What language families are the languages of the peoples of Southeast Asia in? Which ones are related to the languages of the Far East and Central Asia? What historical events are reflected in these connections?
Scientists have divided the languages of the peoples of Southeast Asia into three large families: Sino-Tibetan, Austrasian and Austronesian. The Sino-Tibetan language includes: the Chinese language and the group of Tibeto-Burmese languages. Austrasian includes a subgroup of Mon-Khmer languages (spoken by the peoples of Cambodia and Northern Burma), as well as Thai (spoken in Thailand) and the languages of some peoples of Vietnam and Laos. Austronesian covers the Malay language, most of the languages of Indonesia and the languages of the peoples of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia (except for a few languages related to the languages of the Papuans of New Guinea). Of these three language families, only Sino-Tibetan has a weak affinity with some of the “minor” languages of the Caucasus (Nakhskodagestani); its relationship with the ancient language of the Sumerians is also possible.
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