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Sino-Tibetan languages facts for kids

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East Asia
Linguistic classification: One of the world's major language families.
ISO 639-2 and 639-5: sit
Sino-tibetan languages.png
     Sino-Tibetan languages

The Sino-Tibetan languages form a language family composed of, at least, the Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia. They are second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of their number of speakers.


A few scholars, most prominently Christopher Beckwith and Roy Andrew Miller, argue that Chinese is not related to Tibeto-Burman. They point to an absence of regular sound correspondences, an absence of reconstructable shared morphology, and evidence that much shared lexical material has been borrowed from Chinese into Tibeto-Burman. In opposition to this view, scholars in favor of the Sino-Tibetan hypothesis such as W. South Coblin, Graham Thurgood, James Matisoff, and Gong Hwang-cherng have argued that there are regular correspondences in sounds as well as in grammar.

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