Talk:Austroasiatic languages

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There are several words of Mundari language in Pakistani languages like Urdu 'Siraiki'Punjabi and Sindhi .Whether these tribes were first inhaitants of Indus valley?.

People have argued that eastern Nepal was originally Mundari speaking, but I have never heard such suggestions for the Indus. No one knows what language or languages the Harappans spoke, though some have claimed that they were Dravidian (Asko Parpola for example) based on supposed translations of the Harappan script. kwami 09:46, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Classification system[edit]

I am wondering why the languages are classified into three groups instead of the traditionally accepted two (Munda and Mon-Khmer). The article states "The classification used here is that of Diffloth (in press), which does not accept traditional Mon-Khmer as a valid unit." Why is this one opinion preferred over the traditionally accepted structure? Additionally, according to the text, the only source is apparently still in press (ie. not yet actually a source). I believe that, in order to maintain encyclopedic integrity and conform to WP guidelines, the traditional classification scheme should be given here, with mention made that a recent work (Diffloth) disputes the traditional classification. This would also maintain internal consistency within WP because the individual articles for the languages that are listed here as "Khasi-Khmuic" indicate that they are "Mon-Khmer".

I am in the process of reworking this article to include more detail and history. Unless I get some logical disagreements, the new article will feature the traditional classification scheme as outlined above.--WilliamThweatt 03:41, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Originally the third clade was "core Mon-Khmer", but someone decided that was unnecessary. It might be good to word it that way again for clarification. ("Nuclear Mon-Khmer" would also be acceptable.)
Many Wikipedia classifications are simply lifted out of Ethnologue. I think that's rather cheesy - we can always link to the classification in Ethnologue, since it's a free resource; no need to repeat it here.
The traditional classification's been floating around, despite a lack of evidence, because no one had bothered to substantiate or falsify it. Diffloth has attempted to do that. We'll see how his proposal is accepted, and might give a warning about that, but I think it's somewhat irresponsible to repeat the traditional classification yet again when it's unlikely to stand up under scrutiny.
Diffloth, by the way, wrote the Austroasiatic article for the Encyclopedia Britannica. If he were to write that article today, he'd present something closer to what we have here than what you find in Ethnologue. We can provide information that people won't find in Ethnologue. kwami 06:17, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
While I do agree that simply lifting classifications out of Ethnologue is rather cheesy, I have to respectfully disagree with some of the other points of your argument. Bear in mind, I am not advocating one system over another, simply the way the information should be presented here on Wikipedia. In order to determine that, a few things must be established. First and foremost, Wikipedia does not allow original research. According to this policy, all sources used must be cited, "reliable" and "verifiable".
Additionally, as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia is supposed to be a repository of currently accepted knowledge, not a linguistic research journal, it is not the proper forum to attempt to advance one view over another.
With this in mind, it is obligatory to "repeat the traditional classification" because, although most agree it is flawed and may not stand up under further scrutiny, it presently is the system acknowledged by the majority in the field. While it would be acceptable in a research journal, it is quite irresponsible to present a minority view as the main text of an encyclopedia article, more so when the only source can not be examined or held up to peer review. Until Diffloth's work is published, reviewed and accepted by a majority of his peers, his proposed classification system should be a mere footnote here or, at most, presented in an "Alternate Classification" section, with an explanation.--WilliamThweatt 15:18, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, how 'bout we list Diffloth 1974, Peiros 1998, and Diffloth 2005 (in that order), rather than just using Ethnologue as an external link? kwami 20:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Waht am I saying? We already have that classification at Mon-Khmer languages. The two classifications here do not have Mon-Khmer as a clade. kwami 22:41, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Peiros 2004[edit]

There is newer version of Peiros' classification provided in his (post-)doctoral dissertation (2004). It is not published but I have the whole text with trees on my comp. The scheme is quite different from 1998 version and I made a Russian page on base of it. Generally he used much more languages (numbers after each branch indicate how much and if needed I can list them) and it looks as follows:

So I think it's worth to replace 1998 version for 2004 one with some explanations.Koryakov Yuri 14:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Rather agnostic, isn't it? Perhaps that's best. Does Peiros claim to have specifically substantiated Mon-Khmer, then, with shared innovations or other defining characteristics, rather than simply excluding Munda and Nicobar from it because they're divergent? That would be significant. Also, if those numbers are the numbers of languages he investigated, then he's being quite representative and I don't see any need to list them. kwami 18:58, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
My Russian isn't as good as it used to be (actually, it wasn't even good back then), but if I read your Russian page correctly, I like the classification system you used there. I think it is much better that what is currently listed here on the en. page and much more representative of the current consensus.--WilliamThweatt 22:18, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
The point is that there may be different ways to classify branches within Mon-Khmer but it is not as imprortant as existence of MK and those branches. BTW I missed one branch - Mangic (including 3 lgs: Mang, Paliu and Bugan). But of course Peiros provides some scheme for interrelations between those branches and I just created and uploaded
where they are seen and which we can later add to the AA page. The positions of branch labels correspond to the time when they diverged.
As regards specifically substantiating Mon-Khmer - as you understand how lexicostatistical classifications are builded - it is substantiated with cognate's percentages, that is all Mon-Khmer branches share more basic cognates (to be precise not less 20% without Khasi which appeared to be quite divergent and somewhat transitional between Munda and core MK).
Classification system used in Russian article is the same as above just with more info about languages. Koryakov Yuri 20:52, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


