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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.
REFERENCESSchmidt, 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