A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a
common ancestor, called the proto-language of that family. The term 'family'
The genetic classifications given in the language entries name 141 different
language families (that is, top-level genetic groups). Six of these, each of which
Language families of the world, language isolates, language family groups,
subgroups of languages.
Most languages belong to language families. A language family is a group of
related languages that developed from a common historic ancestor, referred to as
The following maps and classification are based on Merritt Ruhlen's book A
Guide to the World's Languages (Stanford University Press, 1987), which in turn
Just like other families, most language families have several branches. This is
illustrated in FIG. 2, according to which the Austronesian language family first
Classification of languages: language families, languages, number of speakers
and main geographic area.
An index of all the languages featured on Omniglot arranged by the language
families they belong to.
Introduction to the major language families, including Indo-European, Uralic,
Altaic, and Afro-Asiatic.
Let's start at the beginning with the concept of genetically related language
families. Then we'll look at the mother language of English, Proto Indo-European.