This article is a list of language families. This list only includes primary language families that are accepted by the current academic consensus in the field of linguistics; for language families that are not accepted by the current academic consensus in the field of linguistics, see the article "List of proposed language families".

List of language families

Spoken language families

The language families of the world
The language families of Africa
Map of the Austronesian
Map of major Dravidian
Distribution of the Indo-European language family branches across Eurasia
Area of the Papuan
Map of the Australian
Distribution of language families and isolates north of Mexico at first contact
The major South American language families
Ethnolinguistic groups of mainland Southeast Asia
Distribution of the Uralic, Altaic, and Yukaghir

Sign language families

See also: List of sign languages and Sign Language § Classification

The family relationships of sign languages are not well established due to a lagging in linguistic research, and many are isolates (cf. Wittmann 1991).[4]

Family Name Location Number of
French Sign Europe, the Americas, Francophone Africa, parts of Asia Over 50
British Sign United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa 4–10
Arab Sign Much of the Arab World 6–10
Japanese Sign Japan, Korea, Taiwan 3
German Sign Germany, Poland, Israel 3
Swedish Sign Sweden, Finland, Portugal 3
Chinese Sign China (including Hong Kong and Macau) 2

See also


  1. ^ "Glottolog 5.0 -". Retrieved 2024-06-28.
  2. ^ "What are the largest language families?". Ethnologue. May 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "North Caucasian". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  4. ^ Wittmann, Henri (1991). "Classification linguistique des langues signées non vocalement" (PDF). Revue québécoise de linguistique théorique et appliquée (in French). 10 (1): 215–288.