Austro-Tai languages

Austro-TaiAustro-Tai hypothesisAustro-Tai peoplesAustro-Tai rootAustro-Thai
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.wikipedia
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Austronesian languages

AustronesianAustronesian languageAustronesian language family
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.
A competing Austro-Tai proposal linking Austronesian and Kra-Dai was first proposed by Paul K. Benedict, and is supported by Weera Ostapirat, Roger Blench, and Laurent Sagart, based on the traditional comparative method.

Austric languages

AustricAustric hypothesisAustric theory
Related proposals include Austric (Wilhelm Schmidt in 1906) and Sino-Austronesian (Laurent Sagart in 1990, 2005).
However, he later abandoned the Austric proposal in favor of an extended version of the Austro-Tai hypothesis.

Kra–Dai languages

Tai–KadaiTai-KadaiKra-Dai
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.
Among proponents, there is yet no agreement as to whether they are a sister group to Austronesian in a family called Austro-Tai, a back-migration from Taiwan to the mainland, or a later migration from the Philippines to Hainan during the Austronesian expansion.

Buyang language

BuyangBu'''yangBuyang (Bu–Rong)
Sagart (2004) presented data from a newly described Kra language, Buyang, which—like many other Kra languages—retains the disyllabic roots characteristic of Austronesian.
It is important to the reconstruction of the hypothetical macrofamily Austro-Tai as it retains the disyllabic roots characteristic of Austronesian languages.

Sino-Austronesian languages

Sino-AustronesianSino-Austric languagesSino-Austronesian family
Related proposals include Austric (Wilhelm Schmidt in 1906) and Sino-Austronesian (Laurent Sagart in 1990, 2005). Sagart (2005b) suggests that Austronesian (including Tai-Kadai) is ultimately related to the Sino-Tibetan languages, forming a Sino-Austronesian family.

Proto-Kra language

Proto-Kra
Ostapirat (2000) reconstructed proto-Kra, one of the least-well attested branches of Kra–Dai.

Sino-Tibetan languages

Sino-TibetanSino-Tibetan languageSino-Tibetan language family
Sagart (2005b) suggests that Austronesian (including Tai-Kadai) is ultimately related to the Sino-Tibetan languages, forming a Sino-Austronesian family.
Benedict overtly excluded Vietnamese (placing it in Mon–Khmer) as well as Hmong–Mien and Kra–Dai (placing them in Austro-Tai).

Zhuang people

ZhuangZhuangsthe Zhuang
However, the Austro-Tai hypothesis uniting these families is now supported by only a few scholars.

Paul K. Benedict

BenedictBenedict, Paul K.Paul Benedict
The first proposal of a genealogical relationship was that of Paul Benedict in 1942, which he expanded upon through 1990.
He is well known for his 1942 proposal of the Austro-Tai language family and also his reconstruction of Proto-Sino-Tibetan and Proto-Tibeto-Burman.

Taiwan

Republic of ChinaFormosaRepublic of China (Taiwan)
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Maritime Southeast Asia

Insular Southeast AsiaIsland South East AsiaMaritime South East Asia
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.

List of islands in the Pacific Ocean

Pacific IslandsPacific IslandPacific
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Madagascar

MalagasyMadagascanMalagasy politician
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Mainland Southeast Asia

IndochinaIndo-ChinaIndochinese
The Austro-Tai languages, sometimes also Austro-Thai languages, are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar, as well as the Kra–Dai languages (also known as "Tai–Kadai") spoken in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Wilhelm Schmidt (linguist)

Wilhelm Schmidt Wilhelm SchmidtPeter Wilhelm Schmidt
Related proposals include Austric (Wilhelm Schmidt in 1906) and Sino-Austronesian (Laurent Sagart in 1990, 2005).

Laurent Sagart

SagartSagart, Laurent
Related proposals include Austric (Wilhelm Schmidt in 1906) and Sino-Austronesian (Laurent Sagart in 1990, 2005).

Language contact

contact languagecontactcontact linguistics
The question then is whether they are due to language contact—i.e. borrowing—or to common descent—i.e. a genealogical relationship.

Japonic languages

JaponicJaponic language familyJaponic language
Benedict later abandoned Austric but maintained his Austro-Tai proposal, adding the Japonic languages to the proposal as well.

Comparative method

comparativesound correspondenceComparative method (linguistics)
The proposal remained controversial among linguists, especially after the publication of Benedict (1975) whose methods of reconstruction were idiosyncratic and considered unreliable. For example, Thurgood (1994) examined Benedict's claims and concluded that since the sound correspondences and tonal developments were irregular, there was no evidence of a genealogical relationship, and the numerous cognates must be chalked up to early language contact.

Tone (linguistics)

tonetonal languagetones
For example, Thurgood (1994) examined Benedict's claims and concluded that since the sound correspondences and tonal developments were irregular, there was no evidence of a genealogical relationship, and the numerous cognates must be chalked up to early language contact.

Swadesh list

core vocabularySwadesh65% cognate
However, the fact that many of the Austro-Tai cognates are found in core vocabulary, which is generally more resistant to borrowing, continued to intrigue scholars.

Proto-Austronesian language

Proto-AustronesianPANAustronesian
Ostapirat (2005) later presented fifty core vocabulary items found in all five branches of Kra–Dai, and demonstrated that half of them—words such as child, eat, eye, fire, hand, head, I, you, louse, moon, tooth, water, this, etc.—can be related to proto-Austronesian by regular sound correspondences, a connection which Reid (2006) finds convincing.

Vowel reduction

reducedreduced vowelreduction
It appears that in Kra–Dai, the first vowel reduced and then dropped out, leaving a consonant cluster which frequently reduced further to a single consonant.

Consonant cluster

consonant clustersclusterscluster
It appears that in Kra–Dai, the first vowel reduced and then dropped out, leaving a consonant cluster which frequently reduced further to a single consonant.

Sonorant

sonorantssonorant consonantResonant
In proto-Kra–Dai, there appear to have been three tones in words ending in a sonorant (vowel or nasal consonant), labeled simply A, B, C, plus words ending in a stop consonant, D, which did not have tone.