Geography of Language - Major Linguistic regions of the World

Language is a significant parameter of cultural regions demarcation. There are more than 5000 spoken languages in global profile.

The study of geography of language is based on the construction of Isoglosses, i.e. imaginary line within which same linguistic family is applicable.

Let’s see the major linguistic regions of the world.

Major Linguistic regions of the World

On the basis of major linguistic families, 12 linguistic regions have been demarcated globally. These include:

  1. Indo-European Linguistic Family: It includes the languages, such as English, German, French, Russian, Baltic, Slavic, Roman and Portuguese. They cover entire Anglo-America, Latin America, Europe, Oceania. A subfamily of Indo-European languages is Indo-Iranian, which includes Pakhtu (or Pashtu), Persian and Hindi - this realm includes Afghanistan, Iran and northern parts of South Asia.
  2. Ural-Altaic Linguistic Family: It includes Finnic, Mongol, Kazak and Turkish languages. It relates to central Asia and some parts of Europe.
  3. Japanese-Korean Linguistic Family: Spoken in some parts of East Asia.
  4. Chinese-Tibetan Linguistic Family: It includes the languages Mandarin, Burmese and Thai. It relates to East Asia and parts of South-East Asia.
  5. Austro-Asiatic Linguistic Family: It includes Khmer, Laotian and relates to mainland South-East Asia.
  6. Malaya-Polynesia Linguistic Family: It relates to the island archipelago of South-East Asia, and includes languages like Dayak (Indonesia), Filipino.
  7. Dravidian Linguistic Family: Found in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
  8. Afro-Asiatic Linguistic Family: Found in South West Asia and Northern Africa, e.g. Arabic language.
  9. Saharan Linguistic Family
  10. Sudanic Linguistic Family: Found in Sub-Saharan region.
  11. Niger-Congo Linguistic Family: Found in West to Central Africa, e.g. Bantu language.
  12. Khoisan Linguistic Family: Found in southern parts of Africa.
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