|India, Bangladesh, and Burma|
The Sal languages, also known as Brahmaputran languages, are a branch of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in northeast India, parts of Bangladesh, and Burma.
Ethnologue calls the group "Jingpho–Konyak-Garo–Bodo", while Scott DeLancey (2015) refers to it as "Bodo-Konyak-Garo-Jinghpaw" (BKJ). Glottolog lists this branch as “Brahmaputran (brah1260)”.
Scott DeLancey (2015) considers the Sal languages, which he refers to as Garo-Bodo-Konyak-Jinghpaw (BKJ), to be part of a wider Central Tibeto-Burman group.
Benedict (1972:7) noted that the Bodo–Garo, Konyak, and Jingpho (Kachin) languages, as well as the extinct Chairel language, shared distinctive roots for "sun" and "fire".
Burling (1983) proposed a grouping of the Bodo–Garo, Konyak (Northern Naga), and Jingpho languages, characterized by several shared lexical innovations, including:
Burling (1983) called the proposed group Sal, after the words sal, san and jan for "sun" in various of these languages. Coupe (2012:201–204) argues that some of Burling's proposed innovations are either not attested across the Sal languages, or have cognates in other Sino-Tibetan languages. Nevertheless, Matisoff (2013) accepts Burling's Sal group, and considers *s-raŋ 'sky/rain' and *nu 'mother' to be the most convincing Sal innovations.
The family is generally presented with three branches (Burling 2003:175, Thurgood 2003:11):
Shafer had grouped the first two as his Baric division, and Bradley (1997:20) also combines them as a subbranch.
Bradley (1997) tentatively considers Pyu and Kuki-Chin to be possibly related to Sal, but is uncertain about this.
Peterson (2009) considers Mru-Hkongso to be a separate Tibeto-Burman branch, but notes that Mru-Hkongso shares similarities with Bodo–Garo that could be due to the early split of Mruic from a Tibeto-Burman branch that included Bodo–Garo.
The Brahmaputran branch of van Driem (2011) has three variants:
The smallest is his most recent, and the one van Driem considers a well-established low-level group of Sino-Tibetan. However, Dhimalish is not accepted as a Sal language by Glottolog. Sotrug (2015) and Gerber, et al. (2016) consider Dhimalish to be particularly closely related to the Kiranti languages rather than to the Sal languages.
James Matisoff (2012) makes the following observations about the Sal grouping.
Matisoff (2012) notes that these Tibeto-Burman branches did not split off neatly in a tree-like fashion, but rather form a linkage. Nevertheless, Matisoff (2013:30) still provides the following Stammbaum for the Sal branch.
The unclassified extinct Taman language of northern Myanmar displays some similarities with Luish languages, Jingpho, and Bodo-Garo, but it is undetermined whether Taman is a Sal language or not.