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Sino-Tibetan languages

Table 42: Tibetic (Bodic) Languages*

A group of Sino-Tibetan languages inNagaland(Nagish, not to be confused with theNagabranch of Kukish; including Mo Shang, Namsang, and Banpara) has affinities to Baric.

. The Shan language belongs to the Tai family. Languages spoken by the Mon of southern Myanmar and by the Wa and Palaung of the Shan Plateau are members of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of Austroasiatic languages.

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Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken in theTibet Autonomous Region of Chinaand inMyanmar(Burma); in theHimalayas, including the countries ofNepalandBhutanand the state ofSikkim, India; inAssamIndia, and inPakistanandBangladesh. They also are spoken by hill tribes throughout mainland Southeast Asia and central China (the provinces ofGansuQinghaiSichuan, andYunnan). Tibetic (i.e.,Tibetanin the widest sense of the word)comprisesa number of dialects and languages spoken in Tibet and the Himalayas.BurmicBurmesein its widest application) includesYi(Lolo),Hani,Lahu,Lisu,Kachin(Jingpo),Kuki-Chin, the obsoleteXixia(Tangut), and other languages. The Tibetan writing system (which dates from the 7th century) and the Burmese (dating from the 11th century) are derived from the Indo-Aryan (Indic) tradition. The Xixia system (developed in the 11th13th century in northwestern China) was based on the Chinese model.Pictographicwriting systems, which show some influence from Chinese, were developed within the past 500 years byYiandNaxi(formerly Moso) tribes in western China. In modern times many Tibeto-Burman languages have acquired writing systems in Roman (Latin) script or in the script of the host country (Thai, Burmese, Indic, and others).

Table 44: Baric (Bodo-Garo) Languages

, group of languages that includes both theChineseand theTibeto-Burman languages. In terms of numbers of speakers, theycomprisethe worlds second largest language family (afterIndo-European), including more than 300 languages and majordialects. In a wider sense, Sino-Tibetan has been defined as also including theKarenlanguage families. Some scholars also include theHmong-Mien(Miao-Yao) languages and even theKet languageof centralSiberia, but the affiliation of these languages to the Sino-Tibetan group has not been conclusively demonstrated. Other linguists connect theMon-Khmerfamily of theAustroasiaticstock or theAustronesian(Malayo-Polynesian) family, or both, with Sino-Tibetan; a suggested term for this mostinclusivegroup, which seems to be based on premature speculations, isSino-Austric. Yet other scholars see a relationship of Sino-Tibetan with theAthabaskanand other languages ofNorth America, but proof of this is beyond reach at the present state of knowledge.

Although the word order of subjectobjectverb (SOV) and modifiedmodifier prevails in Tibeto-Burman, the order subjectverbobject (SVO) and modifiermodified occurs in Karenic. In this respect Chinese is like Karen, although Old Chinese shows remnants of the Tibeto-Burman word order. Tai employs still another order: subjectverbobject (SVO), and modifiedmodifier, like Austric but unlike Hmong-Mien, which follows the Karen and Chinese model. Word order, even more than any of the other distinguishing features, points to diffusion from several centres, or to unrelated substrata.

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The Tibetic (also called the Bodic, from Bod, the Tibetan name for Tibet) division comprises theBodish-Himalayish, Kirantish, andMirishlanguage groups.

Most Sino-Tibetan languages possess or can be shown to have at one time possessed derivational and morphological affixesi.e., word elements attached before or after or within the main stem of a word that change or modify the meaning in some way. Many prefixes can be reconstructed forProto-Sino-Tibetan:s- (causative),m- (intransitive),b-,d-,g-, andr-, and many more for certain language divisions and units. Among the suffixes, -s(used with several types of verbs and nouns), -t, and-nare inherited from the protolanguage. The problem of whether Proto-Sino-Tibetan made use of -r- and -l- infixes (besides perhaps semivocalic infixes) has not been solved. Whether clusters containing these sounds were the result of prefixation to roots beginning inrandl(andy) or came about through infixation is not clear.

