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Language family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2005 map of the contemporary distribution of the world's primary language families

A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a common ancestral language or parental language, called the proto-language of that family. The term family is a metaphor borrowed from biology—with the tree model used in historical linguistics analogous to a family tree, or to phylogenetic trees of species used in evolutionary taxonomy. Linguists thus describe the daughter languages within a language family as being genetically related.[1] The divergence of a proto-language into daughter languages typically occurs through geographical separation, with different regional dialects of the proto-language spoken by different speech communities undergoing different language changes and thus becoming distinct languages from each other.[2]

One well-known example of a language family is the Romance languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and many others, all of which are descended from the Vulgar Latin spoken in the Roman Empire.[note 1][3] The Romance family itself is part of the larger Indo-European family, which includes many other languages native to Europe and South Asia, such as English and Hindi, all believed to have descended from a common ancestor language spoken thousands of years ago known as Proto-Indo-European.

The language families with the most speakers are Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan—with the latter in large part due to the many speakers of Mandarin Chinese in China.[4] A language family may contain any number of languages: some families, such as the Austronesian and Niger-Congo families, contain hundreds of different languages,[4] while some languages, termed isolates, are not known to be related to any other languages and therefore constitute a family consisting of only one language.

Membership of languages in a language family is established by research in comparative linguistics. Genealogically related languages can be identified by their shared retentions; that is, they share systematic similarities that cannot be explained as due to chance, or to effects of language contact (such as borrowing or convergence), and therefore must be features inherited from their shared common ancestor. However, some sets of languages may in fact be derived from a common ancestor but have diverged enough from each other that their relationship is no longer detectable; and some languages have not been studied in enough detail to be classified, and therefore their family membership is unknown.

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In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, all of humanity once spoke a single language until they suddenly split into many groups unable to understand each other. We don't really know if such an original language ever existed, but we do know that the thousands of languages existing today can be traced back to a much smaller number. So how did we end up with so many? In the early days of human migration, the world was much less populated. Groups of people that shared a single language and culture often split into smaller tribes, going separate ways in search of fresh game and fertile land. As they migrated and settled in new places, they became isolated from one another and developed in different ways. Centuries of living in different conditions, eating different food and encountering different neighbors turned similar dialects with varied pronunciation and vocabulary into radically different languages, continuing to divide as populations grew and spread out further. Like genealogists, modern linguists try to map this process by tracing multiple languages back as far as they can to their common ancestor, or protolanguage. A group of all languages related in this way is called a language family, which can contain many branches and sub-families. So how do we determine whether languages are related in the first place? Similar sounding words don't tell us much. They could be false cognates or just directly borrowed terms rather than derived from a common root. Grammar and syntax are a more reliable guide, as well as basic vocabulary, such as pronouns, numbers or kinship terms, that's less likely to be borrowed. By systematically comparing these features and looking for regular patterns of sound changes and correspondences between languages, linguists can determine relationships, trace specific steps in their evolution and even reconstruct earlier languages with no written records. Linguistics can even reveal other important historical clues, such as determining the geographic origins and lifestyles of ancient peoples based on which of their words were native, and which were borrowed. There are two main problems linguists face when constructing these language family trees. One is that there is no clear way of deciding where the branches at the bottom should end, that is, which dialects should be considered separate languages or vice versa. Chinese is classified as a single language, but its dialects vary to the point of being mutually unintelligible, while speakers of Spanish and Portuguese can often understand each other. Languages actually spoken by living people do not exist in neatly divided categories, but tend to transition gradually, crossing borders and classifications. Often the difference between languages and dialects is a matter of changing political and national considerations, rather than any linguistic features. This is why the answer to, "How many languages are there?" can be anywhere between 3,000 and 8,000, depending on who's counting. The other problem is that the farther we move back in time towards the top of the tree, the less evidence we have about the languages there. The current division of major language families represents the limit at which relationships can be established with reasonable certainty, meaning that languages of different families are presumed not to be related on any level. But this may change. While many proposals for higher level relationships -- or super families -- are speculative, some have been widely accepted and others are being considered, especially for native languages with small speaker populations that have not been extensively studied. We may never be able to determine how language came about, or whether all human languages did in fact have a common ancestor scattered through the babel of migration. But the next time you hear a foreign language, pay attention. It may not be as foreign as you think.

Major language families

Estimates of the number of language families in the world may vary widely. According to Ethnologue there are 7,151 living human languages distributed in 142 different language families.[5][6] Lyle Campbell (2019) identifies a total of 406 independent language families, including isolates.[7]

Ethnologue 27 (2024) lists the following families that contain at least 1% of the 7,164 known languages in the world:[8]

  1. Niger–Congo (1,552 languages)
  2. Austronesian (1,256 languages)
  3. Trans–New Guinea (481 languages)
  4. Sino-Tibetan (458 languages)
  5. Indo-European (454 languages)
  6. Australian (384 languages)
  7. Afro-Asiatic (382 languages)
  8. Nilo-Saharan (210 languages)
  9. Otomanguean (179 languages)
  10. Austroasiatic (167 languages)
  11. Kra-Dai (91 languages)
  12. Dravidian (85 languages)
  13. Tupian (76 languages)

Glottolog 4.7 (2022) lists the following as the largest families, of 8,565 languages (other than sign languages, pidgins, and unclassifiable languages):[9]

  1. Atlantic–Congo (1,408 languages)
  2. Austronesian (1,273 languages)
  3. Indo-European (584 languages)
  4. Sino-Tibetan (501 languages)
  5. Afro-Asiatic (379 languages)
  6. Nuclear Trans–New Guinea (317 languages)
  7. Pama–Nyungan (250 languages)
  8. Oto-Manguean (181 languages)
  9. Austroasiatic (158 languages)
  10. Tai–Kadai (95 languages)
  11. Dravidian (82 languages)
  12. Arawakan (77 languages)
  13. Mande (75 languages)
  14. Tupian (71 languages)

Language counts can vary significantly depending on what is considered a dialect; for example Lyle Campbell counts only 27 Otomanguean languages, although he, Ethnologue and Glottolog also disagree as to which languages belong in the family.

Genetic relationship

Two languages have a genetic relationship, and belong to the same language family, if both are descended from a common ancestor through the process of language change, or one is descended from the other. The term and the process of language evolution are independent of, and not reliant on, the terminology, understanding, and theories related to genetics in the biological sense, so, to avoid confusion, some linguists prefer the term genealogical relationship.[10][11]: 184 

There is a remarkably similar pattern shown by the linguistic tree and the genetic tree of human ancestry[12] that was verified statistically.[13] Languages interpreted in terms of the putative phylogenetic tree of human languages are transmitted to a great extent vertically (by ancestry) as opposed to horizontally (by spatial diffusion).[14]


In some cases, the shared derivation of a group of related languages from a common ancestor is directly attested in the historical record. For example, this is the case for the Romance language family, wherein Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and French are all descended from Latin, as well as for the North Germanic language family, including Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic, which have shared descent from Ancient Norse. Latin and ancient Norse are both attested in written records, as are many intermediate stages between those ancestral languages and their modern descendants.

In other cases, genetic relationships between languages are not directly attested. For instance, the Romance languages and the North Germanic languages are also related to each other, being subfamilies of the Indo-European language family, since both Latin and Old Norse are believed to be descended from an even more ancient language, Proto-Indo-European; however, no direct evidence of Proto-Indo-European or its divergence into its descendant languages survives. In cases such as these, genetic relationships are established through use of the comparative method of linguistic analysis.

