17 Facts About Austroasiatic languages


These Austroasiatic languages are scattered throughout parts of Thailand, Laos, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and southern China and are the majority Austroasiatic languages of Vietnam and Cambodia.

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The rest of the Austroasiatic languages are spoken by minority groups and have no official status.

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Austroasiatic languages have a disjunct distribution across Southeast Asia and parts of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and East Asia, separated by regions where other languages are spoken.

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Name Austroasiatic languages comes from a combination of the Latin words for "South" and "Asia", hence "South Asia".

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Austroasiatic languages are further characterized as having unusually large vowel inventories and employing some sort of register contrast, either between modal voice and breathy (lax) voice or between modal voice and creaky voice.

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However, some Austroasiatic languages have lost the register contrast by evolving more diphthongs or in a few cases, such as Vietnamese, tonogenesis.

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Indeed, when Sidwell replicated Peiros's study with Austroasiatic languages known well enough to account for loans, he did not find the internal (branching) structure below.

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Austroasiatic languages therefore takes the conservative view that the thirteen branches of Austroasiatic should be treated as equidistant on current evidence.

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In general, however, the family is thought to have diversified too quickly for a deeply nested structure to have developed, since Proto-Austroasiatic languages speakers are believed by Sidwell to have radiated out from the central Mekong river valley relatively quickly.

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Austroasiatic languages would have had two possible dispersal routes from the western periphery of the Pearl River watershed of Lingnan, which would have been either a coastal route down the coast of Vietnam, or downstream through the Mekong River via Yunnan.

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However, Sidwell found that iron is not reconstructable in Proto-Austroasiatic, since each Austroasiatic branch has different terms for iron that had been borrowed relatively lately from Tai, Chinese, Tibetan, Malay, and other languages.

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Austroasiatic languages dispersed coastal maritime routes and upstream through river valleys.

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Roger Blench proposes that there might have been other primary branches of Austroasiatic that are now extinct, based on substrate evidence in modern-day languages.

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From Mainland Southeast Asia, the Austroasiatic languages speakers expanded into the Indian-subcontinent and Maritime Southeast Asia.

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Early Austroasiatic languages speakers are estimated to have originated from an lineage, which split from Ancestral East Asians between 25, 000 and 15, 000 years ago, and were among the first wave to replace distinct Australasian-related groups in Insular Southeast Asia.

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Early Austroasiatic languages people were found to be best represented by the Mlabri people in modern day Thailand.

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The early Austroasiatic languages speakers are suggested to have been hunter-gatherers but became rice-agriculturalists quite early, spreading from Mainland Southeast Asia northwards to the Yangtze river, westwards into the Indian subcontinent, and southwards into Insular Southeast Asia.

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