Why is Viet-Muong included in the box at right but not mentioned at all in the article? Badagnani 10:09, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

'Cos it is in fact Vietic languages now. Second it souldn't be in the infobox anyway, I've fixed. --Koryakov Yuri 08:39, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

What's that big white space in southern Vietnam?[edit]

Does anyone know what's spoken there? I have another map on paper that has the same gap there and it is similarly left unexplained. Haplolology Talk/Contributions 15:06, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

After a quick glance at the map, I believe that area is inhabited by various speakers of Hmong languages, Malay-type language, and possibly some languages of the Thai/Lao family.--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 16:16, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
After looking at the map again, that area probably has more Cham/Jarai Malay languages and the Tai-Kadai language Tai Dum (speakers of which have migrated south) and less Hmong/Iu-Mien speakers.--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 16:29, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for a very rapid and helpful response. I actually didn't think anyone was gonna know the answer. Haplolology Talk/Contributions 21:50, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Andrewa (talk) 09:01, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Austro-Asiatic languagesAustroasiatic languages – This article should be moved to Austroasiatic languages instead. Paul Sidwell and all the other leading authorities in the field, as well as Roger Blench, now all use Austroasiatic (cf. Austronesian, etc.) instead of Austro-Asiatic. This has already been personally discussed over with Sidwell and others.

Schmidt had also used the term "Austroasiatische," which he did not hyphenate either. See Wikipedia:Requested moves/Current discussions. — Stevey7788 (talk) 21:37, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Neutral/mild support. This would match our use of Afroasiatic languages. On the negative side, hyphenation and camel case makes these words more visually distinct; Austronesian–Austroasiatic–Afroasiatic remind me of the annoying way long German words all start looking the same after a while. I would be more happy with a move to Mon–Khmer languages, as that is unmistakable. — kwami (talk) 22:35, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support appears to be the common name, google reference shows primary use of the non-hyphenated name, and those that use the hyphen are typically wikipedia or copies of wiki. Even merriam-webster uses the non hyphenated form. Tiggerjay (talk) 00:19, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Tonal vs. non-Tonal[edit]

Can someone address how a tonal language (Vietnamese) came to be in the same family as a non-tonal language (Khmer)? (talk) 22:29, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

That's covered either at Vietnamese or at Vietic languages. — kwami (talk) 02:13, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Recent Classifications?[edit]

The subdivisions are collapsed according to Sidwell's classification scheme. Has this been widely accepted in austroasiatic studies? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean? There is no justification needed to use established, uncontroversial small groupings such as Vietic or Aslian for these purposes. Note that Sidwell has suggested Khasi-Palaungic, which isn't generally used in the article, so it doesn't have any bias towards Sidwell's scheme in particular. It just so happens that his scheme, by proposing almost no (necessarily controversial) higher-level groupings, is inherently what a NPOV portrayal will prefer. When in doubt, we will naturally tend towards the "splitter" framework and assume that languages are not (closely) related. And for comparing subgrouping hypotheses, it is simply convenient to stick to uncontroversial low-level groups and show how the different proposals link them. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 07:09, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Genetic studies[edit]

I've moved the following part here:

Genetic studies of representatives from all branches of Austroasiatic indicate the ancestors of Austroasiatic speakers originated in present-day India and migrated into Southeast Asia from the Brahmaputra River Valley.<ref>2007. Reddy, Battini M., et al. [ "Y-chromosome evidence suggests a common paternal heritage of Austro-Asiatic populations"]. BMC Journal of Evolutionary Biology 7:47</ref>

The question of the geographic origin of the Austroasiatic languages is different from the question of the geographic origin of their speakers. For all I know, the migration in question could have been far earlier and even part of the original peopling of South-East Asia. Genetic evidence is simply irrelevant as long as a connection between people/genes and language cannot be made even remotely plausible.

Just in case you need an analogy: If genetic studies reveal an origin of Mexicans in Northeast Asia that doesn't mean that Mexican Spanish originates there. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 07:23, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Also check this competing analysis, which comes to the exactly opposite conclusion, to see that the genetic evidence is far less clear-cut and far more ambiguous than implied by the passage in question. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:21, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

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