In order to test the hypothesis that two languages are related, the comparative method begins with the collection of pairs of words that are hypothesized to be cognates: i.e., words in related languages that are derived from the same word in the shared ancestral language. Pairs of words that have similar pronunciations and meanings in the two languages are often good candidates for hypothetical cognates. The researcher must rule out the possibility that the two words are similar merely due to chance, or due to one having borrowed the words from the other (or from a language related to the other). Chance resemblance is ruled out by the existence of large collections of pairs of words between the two languages showing similar patterns of phonetic similarity. Once coincidental similarity and borrowing have been eliminated as possible explanations for similarities in sound and meaning of words, the remaining explanation is common origin: it is inferred that the similarities occurred due to descent from a common ancestor, and the words are actually cognates, implying the languages must be related.[15]

Linguistic interference and borrowing

When languages are in contact with one another, either of them may influence the other through linguistic interference such as borrowing. For example, French has influenced English, Arabic has influenced Persian, Sanskrit has influenced Tamil, and Chinese has influenced Japanese in this way. However, such influence does not constitute (and is not a measure of) a genetic relationship between the languages concerned. Linguistic interference can occur between languages that are genetically closely related, between languages that are distantly related (like English and French, which are distantly related Indo-European languages) and between languages that have no genetic relationship.


Some exceptions to the simple genetic relationship model of languages include language isolates and mixed, pidgin and creole languages.

Mixed languages, pidgins and creole languages constitute special genetic types of languages. They do not descend linearly or directly from a single language and have no single ancestor.

Isolates are languages that cannot be proven to be genealogically related to any other modern language. As a corollary, every language isolate also forms its own language family — a genetic family which happens to consist of just one language. One often cited example is Basque, which forms a language family on its own; but there are many other examples outside Europe. On the global scale, the site Glottolog counts a total of 427 language families in the world, including 182 isolates.[16]


One controversial theory concerning the genetic relationships among languages is monogenesis, the idea that all known languages, with the exceptions of creoles, pidgins and sign languages, are descendant from a single ancestral language.[17] If that is true, it would mean all languages (other than pidgins, creoles, and sign languages) are genetically related, but in many cases, the relationships may be too remote to be detectable. Alternative explanations for some basic observed commonalities between languages include developmental theories, related to the biological development of the capacity for language as the child grows from newborn.[citation needed]

Structure of a family

A language family is a monophyletic unit; all its members derive from a common ancestor, and all descendants of that ancestor are included in the family. Thus, the term family is analogous to the biological term clade. Language families can be divided into smaller phylogenetic units, sometimes referred to as "branches" or "subfamilies" of the family; for instance, the Germanic languages are a subfamily of the Indo-European family. Subfamilies share a more recent common ancestor than the common ancestor of the larger family; Proto-Germanic, the common ancestor of the Germanic subfamily, was itself a descendant of Proto-Indo-European, the common ancestor of the Indo-European family. Within a large family, subfamilies can be identified through "shared innovations": members of a subfamily will share features that represent retentions from their more recent common ancestor, but were not present in the overall proto-language of the larger family.

Some taxonomists restrict the term family to a certain level, but there is little consensus on how to do so. Those who affix such labels also subdivide branches into groups, and groups into complexes. A top-level (i.e., the largest) family is often called a phylum or stock. The closer the branches are to each other, the more closely the languages will be related. This means if a branch of a proto-language is four branches down and there is also a sister language to that fourth branch, then the two sister languages are more closely related to each other than to that common ancestral proto-language.

The term macrofamily or superfamily is sometimes applied to proposed groupings of language families whose status as phylogenetic units is generally considered to be unsubstantiated by accepted historical linguistic methods.

Dialect continua

Some close-knit language families, and many branches within larger families, take the form of dialect continua in which there are no clear-cut borders that make it possible to unequivocally identify, define, or count individual languages within the family. However, when the differences between the speech of different regions at the extremes of the continuum are so great that there is no mutual intelligibility between them, as occurs in Arabic, the continuum cannot meaningfully be seen as a single language.

