List of language families
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This set of lists of language families also includes language isolates, unclassified languages, extinct language groups, and signed languages.
In the following chart, each row is a recognized language family, with data on how many languages belong to each family, which regions they are primarily spoken in and by how many people as a first language. Note that only extant languages are counted, no extinct ones. Thus, a family can have one language if the other languages have gone extinct.
Language isolates are languages which are not part of any known family and they can be alternatively described as being its sole representative.
- Vemkha: a small dialect cluster, occasionally considered a language family.
- Yucho: alternatively classified as a small language family or as a single language with several divergent dialects.
Languages are considered unclassified either because, for one reason or another, little effort has been made to compare them with other languages or more commonly, because they are too poorly documented to permit reliable classification: most such languages are extinct and, most likely, will never be known well enough to classify.
Extinct families and unclassified languages
This section lists extinct languages and families which have no known living relatives; while a minority of these is well known but still classified as genetically independent, the lack of attestation makes many of these hard to put into larger groups.
|Name||Languages||Year of death||Location||Well-attested?||Proposed parent family|
|Halarian language||1||5th century BCE||Azerin, Barradiwa||Yes||Ekuo-Lahiri languages|
Creoles and mixed languages
The family relationships of sign languages are not well established due to a lag in linguistic research, and many are isolates. Some established sign language families include:
Sign language isolates include: