II. 6.1.2 Linguistic classification

The languages of India fall into four different linguistic families. These are Indo-European, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and the Tibeto-Burman sub-family of the Sino-Tibetan languages.

  1. Approximately three-fourths of the country speaks languages belonging to Indo-European family. However, only a little over one per cent of tribal population speak languages of this family, the Bhil and Halbi tribes being the two main groups among them.
  2. Languages belonging to Dravidian family are spoken by tribes such as the Gond, Khond, Koya, Oraon, and Toda.
  3. Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken by the tribes of the Himalayas and Northeast India.
  4. The Austro-Asiatic family of languages is spoken only by tribals in the country like the Santhal, Munda, and Ho.

 

L. P. Vidyarthi and Rai classification

  1. Austro- Asiatic family
    1. Mon-Khmer branch – Khasi and Nicobari
    2. Munda branch – Santhali, Kharwari, Ho, Mundari, Gondi, Kharia, Savara, Khond
  2. Tibeto-chinese sub family
    1. Tibeto- himalyan branch – Bhotia
    2. Arunachal- Assamese branch Aka, Abor, Miri, Dafla, Mishmi
    3. Assamese- Burmese branch–
      1. Naga group-Angami, Ao, Sema, Rengama,
      2. Bodo group-Garo, Tripura, Dimasa
      3. Kachin group- Singpho
      4. Kuki-chin group- Manipuri, Thado, Sokte, Ralte, Lushai
  3. Dravidian- Oraon, Malto, Badaga, Toda, Kota
  4. Indo-european – Hajong, Bhili

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