Opinions on Sino-Tibetan languages

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The Sino-Tibetan languages are a family of more than 400 languages spoken in East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. The family is second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of the number of native speakers. The Sino-Tibetan languages with the most native speakers are the varieties of Chinese (1.2 billion speakers), Burmese (33 million) and the Tibetic languages (8 million). Many Sino-Tibetan languages are spoken by small communities in remote mountain areas and are poorly documented.

Several low-level groupings are well established, but the higher-level structure of the family remains unclear. Although the family is often presented as divided into Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman branches, a common origin of the non-Sinitic languages has never been demonstrated, and is rejected by an increasing number of researchers. A minority of researchers call the whole family "Tibeto-Burman", and the name "Trans-Himalayan" has also been proposed.


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Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Sino-Tibetan languages has and the evolution of its popularity.

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