometime in the last 1500 years that is distinct from most other indigenous languages of the Americas. But there is no linguistic consensus on any particular languages of East Asia with which this family of North American languages is associated.[141] It is entirely possible that Eastern Siberian languages most closely ancestral to Eskimo-Aleut are extinct. Many indigenous languages and cultures of this region have died in the face of expanded Russian cultural and national influence starting in the 18th century. Michael Fortescue in 1998 proposed a group of Uralo-Siberian languages, in which Uralic languages
Uralic languages
like Finnish were related to Eskimo-Aleut languages
Eskimo-Aleut languages
supported by lexical correspondences and grammatical similarities, expanding upon a proposal of Morris Swadesh in 1962 that itself reiterates similarities that have been noted since at least 1746.[142] Fortescue argues that the Uralo-Siberian proto-language (or a complex of related proto-languages) may have been spoken by Mesolithic
Mesolithic
hunting and fishing people in south-central Siberia
Siberia
(roughly, from the upper Yenisei
Yenisei
river to Lake Baikal) between 8000 and 6000 BCE, and that the proto-languages of the derived families may have been carried northward out of this homeland in several successive waves down to about 4000 BCE, leaving the Samoyedic branch of Uralic in occupation of the urheimat thereafter. A 2005 proposal by Holst, also reiterating a proposal of Swadesh from 1962, suggests that the Wakashan languages
Wakashan languages
(map on right) spoken in British Columbia around and on Vancouver Island, are part of the same language family as the Eskimo-Aleut languages.[143] This proposal, if accurate, would suggest that Na-Dene languages
Na-Dene languages
may have arrived in North America after (although not long after) Eskimo-Aleut languages. Phonologically, the Eskimo–Aleut languages
Eskimo–Aleut languages
resemble other languages of northern North America and far eastern Siberia. Uto-Aztecan[edit] Main article: Proto-Uto-Aztecan

Uto-Aztecan languages

Some authorities on the history of the Uto-Aztecan language group place its homeland in the border region between the USA and Mexico, namely the upland regions of Arizona and New Mexico and the adjacent areas of the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuaua, shown on the map (below left) roughly corresponding to the Sonoran Desert. The proto-language would have been spoken by foragers, about 5,000 years ago. Hill (2001) proposes instead a homeland further south, making the assumed speakers of Proto-Uto-Aztecan
Proto-Uto-Aztecan
maize cultivators in Mesoamerica, who were gradually pushed north, bringing maize cultivation with them, during the period of roughly 4,500 to 3,000 years ago, the geographic diffusion of speakers corresponding to the breakup of linguistic unity.[144] Tupian[edit]