440,000 Eastern (Bahing) branch: Bahing, eastern Nepal Sunwar, Dumi, Khambu, Rodong, Waiing, Lambi- chong, Lohorung, Limbu, Yakha Western (Vayu) branch: Vayu, central Nepal Chepang; Magari (perhaps) Newari central Nepal 550,000

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Thailand: Sino-Tibetan and other languages

The old literary languages, Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese, are generally considered as representatives of three major divisions within Sino-Tibetan (Sinitic, Tibetic, and Burmic, respectively). A fourth literary language,Thai, or Siamese (written from the 13th century), represents what was accepted for a long time as aTaidivision of Sino-Tibetan or as a division of a Sino-Tai family. This relationship is now more commonly considered nongenetic in that most of the shared vocabulary is more likely attributable to a history of cultural borrowing than to derivation from a common ancestral language.

The position ofProto-Sino-Tibetancan be defined in terms of a chain of interrelated languages and language groups: Sinitic is connected with Tibetic through a body of shared vocabulary and typological features, similarly Tibetic with Baric, Baric with Burmic, and Burmic with Karenic. The chain continues at both ends, connecting Sinitic to Tai and Tai to Austronesian and also connecting Karenic with Austroasiatic. Considerations of basic vocabulary versus cultural loans and diffusion versus inheritance have led scholars to believe that only the members of the chain from Sinitic to Karenic share a common ancestral language; especially Sinitic and Karenic are under suspicion for containing only superstrata of Sino-Tibetan origin.

As in Karen and Burmese-Loloish, the tones of Sinitic can be reduced to two (with some syllables or syllabic types being neutral or unaffected by the tonal system; the modern Sinitic languages have from two to as many as eight or nine tones). Monosyllabicity of roots and morphological affixation were characteristic features of Proto-Sino-Tibetan as they were of Proto-Tibeto-Karen.

Reconstructed prehistoric Chinese is known asProto-Sinitic(or Proto-Chinese). The oldest historic language of China is calledArchaic, or Old, Chinese (8th3rd centuries), and that of the next period up to and including theTang dynasty(618907Ancient, or Middle, Chinese. Languages of later periods include Old, Middle, and Modern Mandarin (the name Mandarin is a translation of, civil servant language). Through history the Sinitic language area has constantly expanded from the Middle Kingdom around the easternHuang He(Yellow River) to its present size. The persistence of a common nonphonetic writing system for centuries explains why the wordhas had widespread usage for referring to the modern speech forms. The present-day spoken languages are not mutually intelligible (some are further apart thanPortugueseis fromItalian), and neither are the major subdivisions within each group. The variation is slightest in the western and southwestern provinces and greatest along the Huang He and in the coastal areas. The table gives the percentage of Chinese people speaking each of the various Chinese languages.

The Baric, or Bodo-Garo, division consists of a number of languages spoken in Assam and falls into aBodobranch (not to be confused with Bodic-Tibetic, and Bodish, a subdivision of Tibetic) and a Garo branch.

Greater dissimilarity is encountered with respect to Proto-Sinitic. The contrast of aspirated and unaspirated voiceless stops in initial position is most likely the result of lost initial cluster elements as in Proto-Tibeto-Burman. The voiced stops possibly also had the aspiratedunaspirated distinction. Unlike Tibeto-Burman, two series of stops in syllable final position are posited for Old Chinese, but it is not clear if the contrast involved voicing or other features. One series is in general without an exact correspondence in Tibeto-Burman languages, but Burmish Maru has final stops in a number of these words. Similar isolated cases are found in Tibetan and inTai.

Old Chinese has two more relevant points of articulation, or sound-producing positions of the mouth, than Proto-Tibeto-Burman:palatal(in which the tongue blade touches the palate) andretroflex(in which the tip of the tongue is curled upward toward the palate). But these two types of sounds may be explained as the result of influence from lost Proto-Sinitic medial sounds (a palatal -y- and a retroflex -r-). The relationship between these specific medial sounds and similar elements in Tibeto-Karen is, however, not certain. Dentalaffricatesounds in Old Chinese, which begin as stops with complete stoppage of the breath stream and conclude asfricativeswith incomplete air stoppage and audible friction, can at least be explained partly as metathesized (transposed) forms of prefixs- plus a dental sound in Proto-Sinitic (e.g.,stchanges tots). Old Chinese possessed initial consonant clusters containing -l- as a second element, so Proto-Sinitic can reasonably be supposed to have had the same three medial elements as Proto-Tibeto-Burman: -y-, -l-, and -r-. There are few, if any, traces in Old Chinese of the more complicated clusters and the minor syllables of Tibeto-Burman.

The sound system ofProto-Karenic appears closely related to that of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. The tonal classes can be reduced to two, which connect Karen to Burmic, Sinitic, Tai, and Hmong-Mien.

and Tibeto-Burman (a subfamily of Sino-Tibetan). There are also several isolate languages, such as Nahali, which is spoken in a small area of Madhya Pradesh state. The overwhelming majority of Indians speak Indo-Iranian or Dravidian languages.

Southeast Asia: Linguistic composition

A number of Tibeto-Burman languages that are difficult to classify have marginal affiliations with Burmic. The Luish languages (Andro, Sengmai, Kadu, Sak, and perhaps also Chairel) inManipur, India, andadjacentMyanmar resemble Kachin;Nung (including Rawang and Trung) in Kachin state in Myanmar and in Yunnan province, China, has similarities with Kachin; andMikir in Assam, as well asMru andMeitei(Meetei) in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, seem close to Kukish.

The Sino-Tibetan noun is typically acollectiveterm, designating all members of its class, like the Englishmanused to signify all human beings. In a number of modern Sino-Tibetan languages, such a noun can be counted or modified by a demonstrative pronoun only indirectly through a smaller number of noncollective nouns, called classifiers, in constructions such as one person man, one animal dog, and so on, much like parallel cases in Indo-European (in English, one head of cattle; in German,ein Kopf Salatone head of lettuce). The phenomenon is absent in Tibetan and appears late in Burmese and Chinese. Furthermore, classifiers are not exclusively Sino-Tibetan; they exist also in Hmong-Mien, Tai, Austric, andJapanese. In Classical Chinese, Tai, and Burmese, the classifier construction follows the noun, whereas in modern Chinese, as in Hmong-Mien, it precedes it. Classifiers are of later origin and do not belong to Proto-Sino-Tibetan.

A number of features have beendelineatedas common for the Sino-Tibetan languages. Many of them can be shown to be of a typological nature, the result ofdiffusionand underlying unrelated language strata.

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Distribution and classification of Sino-Tibetan languages

In attempting to determine the exact interrelationship of theTai languages, Karenic, Sino-Tibetan, and several marginal tongues, scholars must keep in mind that a discernible layer of Sino-Tibetan features in a given language may have been superimposed upon an older, non-Sino-Tibetan foundation (called the substratum language). Attributing a language to Sino-Tibetan or to another family may depend entirely on the ability of scholars to identify the substratum. Thus, if Tai is not considered as a division of Sino-Tibetan, it is because the substratum has been recognized asAustronesian; if Karen is still included among Sino-Tibetan languages on some level, it is perhaps because identification of a substratum is still lacking. Among the languages that have been classified as Sino-Tibetan, a great many are known only from word lists or have not yet been described in a way that makes valid comparisons possible.

At the end of the 18th and during the first half of the 19th century a great number of languages were investigated by Western scholars in the Himalayas, in India, and in China, and word lists and grammatical sketches began to appear. By the late 19th century a foundation had been laid for Sino-Tibetancomparativestudies.

Avernacularwritten tradition exists mainly in Beijing Mandarin and in Cantonese, spoken in the vicinity of Guangzhou (Canton). An unwritten storytelling tradition has survived in most languages. The school and radio language is Modern Standard Chinese in China as well as in Taiwan and Singapore. In Hong Kong, Cantonese prevails as the language of education and in thecommunicationmedia, but efforts are now made to adopt Modern Standard Chinese as a norm. The same orthographic system is employed, with some variations, by all speakers of Chinese.

The comparative method for determining genetic relationship among languages was worked out in detail forIndo-Europeanduring the latter part of the 19th century. It rests on the assumption that sound correspondences in related words and morphological units, as well as structural similarities on all levels (phonology,morphology, syntax), can be explained in terms of a reconstructed common language, or protolanguage. Structural or typological similarities, however, are in many cases due to interaction amongcontiguouslanguages over a long time, creating so-called linguistic, or language, areas. The morphology andsyntaxof the Sino-Tibetan languages are for the most part rather simple and nonspecific, and the length of time involved in the separation of subfamilies and divisions is such that comparative phonological statements are often difficult to reduce to concise correspondences and laws.

Especially in the older stages of Sino-Tibetan, the distinction of verbs and nouns appears blurred; both overlap extensively in the OldChinese writingsystem. Philological tradition as well as Sinitic reconstruction show, however, that frequently, when the verb and the noun were written alike, they were pronounced differently, the differencemanifestingitself later in the tonal system. Verbs and nouns also used different sets of particles.

Voiced and voiceless initial stops alternate in the same root in many Sino-Tibetan languages, including Chinese, Burmese, and Tibetan (voiced in intransitive, voiceless in transitive verbs). The German Oriental scholarAugust Conrady linked this morphological system to the causatives- prefix, which was supposed to have caused devoicing of voiced stops. (Voicing is the vibration of the vocal cords, as occurs, for example, in the soundsb, d, g, z, and so on. Devoicing, or voicelessness, is the pronunciation of sounds without vibration of the vocal cords, as inp, t, k, s.) Such alternating of the initial consonant cannot itself be reconstructed for the protolanguage.

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The Burmic division comprises Burmish, Kachinish, and Kukish.

Most Baric languages lack tones altogether; and Burmic, Karenic, and Sinitic tonal systems can be reduced to two basic tones ultimately probably accounted for by different syllabic endings. What can be reconstructed for Proto-Sino-Tibetan, the language from which all the modern Sino-Tibetan languages developed, are a set of conditioning factors (as, for example, certain syllabic endings) that resulted in tones; the tones themselves cannot be reconstructed. Again the features that encouraged the development of tones are not uniquely Sino-Tibetan; similar conditions have produced similar effects in Tai and Hmong-Mien andwithin the Austroasiatic languagesinVietnameseand in the embryonic form of two registers (pitches or vocal qualities) also in Cambodian.

A number of Sino-Tibetan languages are enumerated below together with their most likely affiliation. Some scholars believe the Tibetic and Burmic divisions to be premature and that for the present their subdivisions (such asBodish,Himalayish,Kirantish,Burmish,Kachinish, and Kukish) should be considered as the classificatory peaks around which other Sino-Tibetan languages group themselves as members or more or less distant relatives. Certainly the stage has not yet been reached in which definite boundaries can be laid down and ancestral Proto-, or Common, Tibetic and Proto-, or Common, Burmic can be undisputedly reconstructed.

Interrelationship of the language groups

Sinitic stands apart from Tibetic and Burmic on many grounds, including vocabulary,morphologysyntax, andphonology. Most scholars agree on combining Tibetic and Burmic into aTibeto-Burmansubfamily, which also includes Bodo-Garo or Baric but not Karenic. If Karenic is to be considered Sino-Tibetan, it must be set up as an independent member of a Tibeto-Karen group that includes Tibeto-Burman. The specialaffinitiesbetween Sinitic and Karenic (especially in syntax) are then considered secondary. The two closely related language groups,Hmong andMien (also known as Miao and Yao), are thought by some to be very remotely related to Sino-Tibetan; they are spoken in western China and northern mainland Southeast Asia and may well be of Austro-Tai stock.

areas where spoken number of speakers* Bodo branch the plains of Assam Bodo 1,000,000 Dimasa 70,000 Garo branch the hills of 504,000 Achik, Abeng, Dacca Meghalaya Atong, Rabha, Ruga, Koch *Approximate.

Thehypothesisthat the Sino-Tibetan languages are all related and derive from a common source depends on phonological correspondences in shared vocabulary more than on any other argument. It isironicthat the clearest and most convincing results should have been obtained from studies of the Sinitic-Tai similarities, which probably do not indicate a true case of genetic relationship. In 1942 most of the words in this grouping were shown to be cultural loans (then thought of as Chinese loanwords in Tai, now believed to a very large extent to be borrowings in the opposite direction).

InThailand: Sino-Tibetan and other languages

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The Karenic languages of Karen state in Myanmar and adjacent areas in Myanmar andThailandinclude the two major languages of thePho(Pwo) andSgaw, which have some 3.2 million speakers. Taungthu (Pa-o) is close to Pho, and Palaychi to Sgaw. There are several minor groups.

A comparison of Old Chinese and Old Tibetan made byWalter Simon in 1929, although limited in some ways, pointed to enough sound resemblances in important items of basic vocabulary to eliminate the possibility of coincidental similarities between unrelated languages. A few examples of similar words in Old Tibetan and Old Chinese, respectively, follow: bent,gugandgyuk; eye,myigandmyəkw; friend,grogsandgyəgw; kill,gsodandsriat; onion,btsongandtshung; rise,langandrang; single, one,gcigandtyik; sun,nyiandnyit. The American linguistPaul Benedictbrought in material from other Sino-Tibetan languages and laid down the rule that thecomparative linguistshould accept perfect phonetic correspondences with inexact though close semantic equivalences in preference to perfect semantic equivalences with questionable phonetic correspondences. New material and competent descriptions later made it possible to reconstruct important features of common ancestral languages within major divisions of Sino-Tibetan (notably Lolo, Baric, Tibetic, Kachin, Kukish, Karenic, Sinitic).

areas where spoken number of speakers**

Sino-Tibetan languages were known for a long time by the name of Indochinese, which is now restricted to the languages ofVietnamLaos, andCambodia. They were also called Tibeto-Chinese until the now universally accepteddesignationSino-Tibetan was adopted. The term Sinitic also has been used in the same sense, but also as below for the Chinese subfamily exclusively. (In the following discussion of language groups, the ending-ic, as in Sinitic, indicates a relatively large group of languages, and-ishdenotes a smaller grouping.)

Non-Chinese Sino-Tibetan languages of China include some Lolo-type languages (Burmish)Yi, with nearly 7,000,000 speakers in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Guangxi;Hani(Akha) with about 500,000 speakers in Yunnan;Lisu, with approximately 610,000 speakers in Yunnan;Lahu, with about 440,000 speakers in Yunnan; andNaxi, with approximately 300,000 speakers mostly in Yunnan and Sichuan. Other Sino-Tibetan languages in Yunnan and Sichuan are Kachin and the closely related Atsi (Zaiwa); Achang, Nu, Pumi (Primi), Qiang, Gyarung, Xifan; and Bai (Minjia, probably a separate branch within Sinitic).

Tibetan (with branches and Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, 4,890,000 dialects) Pakistan, sporadically in India, the Chinese provinces of Kansu, Tsinghai, Szechwan, and Yunnan Central group: Lhasa, Khams, Nepal, China Kagate, Jad, Nyamkat (Mnyamskad) Southern group: Spiti, Sharpa, Bhutan, India, Nepal Sikkim, Lhoke Northern group: Ambo China (Ngambo), Chone Western group: Balti, Purik India, Pakistan (Burig), Ladakhi (Ladwags) Derge China Gurung central Nepal 230,000 Gyarung (Rgyarung) Tibet, Szechwan 100,000

TheProto-Tibeto-Burman languagewas monosyllabic. Some grammatical units may have had the form of minor syllables before the major syllable (*ma-, *ba-) or after the major syllable (*-ma, *-ba). (An asterisk [*] indicates that the form it precedes is unattested and has been reconstructed as a possible ancestral form.) The consonants were three voiceless stops (p, t, k), which were aspirated in absolute initial position, three voiced stops (b, d, g), and three nasal sounds (m, n, ŋ[as the -nginsing]). There were five continuant sounds (s, z, r, l, andh) and two semivowels (w, y). In final position there was only one set of stops, but there were a number of initial and final clusters mainly resulting from the addition of prefixes and suffixes. Three degrees of vowel opening existed with two members in each:iandu, eando, aandaa(short and longa). Length may have been relevant also with theianduandeandovowels. The conditioning factors that led to the development of tones can be shown to have been voicedvoiceless contrast in initial and final consonants and consonant clusters. Because the conditioning factors were involved with morphological process (affixation and consonant alternation), tonal systems could also acquire certain grammatical or structural functions. An independent morphological system involved or resulted invowel alternation.

. Some of these migrants still speak such diverse Chinese languages as Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese, and Cantonese. These languages, which were once spoken

InIndia: Dravidian and other languages

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The Sino-Tibetan family, both numerically and in the extent of its distribution, is by far the most prominent; within this family, Han Chinese is the most widely spoken language. Although unified by their traditionthe written ideographic characters of their language as well as many

InPaleo-Siberian languages: The Paleo-Siberian languages and other language families

four major language families: the Sino-Tibetan, Tai, Austro-Asiatic, and Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian). Languages derived from the Sino-Tibetan group are found largely in Myanmar, while forms of the Tai group are spoken in Thailand and Laos. Austro-Asiatic languages are spoken in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The languages of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the

The vast majority of allwordsin all Sino-Tibetan languages are of one syllable, and the exceptions appear to be secondary (i.e., words that were introduced at a later date than Common, or Proto-, Sino-Tibetan). Some suffixes in Tibeto-Burman are syllabic, thus adding a syllable to a word, but they have a highly reduced set of vowels and tones (minor syllables). These features are, however, shared by contiguous languages (namely, those of Austroasiatic stock and Hmong-Mien) and are not clearly attributable to Sino-Tibetan on the basis of shared basic vocabulary items.

