The Indo-European family of languages is fairly
broadly distributed today--embracing perhaps half of the world's
inhabitable surface area. However, the Indo-European family
is limited in origin to those tongues appearing first in Europe,
the Middle East, and India. Elsewhere in the world, a number
of language-families seem to be completely unrelated to proto-Indo-European.
Here are some the general families for these Non-Indo-European
ALTAIC: A language family including
Turkish, Tungusic, and Mongolian.
AFROASIATIC: A possible language family
with two main branches--Hamitic and Semitic. See Semitic,
KECHUMARAN: A language family
spoken in the Andes of South America.
KHOISAN: A language family
encompassing southwestern regions of Africa.
NIGER-KORDEFANIAN: A group of languages
spoken in the southern part of Africa
NILO-SAHARAN: An African language family
spoken in the central regions of the continent.
SAMOYEDIC: A group of Uralic
languages spoken in northern Siberia. See Uralic,
SEMITIC: A language family including
Akkhadian, Amorite, Arabic,
Proto-Canaanite, Hebrew, Eblaite and
SINO-TIBETAN: A group of languages
spoken in China, Tibet, and Burma, including Mandarin
SUMERIAN: Sumerian is a difficult
language to classify partly because it is the first known language
to use a system
of writing. Accordingly, it has no known roots. Adding to the
difficulty, Akkhadian languages supplanted it--so it leaves
no known linguistic descendants. The language was agglutinative
and limited to the areas around Kish and Uruk. It was largely
monosyllabic and cannot be connected with any other known languages.
The earliest Sumerian script consisted of about
2,000 non-phonetic cuneiform symbols--but later these were
simplified to about 500-600.
URALIC: A language family including
Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic.
A language family found in Central America and
the western sections of North America.
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