Tupi languages

Tupian languages
Tupian languages
are predominantly spoken in eastern South America, Specially in Brazil and Paraguay with branches in neighboring countries. They are believed by some scholars to be related to Carib and Jê languages. The Tupian was once spoken by the powerful Tupian nations of the coast encountered by the Europeans. And still spoken by the tribes of Xingu and the Guarani to small nomadic peoples uncontacted in the Amazon. The language was adapted and used by the Bandeirantes
Bandeirantes
who spent most of their lives among the natives. These armies of explorers and raiders from São Paulo
São Paulo
who explored the then unknown interior of Brazil in search of gold and slaves. and transformed it in dialects who later become the Nhéngatu or Lingua Geral and made it the most widelly spoken language in Brazil until the Marquis of Pombal imposed the use of Portuguese in the Colony. Many branches are probably lost or were never recorded as the Tupian peoples don't have a writing system, And some dialects were spoken by groups were probably wiped out or enslaved by other groups or the Bandeirantes. José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta
a Canarian jesuit priest active in the Brazilian coast during the early Portuguese settlement, Was the first person to write and translate the tupi language. Rodrigues (2007) considers the Proto-Tupian homeland to be somewhere between the Guaporé and Aripuanã rivers, in the Madeira River basin.[2] Much of this area corresponds to the modern-day state of Rondônia, Brazil. 5 of the 10 Tupian branches are found in this area, as well as some Tupi–Guarani languages (especially Kawahíb), making it the probable urheimat of these languages and maybe of its speaking peoples. Rodrigues believes the Proto-Tupian language dates back to around 5,000 B.P. Other groups[edit] Further information: Models of migration to the New World Other than Dene-Yeniseian, and a possible connection between the Eskimo-Aleut language family and the Uralic language family, no proposals of genetic relations between languages of North or South America and languages of Eurasia, Africa, or other parts of the world, have been backed by credible evidence. There is not, for example, any indication that the Vikings who had a brief presence in North America around 1000 CE left any linguistic trace. Population genetic evidence suggests that the non-circumpolar indigenous peoples of the Americas have origins in a small common founder population in the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
era that arrived via a Berginian land bridge from Asia.[145][146][147][148] This population genetic data point suggests the possibility that all indigenous Native American languages of non-circumpolar indigenous Americans (i.e. neither Inuit-Aleut nor Na-Dene) have genetic origins in a single language of the founding population of the Americas, and hence, as controversially proposed by Greenberg, that they all ultimately belong to the same linguistic superfamily, which Greenberg called Amerind.[149] But, there is not clear evidence of this from efforts to use traditional comparative linguistic methods to classify indigenous Native American languages. The process of identifying linguistic origins with traditional linguistic methods begins with the process of classifying languages into families. In general, more progress has been made in identify language family relationships in North America, where the just under three hundred attested languages are grouped into twenty-nine language families and twenty-seven language isolates (some of which are simply incapable of being classified because they are extinct and were not sufficiently well attested to classify). Two (super-) family proposals, Penutian and Hokan generally along the Pacific coast of North America that are gaining currency among linguists, would reduce the number of language families in North America to about fifteen. However, in large portions of the Southeast United States where it is known that there was considerable pre-Columbian linguistic diversity, there are no attested indigenous languages and the populations in question either left no survivors, or all remaining speakers of relocated tribes with diminished numbers underwent language shift as their ancestral languages became moribund. Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
was home to one of the most developed succession of farming societies in the Americas in the pre-Columbian era. Mesoamerica's attested languages are likewise quite well systematized into six main language families and four other language isolates or small language families, as well as a few unclassified extinct languages, encompassing all of the languages in the region. Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
is also the only part of the Americas in which written languages were in use in the pre-Columbian era. In South America there are about 350 living indigenous languages (in addition to many creoles) and an estimated more than one thousand extinct languages, grouped into more than 140 categories, only ten of which have more than five languages which have been demonstrated to belong to the same language family. This is about three times as much linguistic diversity at the language family/language isolate level as North America and Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
combined. The naïve expectation from population genetics would have been that there would be less linguistic diversity, because the entire indigenous population of South America appears to derive genetically from only a subset of an already small indigenous founder population of the Americas as a whole, something illustrated, for example, by its lack several of the less common genetic haplotypes found in indigenous America outside South America (although genetic diversity has accumulated in these populations over time through mutations distinguishing these populations from the founder population genomes). Some of the lack of classification of indigenous South American languages may be simply attributable to the small number of linguists devoted to the task and the limited amount of information available about many of the languages. But the languages of the region may also simply be particularly diverse due to separation by great time depth and geographic isolation. The only other place in the world with comparable linguistic diversity that has not been reduced to a small number of language families is Papua New Guinea, which also experienced many millennia of isolation from the rest of the world that ended only relatively recently. See also[edit]

Sprachraum Nationalism and ancient history

Footnotes[edit]

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Agriculture" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania.  ^ Parpola, Asko. "Introduction to Study of the Indus Script". Harappa.com.  ^ Witzel, Michael (1999). "Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan" (PDF). Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies. 5 (1): 1–67. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21.  ^ Sahoo, Sanghamitra; Singh, Anamika; Himabindu, G.; et al. (2006). "A prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes: Evaluating demic diffusion scenarios". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (4): 843–848. Bibcode:2006PNAS..103..843S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507714103. PMC 1347984 . PMID 16415161.  ^ Sengupta, Sanghamitra; Zhivotovsky, Lev A.; King, Roy; et al. (2006). "Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distributions in India
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