Sino-Tibetan languages

Sino-TibetanSino-Tibetan languageSino-Tibetan language familyProto-Sino-TibetanSino-Tibetan peoplesSino-Tibetan familyTrans-HimalayanProto-Sino-Tibetan languagefallen leavesMongoloid languages
Sino-Tibetan, in a few sources also known as Trans-Himalayan, is a family of more than 400 languages, second only to Indo-European in number of native speakers.wikipedia
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Burmese language

BurmeseMyanmarMyanmar language
The Sino-Tibetan languages with the most native speakers are the varieties of Chinese (1.3 billion), Burmese (33 million) and the Tibetic languages (6 million).
The Burmese language (မြန်မာဘာသာ, MLCTS: mranmabhasa, IPA: ) is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Myanmar where it is an official language and the language of the Bamar people, the country's principal ethnic group.

Classification schemes for Southeast Asian languages

Southeast Asian languagesSoutheast Asian languageLanguages of Southeast Asia
Several links to other language families have been proposed, but none has broad acceptance.
A number of language groups in Arunachal Pradesh traditionally considered to be Sino-Tibetan (Tibeto-Burman) may in fact constitute independent language families or isolates (Roger Blench 2011).

Proto-Tibeto-Burman language

Proto-Tibeto-Burmanproto-TibetanPTB
Instead of building the entire family tree, he set out to reconstruct a Proto-Tibeto-Burman language by comparing five major languages, with occasional comparisons with other languages.
The Proto-Tibeto-Burman language is the reconstructed ancestor of the Tibeto-Burman languages, that is, the Sino-Tibetan languages except for Chinese.

Chinese language

ChineseChinese:Regional dialect
It was cited together with the lack of reconstructable shared morphology, and evidence that much shared lexical material has been borrowed from Chinese into Tibeto-Burman, by Christopher Beckwith, one of the few scholars still arguing that Chinese is not related to Tibeto-Burman.
Chinese (or especially though not exclusively for written Chinese: ) is a group of languages that forms the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages.

Tibeto-Burman languages

Tibeto-BurmanTibeto-Burman languageTibeto-Burmese
It was cited together with the lack of reconstructable shared morphology, and evidence that much shared lexical material has been borrowed from Chinese into Tibeto-Burman, by Christopher Beckwith, one of the few scholars still arguing that Chinese is not related to Tibeto-Burman. Although the family is traditionally presented as divided into Sinitic (i.e. Chinese) and Tibeto-Burman branches, a common origin of the non-Sinitic languages has never been demonstrated. The study further suggests that there was an initial major split between the Sinitic languages and the Tibeto-Burman languages approximately 4,200 - 7,800 years ago (with an average of 5,900 years ago), associating this expansion with the Yangshao culture and/or the later Majiayao culture.
The Tibeto-Burman languages are the non-Sinitic members of the Sino-Tibetan language family, over 400 of which are spoken throughout the highlands of Southeast Asia as well as certain parts of East Asia and South Asia.

Austroasiatic languages

AustroasiaticMon–KhmerMon-Khmer
However, the reconstruction of the family is much less developed than for families such as Indo-European or Austroasiatic.
They appear to be the extant autochthonous languages of Southeast Asia (excluding the Andaman Islands), with the neighboring Indo-Aryan, Kra–Dai, Hmong-Mien, Dravidian, Austronesian, and Sino-Tibetan languages being the result of later migrations.

Old Chinese phonology

*Old Chinesephonology of Old Chinese
Scholars have sought to reconstruct the phonology of Old Chinese by comparing the obscure descriptions of the sounds of Middle Chinese in medieval dictionaries with phonetic elements in Chinese characters and the rhyming patterns of early poetry.
Supplementary evidence has been drawn from cognates in other Sino-Tibetan languages and in Min Chinese, which split off before the Middle Chinese period, Chinese transcriptions of foreign names, and early borrowings from and by neighbouring languages such as Hmong–Mien, Tai and Tocharian languages.

Qiangic languages

QiangicQiangQiangic branch
Of particular interest was the discovery of a new branch of the family, the Qiangic languages of western Sichuan and adjacent areas.
Qiangic (Ch'iang, Kyang, Tsiang, Chinese: 羌語支 "Qiang language group"), formerly known as Dzorgaic, is a group of related languages within the Sino-Tibetan language family.

Nicholas Bodman

Nicholas C. Bodman
For example, recent reconstructions of Old Chinese have reduced Karlgren's 15 vowels to a six-vowel system originally suggested by Nicholas Bodman.
Nicholas Cleaveland Bodman (July 27, 1913 – June 29, 1997) was an American linguist who made fundamental contributions to the study of historical Chinese phonology and Sino-Tibetan languages.

Hmong–Mien languages

Hmong–MienHmong-MienMiao–Yao
Unlike Western linguists, Chinese linguists generally include Kra–Dai and Hmong–Mien languages within Sino-Tibetan.
Early linguistic classifications placed the Hmong–Mien languages in the Sino-Tibetan family, where they remain in many Chinese classifications, but the current consensus among Western linguists is that they constitute a family of their own.

