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Draft:Language families

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Language families are groupings of related languages, generally organized into branches, sometimes also referred to as families, and with even smaller subdivisions. Historical linguistics is the main branch of linguistics that studies language families. Language families have been and still are the subject of many myths and unproven theories, which sometimes branch out into outright pseudoscience.

Real examples[edit]

The languages of the world are divided into many language families, of which the most notable ones are listed here.


See the main article on this topic: Indo-European languages

The Indo-European language family is spoken by 44% of the population of the world as the family of their native language. The original-speakers were either in Anatolia or on steppes near the Black Sea.[1] It is divided into multiple branches: Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Romance, Slavic, Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Hellenic, Armenian, and Albanian.[2] Tocharian and Anatolian are two recognized branches of Indo-European that are now extinct. Notable Indo-European languages (read:Ones we bother to have an article on) include Catalan, Greek, Czech, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Farsi, Sanskrit, and Latin.


The Sino-Tibetan family is the second-largest language family, with 22% of the world having one of them as their native language. It is primarily spoken in China and the areas near them. About 70% of Sino-Tibetan speakers speak Mandarin Chinese, with more speaking the other languages in the dialect continuum. Two scripts used to write the Sino-Tibetan languages are the the Tibetan scriptWikipedia's W.svg and the Chinese characters.Wikipedia's W.svg


The Niger-Congo language family has roughly 358 million native speakers. It is spoken across much of Africa, including the eponymous Niger, Nigeria and Congo.


The Afro-Asiatic family is spoken by roughly 340 million native speakers, of which many speak Arabic, though a few are Hebrew speakers. As the name implies, it is spoken primarily in North Africa and the Middle East.