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Chinese as the name of a language is a misnomer. It has been applied to numerous dialects, styles, and languages since the middle of the 2nd millenniumbce. Sinitic is a more satisfactory designation for covering all these entities and setting them off from the Tibeto-Karen group of Sino-Tibetan languages. Han is a Chinese term for Chinese as opposed to non-Chinese languages spoken in China. The Chinese terms forModern Standard Chineseareputonghuacommon language andguoyunational language (the latter term is used in Taiwan).

InSoutheast Asia: Linguistic composition

Most Sino-Tibetan languages possess phonemic tones, which indicate a difference in meaning in otherwise similar words. There are no tones in Purik, a Western Tibetan language; Ambo, a Northern Tibetan tongue; and Newari of Nepal. Balti, another WesternTibetan language, has pitch differences in polysyllabic nouns. The tones of the remaining Tibetan dialects can be accounted for by positing an original and older system of voiced and voiceless initial sounds that eventually resulted in tones. In several Himalayish languages, tones are linked with articulatory features connected with the end of the syllable or are linked with stress features, as also in Kukish Lepcha (Rong).

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Assam (India) Miri (Mishing) Abor Dafla (Nyising) Digaro (Taying) Assam, Tibet Miju Assam, Tibet

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The vowel system of Old Chinese as reconstructed (1940) by the linguistBernhard Karlgren to account especially for the language of theShijing, an anthology of Chinese poetry compiled in the 6th5th centuriesbce, seems surprisingly complicated as compared to that of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. Probably some of the vowels can be explained as diphthongs or as combinations of vowels plus specific classes of consonants (e.g., labialized, retroflex, palatal).

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The morphological use of vowel gradation (calledablaut) is well known fromIndo-European languages(e.g., the vowel change in Englishsing, sang, sung) and is found in several Sino-Tibetan languages, including Chinese and Tibetan. In Tibetan the various forms of the verbs aredifferentiatedin part by vowel alternation; in Sinitic some related words (known as word families) are kept apart by vowel alternation. Some conditioning factor outside the vowel (perhaps stress orsandhi, the modification of a sound according to the surrounding sounds) may have been responsible for the Sino-Tibetan ablaut systems.

Descendants of migrants from southern China constitute the largest portion of the population of Thailand who speak

The Sino-Tibetan family, both numerically and in the extent of its distribution, is by far the most prominent; within this family, Han Chinese is the most widely spoken language. Although unified by their traditionthe written ideographic characters of their language as well as many

118,000 Kanauri branch: Thebor, Bunan, India Kanashi, Chitkhuli, Manchati, Rangloi, Chamba Lahuli Almora branch: Rangkas and Nepal others

Sinitic languages, commonly known as the Chinese dialects, are spoken inChinaand on the island ofTaiwanand by important minorities in all the countries ofSoutheast Asia(by a majority only inSingapore). In addition, Sinitic languages are spoken by Chinese immigrants in many parts of the world, notably inOceaniaand inNorthandSouth America; altogether there are nearly 1.2 billion speakers of Chinese languages. Sinitic is divided into a number of language groups, by far the most important of which isMandarin(or Northern Chinese). Mandarin, which includes Modern Standard Chinese (based on theBeijingdialect), is not only the most important language of the Sino-Tibetan family but also has the most ancientwriting traditionstill in use of any modern language. The remaining Sinitic language groups areWu(includingShanghaidialect),Xiang(Hsiang, or Hunanese),Gan(Kan),Hakka,Yue(Yeh, orCantonese, including Canton [Guangzhou] andHong Kongdialects), andMin(includingFuzhou, Amoy [Xiamen], Swatow [Shantou], and Taiwanese).

Hruso (Hurso, Aka) northern Assam Dhimal Darjeeling area (India) *Represents approximately 6,000,000 speakers. **Approximate.

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