|India, Bangladesh, Burma|
Benedict (1972:7) noted that the Bodo–Garo, Konyak, and Jingpho (Kachin) languages, as well as the extinct Chairel language, shared distinctive roots for "sun" and "fire". Burling (1983) proposed a grouping of the Bodo–Garo, Koch, Konyak (Northern Naga) and Jingpho languages, characterized by several shared lexical innovations, including:
- *sal "sun"
- *war "fire"
- *s-raŋ "sky"
- *wa "father"
- *nu "mother"
He called the proposed group Sal, after the words sal, san and jan for "sun" in various of these languages.
- The Bodo–Koch languages, including the Bodo–Garo and Koch languages are spoken in the northeast Indian states of Meghalaya and Tripura.
- The Konyak languages are spoken by the Naga people in southeastern Arunachal Pradesh and northeastern Nagaland (both in northeastern India). This group is called Eastern Naga by Burling (1983) and Northern Naga by other authors. (The remaining languages of Nagaland belong to the separate Kuki-Chin–Naga group.)
- The Kachinic or Kachin–Luic languages include Jingpho (Jinghpaw, Singhpo or Kachin), spoken in northern Burma and adjacent regions, and the Luish (or Sak) languages spoken in western Burma.
Shafer had grouped the first two as his Baric division, and Bradley (1997:20) also combines them as a subbranch. Bradley considers Pyu and Kuki-Chin–Naga to be possibly related to Sal, but is uncertain about this.
Ethnologue calls the family simply "Jingpho–Konyak–Bodo".
The Brahmaputran branch of van Driem has three variants:
- Bodo–Koch and Konyak.
- Bodo–Koch, Konyak, and Dhimal.
- Bodo–Koch, Konyak, Dhimal, and Kachin–Luic.
The smallest is his most recent, and the one he considers a well-established low-level group of Sino-Tibetan.
- Benedict, Paul K. (1972), Sino-Tibetan: A Conspectus (PDF), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-08175-7.
- Bradley, David (1997), "Tibeto-Burman languages and classification" (PDF), in Bradley, David, Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas, Papers in South East Asian linguistics, 14, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, pp. 1–71, ISBN 978-0-85883-456-9.
- Burling, Robbins (1983), "The Sal Languages" (PDF), Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 7 (2): 1–32.
- —— (2003), "The Tibeto-Burman languages of northeast India", in Thurgood, Graham; LaPolla, Randy J., Sino-Tibetan Languages, London: Routledge, pp. 169–191, ISBN 978-0-7007-1129-1.
- van Driem, George (2001), Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, BRILL, ISBN 978-90-04-12062-4.
- —— (2014), "Trans-Himalayan" (PDF), in Owen-Smith, Thomas; Hill, Nathan W., Trans-Himalayan Linguistics: Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 11–40, ISBN 978-3-11-031083-2.
- Thurgood, Graham (2003), "A subgrouping of the Sino-Tibetan languages", in Thurgood, Graham; LaPolla, Randy J., Sino-Tibetan Languages, London: Routledge, pp. 3–21, ISBN 978-0-7007-1129-1.