A speech variety may also be considered either a language or a dialect depending on social or political considerations. Thus, different sources, especially over time, can give wildly different numbers of languages within a certain family. Classifications of the Japonic family, for example, range from one language (a language isolate with dialects) to nearly twenty—until the classification of Ryukyuan as separate languages within a Japonic language family rather than dialects of Japanese, the Japanese language itself was considered a language isolate and therefore the only language in its family.


Most of the world's languages are known to be related to others. Those that have no known relatives (or for which family relationships are only tentatively proposed) are called language isolates, essentially language families consisting of a single language. There are an estimated 129 language isolates known today.[18] An example is Basque. In general, it is assumed that language isolates have relatives or had relatives at some point in their history but at a time depth too great for linguistic comparison to recover them.

A language isolate is classified based on the fact that enough is known about the isolate to compare it genetically to other languages but no common ancestry or relationship is found with any other known language.[18]

A language isolated in its own branch within a family, such as Albanian and Armenian within Indo-European, is often also called an isolate, but the meaning of the word "isolate" in such cases is usually clarified with a modifier. For instance, Albanian and Armenian may be referred to as an "Indo-European isolate". By contrast, so far as is known, the Basque language is an absolute isolate: it has not been shown to be related to any other modern language despite numerous attempts. A language may be said to be an isolate currently but not historically if related but now extinct relatives are attested. The Aquitanian language, spoken in Roman times, may have been an ancestor of Basque, but it could also have been a sister language to the ancestor of Basque. In the latter case, Basque and Aquitanian would form a small family together. Ancestors are not considered to be distinct members of a family.[citation needed]


A proto-language can be thought of as a mother language (not to be confused with a mother tongue[19]) being the root from which all languages in the family stem. The common ancestor of a language family is seldom known directly since most languages have a relatively short recorded history. However, it is possible to recover many features of a proto-language by applying the comparative method, a reconstructive procedure worked out by 19th century linguist August Schleicher. This can demonstrate the validity of many of the proposed families in the list of language families. For example, the reconstructible common ancestor of the Indo-European language family is called Proto-Indo-European. Proto-Indo-European is not attested by written records and so is conjectured to have been spoken before the invention of writing.

Visual representation

An example of a language tree, containing the Mayan languages

A common visual representation of a language family is given by a genetic language tree. The tree model is sometimes termed a dendrogram or phylogeny. The family tree shows the relationship of the languages within a family, much as a family tree of an individual shows their relationship with their relatives. There are criticisms to the family tree model. Critics focus mainly on the claim that the internal structure of the trees is subject to variation based on the criteria of classification.[20] Even among those who support the family tree model, there are debates over which languages should be included in a language family. For example, within the dubious Altaic language family, there are debates over whether the Japonic and Koreanic languages should be included or not.[21]

The wave model has been proposed as an alternative to the tree model.[11] The wave model uses isoglosses to group language varieties; unlike in the tree model, these groups can overlap. While the tree model implies a lack of contact between languages after derivation from an ancestral form, the wave model emphasizes the relationship between languages that remain in contact, which is more realistic.[11] Historical glottometry is an application of the wave model, meant to identify and evaluate genetic relations in linguistic linkages.[11][22]

Other classifications of languages


A sprachbund is a geographic area having several languages that feature common linguistic structures. The similarities between those languages are caused by language contact, not by chance or common origin, and are not recognized as criteria that define a language family. An example of a sprachbund would be the Indian subcontinent.[23]

Shared innovations, acquired by borrowing or other means, are not considered genetic and have no bearing with the language family concept. It has been asserted, for example, that many of the more striking features shared by Italic languages (Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, etc.) might well be "areal features". However, very similar-looking alterations in the systems of long vowels in the West Germanic languages greatly postdate any possible notion of a proto-language innovation (and cannot readily be regarded as "areal", either, since English and continental West Germanic were not a linguistic area). In a similar vein, there are many similar unique innovations in Germanic, Baltic and Slavic that are far more likely to be areal features than traceable to a common proto-language. But legitimate uncertainty about whether shared innovations are areal features, coincidence, or inheritance from a common ancestor, leads to disagreement over the proper subdivisions of any large language family.

Contact languages

The concept of language families is based on the historical observation that languages develop dialects, which over time may diverge into distinct languages. However, linguistic ancestry is less clear-cut than familiar biological ancestry, in which species do not crossbreed.[24] It is more like the evolution of microbes, with extensive lateral gene transfer. Quite distantly related languages may affect each other through language contact, which in extreme cases may lead to languages with no single ancestor, whether they be creoles or mixed languages. In addition, a number of sign languages have developed in isolation and appear to have no relatives at all. Nonetheless, such cases are relatively rare and most well-attested languages can be unambiguously classified as belonging to one language family or another, even if this family's relation to other families is not known.

Language contact can lead to the development of new languages from the mixture of two or more languages for the purposes of interactions between two groups who speak different languages. Languages that arise in order for two groups to communicate with each other to engage in commercial trade or that appeared as a result of colonialism are called pidgin. Pidgins are an example of linguistic and cultural expansion caused by language contact. However, language contact can also lead to cultural divisions. In some cases, two different language speaking groups can feel territorial towards their language and do not want any changes to be made to it. This causes language boundaries and groups in contact are not willing to make any compromises to accommodate the other language.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Vernacular Latin, as opposed to the Classical Latin used as a literary language.


  1. ^ Rowe, Bruce M.; Levine, Diane P. (2015). A Concise Introduction to Linguistics. Routledge. pp. 340–341. ISBN 978-1-317-34928-0. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  2. ^ Dimmendaal, Gerrit J. (2011). Historical Linguistics and the Comparative Study of African Languages. John Benjamins. p. 336. ISBN 978-9-027-28722-9. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Seventeenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "What are the largest language families?". Ethnologue. 25 May 2019.
  5. ^ "How many languages are there in the world?". Ethnologue. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  6. ^ "What are the largest language families?". Ethnologue. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  7. ^ Campbell, Lyle (8 January 2019). "How Many Language Families are there in the World?". Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo". 52 (1/2). UPV/EHU Press: 133. doi:10.1387/asju.20195. hdl:10810/49565. ISSN 2444-2992. S2CID 166394477.
  8. ^ "Welcome to the 24th edition". Ethnologue. 13 April 2024.
  9. ^ "Glottolog 4.7 -". Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  10. ^ Haspelmath, Martin (5 May 2004). "How hopeless is genealogical linguistics, and how advanced is areal linguistics? — Review of Aikhenvald & Dixon (2001): Areal diffusion and genetic inheritance". Studies in Language. 28 (1): 209–223. doi:10.1075/sl.28.1.10has. p. 222.
  11. ^ a b c d François, Alexandre (2014). "Trees, Waves and Linkages: Models of Language Diversification" (PDF). In Bowern, Claire; Evans, Bethwyn (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. London: Routledge. pp. 161–189. ISBN 978-0-41552-789-7.
  12. ^ Henn, B. M.; Cavalli-Sforza, L. L.; Feldman, M. W. (17 October 2012). "The great human expansion". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (44): 17758–17764. Bibcode:2012PNAS..10917758H. doi:10.1073/pnas.1212380109. JSTOR 41829755. PMC 3497766. PMID 23077256.
  13. ^ Cavalli-Sforza, L. L.; Minch, E.; Mountain, J. L. (15 June 1992). "Coevolution of genes and languages revisited". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 89 (12): 5620–5624. Bibcode:1992PNAS...89.5620C. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.12.5620. JSTOR 2359705. PMC 49344. PMID 1608971.
  14. ^ Gell-Mann, M.; Ruhlen, M. (10 October 2011). "The origin and evolution of word order" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (42): 17290–17295. Bibcode:2011PNAS..10817290G. doi:10.1073/pnas.1113716108. JSTOR 41352497. PMC 3198322. PMID 21987807.
  15. ^ Campbell, Lyle (2013). Historical Linguistics. MIT Press.
  16. ^ Cf. Language families, Glottolog.
  17. ^ Nichols, Johanna. Monogenesis or Polygenesis: A Single Ancestral Language for All Humanity? Ch. 58 of The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution, ed. by Maggie Tallerman and Kathleen Rita Gibson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. 558–72. Print.
  18. ^ a b Campbell, Lyle (24 August 2010). "Language Isolates and Their History, or, What's Weird, Anyway?". Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. 36 (1): 16–31. doi:10.3765/bls.v36i1.3900. ISSN 2377-1666.
  19. ^ Bloomfield, Leonard (1994). Language. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1196-8.
  20. ^ Edzard, Lutz. Polygenesis, Convergence, and Entropy: An Alternative Model of Linguistic Evolution Applied to Semitic Linguistics. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998. Print.
  21. ^ Georg, Stefan, Peter A. Michalove, Alexis Manaster Ramer, and Paul J. Sidwell. Telling General Linguists about Altaic. Journal of Linguistics 35.1 (1999): 65–98. Print.
  22. ^ Kalyan, Siva; François, Alexandre (2018). "Freeing the Comparative Method from the tree model: A framework for Historical Glottometry" (PDF). In Kikusawa, Ritsuko; Reid, Laurie (eds.). Let's Talk about Trees: Genetic Relationships of Languages and Their Phylogenic Representation. Senri Ethnological Studies. Vol. 98. Ōsaka: National Museum of Ethnology. pp. 59–89.
  23. ^ Joseph, Brian (2017). "The Balkan Sprachbund" (PDF). Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  24. ^ List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William (2014). "Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution". BioEssays. 36 (2): 141–150. doi:10.1002/bies.201300096. ISSN 0265-9247. PMC 3910147. PMID 24375688.
  25. ^ "Languages in Contact | Linguistic Society of America". Retrieved 2 October 2020.

