The Linguasphere Register

of the world’s languages and speech communities

The linguascale


Geosector 0= AFRICA

Phylosector 1= AFRO-ASIAN

Geosector 2= AUSTRALASIA

Phylosector 3= AUSTRONESIAN

Geosector 4= EURASIA

Phylosector 5= INDO-EUROPEAN

Geosector 6= NORTH-AMERICA

Phylosector 7= SINO-INDIAN

Geosector 8= SOUTH-AMERICA

Phylosector 9= TRANSAFRICAN



Total number of voices covered by the languages of each zone (or of each part of a divided zone) :

  • More than 100 million
  • More than 10 million
  • More than 1 million
  • More than 100 thousand
  • Less than 100 thousand

This geosector covers 223 sets of languages (1167 outer languages, composed of 2258 inner languages) spoken or formerly spoken by communities in Australasia in a geographic sequence from Maluku and the Lesser Sunda islands through New Guinea and its adjacent islands, and throughout the Australian mainland to Tasmania. They comprise all languages of Australasia (Oceania) not covered by phylosectors 3=Austronesian or 5=Indo-European.

Zones 20= to 24= cover all so-called "Papuan" languages, spoken on Maluku and the Lesser Sunda islands and the New Guinea mainland, which have been previously treated within the "Trans-New Guinea" hypothesis.

Zones 25= to 27= cover all other so-called "Papuan" languages, on the New Guinea mainland, Bismarck archipelago, New Britain, New Ireland and Solomon islands, which have not been treated within the "Trans-New Guinea" hypothesis.

Zones 28= to 29= cover all languages spoken traditionally across the Australian mainland, on the offshore Elcho, Howard, Crocodile and Torres Strait islands (excluding Darnley island), and formerly on the island of Tasmania. An "Australian" hypothesis covers all these languages, excluding the extinct and little known languages of Tasmania, comprising (1.) an area of more diffuse and complex relationships in the extreme north, covered here by geozone 28=, and (2.) a more closely related affinity (Pama + Nyungan) throughout the rest of Australia, covered by 24 of the 25 sets of phylozone 29=. The relationships within the "Australian" and component "Pama + Nyungan" hypotheses may be due as much to diffusion over tens of thousands of years as to inheritance from common prehistorical sources.

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