Austroasiatic Family
of Languages

Vietnamese Khmer

The Austro-Asiatic Family are a scattered group of languages in Asia. They are found from eastern India to Vietnam. The family once covered a larger area until Tai language speakers migrated south from southern China.

The Viet-Muong Branch includes Vietnamese and Muong (both languages of Vietnam). The former is written in a form of the Latin script.

The Mon-Khmer Branch includes Khmer (the language of Cambodia written in a derivative of South Indian scripts), Mon (once a major language of a Thai empire; now spoken in parts of Burma, Thailand, China and Vietnam), Palaung (a tribal language in the hills of Burma and Thailand), So (Laos and Thailand), Nicobarese and Nancowry (both from the Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean).



The so-called Aslian languages are found in the hills of peninsular Malaysia and include Sengoi and Temiar.

The languages of the Munda Branch are found scattered in pockets of north India (Mundari, Santali in the state of Bihar and Khasi in Assam).

These languages are not tonal apart from Vietnamese where tones developed recently under Chinese influence. Vietnamese was once thought not to be related to other languages. The branches of this family were originally considered to be separate familes.

Viet-Muong Branch
Vietnamese : Muong
Mon-Khmer Branch
Khmer : Mon : Palaung : Wa : Bahnar
Sedang : Khasi : Nicobarese : So
Nancowry : Sengoi : Temiar
Munda Branch
Santali : Mundari : Ho : Savara : Korku

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