Old Chinese

OCancient ChineseArchaic Chinese
Old Chinese is by far the oldest recorded Sino-Tibetan language, with inscriptions dating from 1200 BC and a huge body of literature from the first millennium BC, but the Chinese script is not alphabetic.
Most researchers trace the core vocabulary of Old Chinese to Sino-Tibetan, with much early borrowing from neighbouring languages.

Yunnan

Yunnan ProvinceYunnan, ChinaYunnanese
Burmese speakers first entered the northern Irrawaddy basin from what is now western Yunnan in the early 9th century, when the Pyu city-states had been weakened by an invasion by Nanzhao.
The area was controlled by the Sino-Tibetan-speaking kingdom of Nanzhao (738-937), followed by the Bai-ruled Dali Kingdom (937-1253).

August Conrady

August Conrady called this group Indo-Chinese in his influential 1896 classification, though he had doubts about Karen.
He put forward his research findings in 1896 on the relationship between the prefix and tones in the Sino-Tibetan languages, in the work Eine Indo-Chinesische causative-Denominativ-Bildung und ihr Zusammenhang mit den Tonaccenten (1896).

Gong Hwang-cherng

Gong Hwang cherng
Gong Hwang-cherng has compared Old Chinese, Tibetic, Burmese and Tangut in an effort to establish sound correspondences between those languages.
Gong Hwang-cherng (1934–2010) was a Taiwan Chinese linguist who specialized in Sino-Tibetan comparative linguistics and the phonetic reconstruction of Tangut and Old Chinese.

Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area

tone splitSinosphereareal
In the Western scholarly community, these languages are no longer included in Sino-Tibetan, with the similarities attributed to diffusion across the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area, especially since.
The languages of Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) form a linguistic area, which stretches from Thailand to China and spans the Sino-Tibetan, Hmong–Mien (or Miao–Yao), Kra–Dai, Austronesian (represented by Chamic) and Austroasiatic families.

Kra–Dai languages

Tai–KadaiTai-KadaiKra-Dai
Unlike Western linguists, Chinese linguists generally include Kra–Dai and Hmong–Mien languages within Sino-Tibetan.
The Kra–Dai languages were formerly considered to be part of the Sino-Tibetan family, partly because they contain large numbers of words that are similar to Sino-Tibetan languages.

Lolo-Burmese languages

Lolo–BurmeseLolo-BurmeseLolo-Burmese language
Several low-level branches of the family, particularly Lolo-Burmese, have been securely reconstructed, but in the absence of a secure reconstruction of a Sino-Tibetan proto-language, the higher-level structure of the family remains unclear.
]]The Lolo-Burmese languages (also Burmic languages) of Burma and Southern China form a coherent branch of the Sino-Tibetan family.

Boro–Garo languages

Bodo–GaroBodo-GaroBodo–Garo languages
The Boro–Garo languages are a branch of Sino-Tibetan languages, spoken primarily in Northeast India and parts of Bangladesh.

Language isolate

isolateisolateslanguage isolates
Thus, a conservative classification of Sino-Tibetan/Tibeto-Burman would posit several dozen small coordinate families and isolates; attempts at subgrouping are either geographic conveniences or hypotheses for further research.
For example, English is related to other Indo-European languages and Mandarin Chinese is related to other Sino-Tibetan languages.

Tani languages

TaniAdi–Galo–Mishing–NishiApatani (Tanii)
Tani (alternatively Miric, Adi–Galo–Mishing–Nishi (Bradley 1997), or Abor–Miri–Dafla (Matisoff 2003)), is a branch of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, India and neighboring regions.

Yangshao culture

YangshaoYangshao bowlYangshao people
The study further suggests that there was an initial major split between the Sinitic languages and the Tibeto-Burman languages approximately 4,200 - 7,800 years ago (with an average of 5,900 years ago), associating this expansion with the Yangshao culture and/or the later Majiayao culture.
Recent research indicates a common origin of the Sino-Tibetan languages with the Cishan, Yangshao and/or the Majiayao cultures.

Tone (linguistics)

tonetonal languagetones
Tai and Miao–Yao were included because they shared isolating typology, tone systems and some vocabulary with Chinese.
Contour systems are typical of languages of the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area, including Kra–Dai, Vietic and Sino-Tibetan languages.

Ao languages

AoCentral NagaCentral Naga (Ao)
The Ao or Central Naga languages are a small family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by various Naga peoples of Nagaland in northeast India.

Tangkhulic languages

TangkhulicTangkhulTangkhulic branch
The Tangkhulic and Tangkhul languages are a group of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken mostly in northeastern Manipur, India.

Digaro languages

DigaroDengMishmi
The Digaro (Digarish) or Northern Mishmi (Mishmic) languages are a small family of possibly Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by the Mishmi people of southeastern Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh.