Glottolog is a bibliographic database of the world's lesser-known languages, developed and maintained first at the former Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and since 2015 at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.

Glottolog provides a catalogue of the world's languages and language families and a bibliography on the world's less-spoken languages. It differs from the similar catalogue Ethnologue in several respects: it attempts to only accept languages which the editors have been able to confirm both exist and are distinct (varieties which have not been confirmed, but are inherited from another source, are tagged as "spurious" or "unattested");[1] it attempts only to classify languages into families which have been demonstrated to be valid; bibliographic information is provided, especially for lesser-known languages; and, to a limited extent, alternative names are listed according to the sources which use them. The language names used in the bibliographic entries are identified by ISO 639-3 code or Glottolog's own code (Glottocode); apart from a single point-location on a map at its geographic centre, no ethnographic or demographic information is provided. External links are provided to ISO, Ethnologue and other online language databases.

Edition 2.2 was published online in 2013 and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. Edition 2.4 was published in 2015 and edition 3.0 in 2017. The latest version is 3.3.2, released in August, 2018

ProducerMax Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Germany)

Language families

Glottolog is more conservative in its classification than most online databases in establishing membership of languages and groups within families but more liberal in considering unclassified languages to be isolates. Edition 3.3.2 lists 420 oral-language[2] families and isolates as follows:[3]

Creoles are classified with the language that supplied their basic lexicon.

In addition to the families and isolates listed above, Glottolog uses several non-genealogical families for various languages:[5]

  • Pidgins (80 languages)
  • Mixed languages (24)
  • Artificial languages (16)
  • Speech registers (7)
  • Sign languages (183, including 1 pidgin,[6] 3 auxiliary sign systems,[7] and 2 unclassified sign languages)[8]
  • Unclassifiable attested languages (121)
  • Unattested languages (68)
  • Bookkeeping: spurious languages, such as retired ISO entries; kept for bookkeeping purposes (399 including 5 sign languages)[9]


  1. ^ See for example the bookkeeping section for ISO languages that Glottolog has deemed to be spurious distinctions.
    This discrimination does not apply to dialects, many of which have been inherited from MultiTree or other sources without verification.
  2. ^ Sign languages are listed together, including those grouped typologically as village sign languages, as are pidgins and unclassified languages, but without a claim that they are necessarily related.
  3. ^ "Glottolog Families". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  4. ^ Geographic regions include "Papunesia" (a portmanteau of Papua (New Guinea) and Austronesia), which refers to the islands of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania, excluding Australia. Here it is replaced with 'Oceania'.
  5. ^ "Glottolog: About Languoids". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. ^ "Glottolog Language: Hawai'i Pidgin Sign Language". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  7. ^ "Glottolog Subfamily: Auxiliary Sign Systems". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  8. ^ "Glottolog Subfamily: Unclassified Deaf Sign Language". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  9. ^ "Glottolog Family: Bookkeeping". Retrieved 2019-01-27.

External links

Alingpo language

Alingpo (a˥le˨˩pho˨˩; Chinese: 阿灵泼; also called Yiqing 彝青 or Dry Yi 干彝) is a Loloish language of eastern Yunnan, China.

Baliledo language

Baliledu is a Sumba language of Indonesia.

Bekais language

Bekais is a language spoken on the border of East and West Timor that is closely related to Tetun.

Dongwang Tibetan language

Dongwang Tibetan is a Tibetic language of Yunnan, China, once considered a dialect of Khams. It is spoken in the eastern part of Shangri-La County along the Dongwang River by about 6,000 people.


Ethnologue: Languages of the World is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living languages of the world. It was first issued in 1951, and is now published annually by SIL International, a U.S.-based, worldwide, Christian non-profit organization. SIL's main purpose is to study, develop and document languages to promote literacy and for religious purposes.

As of 2018, Ethnologue contains web-based information on 7,097 languages in its 21st edition, including the number of speakers, locations, dialects, linguistic affiliations, autonyms, availability of the Bible in each language and dialect described, a cursory description of revitalization efforts where reported, and an estimate of language viability using the Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS).

Gserpa language

Gserpa (Wylie: gser pa) is an eastern Tibetic language of Sichuan. It is spoken by a few hundred or thousand people in Sêrba (Tibetan:གསེར་པ་; Wylie: gser pa; Tibetan pinyin: Sêrba; Chinese: 色尔坝; pinyin: Sè'ěrbà) District, Sêrtar County, Sichuan, China and is different from the Amdo Tibetan language, the dominant Tibetan language in the surrounding region.

Khalong Tibetan language

Khalong Tibetan is a Tibetic language of Sichuan, China, once considered a dialect of Khams. It is spoken in Zamtang County of Ngawa Prefecture. Phonological and grammatical details reflect a Shawu (Gyarong) substrate.

Kuwani language

Kuwani is a poorly attested Papuan language of the Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea. It is attested only from a single word list, and even its exact location is unknown. Smits and Voorhoeve (1998) assumed it to be equivalent to Kalabra, but there are significant lexical differences.

Laizisi language

Laizisi (lai˨˩dzɨ̱˥sɨ˥; Chinese: 莱兹斯话; Moguang Yi 磨光彝) is a recently discovered Loloish language spoken in Jidiping 吉地坪, Moguang Village 磨光村, Jindun Township 金墩乡, Heqing County, Yunnan, China. Whereas the Laizisi refer to themselves as lai˥dzɨ̱˥sɨ˥, they refer to the Yi people of Xipo village 西坡村 as la˥dzɨ̱˥sɨ˥.

