Austric Languages

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Austric Languages

 

a family of languages, proposed by certain linguists to combine (1) the Austroasiatic languages, (2) the Austronesian languages (Malayo-Polynesian languages), (3) the Tai-Kadai (Tung-Tai languages), including the Tai languages on the Indo-Chinese peninsula and in south China, the Li language on Hainan Island, and the Tung-Shui languages (Lakua, Lati, Kelio, etc.) in south China and in Hainan, and, possibly, (4) the Miao-Yao languages (south China, northern Vietnam, and Laos).

The hypothesis of the Austronesian-Austroasiatic affinity is based on the works of the Austrian scientist W. Schmidt (1906) and other linguists; the affinity of the Austronesian and the Tai-Kadai languages (previously erroneously assigned to the Sino-Tibetan group) is based on the works of the American scientist P. Benedict (1942, 1966); and the suggested affinity of the Miao-Yao and Austroasiatic languages is based on the work of the French scientist A. Haudricourt (1961) and others. The partisans of the Austric hypothesis point to the existence of several common roots, prefixes, and infixes in these languages. But the affinity of the Austric languages can be proved only after regular phonetic correlations have been discovered between the families compared.

REFERENCES

Schmidt, W. Die Mon-Khmer-Völker. Braunschweig, 1906.
Studies in Comparative Austroasiatic Linguistics. The Hague, 1966.
Iakhontov, S. E. Glottokhronologiia i kitaisko-tibetskaia sem’ia iazykov. Moscow, 1964. (VII International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnographic Studies.)

A. B. DOLGOPOL’SKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Related to this Borean language family are Eurasiatic, Afroasiatic, SinoCaucasian, Austric, and Amerind roots that form the basic languages of the Borean language family.
When Reid (1994) identified structural relationships between Austronesian languages and the Austroasiatic (AA) language Noncowry, spoken on the Nicobar Islands, he returned to a century-old proposal by Schmidt (1906), that the AN and AA languages share a common ancestry in the Austric phylum.
Beyond the Austronesian homeland: the Austric hypothesis and its implications for archaeology, in WH.
Archaeology and linguistics in Southeast Asia: implications of the Austric hypothesis.
Among the topics discussed are archaeological evidence of the origin and dispersal of agriculture and human diaspora, recent discoveries at the Tapenkeng culture sites in Taiwan and the problem of Austronesian origins, the lexical and morphosyntactic evidence on Austric, the possible relationship between the genetic diversity of Taiwan's indigenous peoples and insular Southeast Asia, and a comparison of linguistic and genetic relationships among East Asian populations.
The Asian SOV area includes Turkic, Mongolian, Tungusic, Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Chukchi-Kamchatkan, Ainu, Japanese, Korean, Tibeto-Burman (less Karen), Dravidian, the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European, and the Munda branch of Austric.
Blust (1996), following on Reid's (1993) study of the Nancowry language of the Nicobar Islands, has suggested that the Austro-Asiatic (AA) languages of Southeast Asia are genetically linked with Austronesian (AN) languages through a shared ancestry in the Austric phylum.
If further research sustains the proposed validity of the Austric phylum as progenitor of both AA and AN languages, then the simplest explanation for their present distribution, and the consistent, widespread evidence for intrusive movements into both mainland and island Southeast Asia by the 5th millennium BP, is a process of population growth and expansion fuelled by an economy based on the cultivation of rice.
Archaeology and linguistics in Southeast Asia: implications of the Austric hypothesis, Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 14: 110-18.