Further reading

  • Boas, Franz (1911). Handbook of American Indian languages. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 40. Vol. 1. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology. ISBN 0-8032-5017-7.
  • Boas, Franz. (1922). Handbook of American Indian languages (Vol. 2). Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 40. Washington, D.C.: Government Print Office (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology).
  • Boas, Franz. (1933). Handbook of American Indian languages (Vol. 3). Native American legal materials collection, title 1227. Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin.
  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Campbell, Lyle; & Mithun, Marianne (Eds.). (1979). The languages of native America: Historical and comparative assessment. Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Goddard, Ives (Ed.). (1996). Languages. Handbook of North American Indians (W. C. Sturtevant, General Ed.) (Vol. 17). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-16-048774-9.
  • Goddard, Ives. (1999). Native languages and language families of North America (rev. and enlarged ed. with additions and corrections). [Map]. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press (Smithsonian Institution). (Updated version of the map in Goddard 1996). ISBN 0-8032-9271-6.
  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (Ed.). (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (15th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X. (Online version: Ethnologue: Languages of the World).
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. (1966). The Languages of Africa (2nd ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University.
  • Harrison, K. David. (2007) When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Ross, Malcolm. (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages Archived 8 June 2004 at the Wayback Machine". In: Andrew Pawley, Robert Attenborough, Robin Hide and Jack Golson, eds, Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples (PDF)
  • Ruhlen, Merritt. (1987). A guide to the world's languages. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Sturtevant, William C. (Ed.). (1978–present). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 1–20). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. (Vols. 1–3, 16, 18–20 not yet published).
  • Voegelin, C. F. & Voegelin, F. M. (1977). Classification and index of the world's languages. New York: Elsevier.

External links

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