Laopin language

Laopin (Chinese: 老品) is a Loloish language of Menghai County, Yunnan, China. Laopin is spoken in Manpin 曼品村 (or Laopin 老品), Manhong Village 曼洪村委会, Mengzhe Town 勐遮镇, Menghai County.There fewer than 1,000 speakers out of 1,300 ethnic members in Menglian County. They are classified as ethnic Dai people by the Chinese government.

Manga language (Sino-Tibetan)

Manga (autonym: ma˧ŋa˧) is a Lolo-Burmese language spoken by the Yi people of China. It is spoken in Gedang Village 格当村, Xinhua Township 新华乡, Funing County, Yunnan (Lama 2012).

Maojia dialect

Maojia (猫家 mau˥ka˥) is a mixed language in Southern China. Maojiahua is an unclassified Sinitic language that has undergone influence from Hmongic languages.

Niwer Mil language

The Niwer Mil language is spoken by 9,033 people on Boang Island, Malendok Island, Lif Island and Tefa Island in the Tanga Islands, Namatanai District of New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. It was split from the Tangga language in 2013. It is one of the languages that form the St George linkage group of Meso-Melanesian languages.

Nuomei language

Nuomei (Chinese: 糯美; autonym: lo˧mɛ˨˩) is a Southern Loloish language of Yunnan, China. Nuomei is spoken in Yuanjiang Hani, Yi and Dai Autonomous County, and Jinping Miao, Yao, and Dai Autonomous County.

Pondok language

Pondok is a Sumba language of Indonesia.

Qoqmončaq language

Qoqmončaq is a mixed language based on Kazakh, Mongolian, and Solon, spoken by about 200 people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.


Yerkish is an artificial language developed for use by non-human primates. It employs a keyboard whose keys contain lexigrams, symbols corresponding to objects or ideas.A lexigram represents a word but is not necessarily indicative of the object to which it refers. Lexigrams were notably used by the Georgia State University Language Research Center to communicate with bonobos and chimpanzees. Researchers and primates were able to communicate using lexigram boards made in up to three panels with a total of 384 keys.

Zibusi language

Zibusi (zɨ˨˩ pu˥ sɨ˥; Chinese: 子逋斯话; Daqing Yi 大箐彝) is a recently discovered Loloish language of Heqing County, Yunnan, China. They are known by the Kua-nsi as zɨ˨˩ pɯ˥ sɨ˥. The Zibusi are found in Shangshiyan 上石岩, Daqing Village 大箐村, Duomei Township 朵美乡, Heqing County (Castro, et al. 2010); the sɨ˨˩ pʰɨ̪˨˩ sɨ˥ are located in Jidiping 吉地坪, Moguang Village 磨光村, Jindun Township 金墩乡.

Zitsadegu language

Zitsadegu (Zitsa Degu, Chinese Jiuzhaigou) is a minor eastern Tibetic language of Sichuan spoken by a few hundred or thousand people.

List of Glottolog genealogical families
Name Region[4] Languages
Atlantic-Congo Africa, North America 1,435
Austronesian Africa, Eurasia, Oceania, South America 1,276
Indo-European Africa, Australia, Eurasia, North America, Oceania, South America 584
Sino-Tibetan Eurasia 491
Afro-Asiatic Africa, Eurasia 373
Nuclear Trans New Guinea Oceania 315
Pama-Nyungan Australia, Oceania 248
Otomanguean North America 180
Austroasiatic Eurasia 159
Tai-Kadai Eurasia 94
Dravidian Eurasia 80
Arawakan North America, South America 78
Mande Africa 75
Tupian South America 71
Uto-Aztecan North America 69
Central Sudanic Africa 63
Nuclear Torricelli Oceania 55
Nilotic Africa 54
Uralic Eurasia 48
Algic North America 45
Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit North America 45
Pano-Tacanan South America 45
Quechuan South America 45
Turkic Eurasia 44
Cariban South America 42
Hmong-Mien Eurasia 39
Sepik Oceania 36
Nakh-Daghestanian Eurasia 34
Mayan North America 33
Lower Sepik-Ramu Oceania 30
Nuclear-Macro-Je South America 30
Chibchan North America, South America 27
Tucanoan South America 26
Salishan North America 25
Timor-Alor-Pantar Oceania 23
Dogon Africa 20
Lakes Plain Oceania 20
Mixe-Zoque North America 19
Morehead-Wasur Oceania 19
Ta-Ne-Omotic Africa 19
Siouan North America 18
Anim Oceania 17
Mongolic Eurasia 17
Border Oceania 15
Japonic Eurasia, Oceania 15
North Halmahera Oceania 15
Khoe-Kwadi Africa 14
Angan Oceania 13
Ndu Oceania 13
Nubian Africa 13
Tor-Orya Oceania 13
Tungusic Eurasia 13
Chapacuran South America 12
Eskimo-Aleut Eurasia, North America 12
Gunwinyguan Australia 12
Totonacan North America 12
Cochimi-Yuman North America 11
Iroquoian North America 11
Miwok-Costanoan North America 11
Surmic Africa 11
Western Daly Australia 11
Geelvink Bay Oceania 10
Great Andamanese Eurasia, Oceania 10
Heibanic Africa 10
Ijoid Africa 10
Maban Africa 10
Nyulnyulan Australia 10
Saharan Africa 10
Songhay Africa 10
Worrorran Australia 10
Chocoan South America 9
Dagan Oceania 9
Sko Oceania 9
South Bougainville Oceania 9
Greater Kwerba Oceania 8
Kiowa-Tanoan North America 8
Koiarian Oceania 8
Mailuan Oceania 8
Narrow Talodi Africa 8
Tuu Africa 8
Bosavi Oceania 7
Dajuic Africa 7
Huitotoan South America 7
Matacoan South America 7
Muskogean North America 7
Pomoan North America 7
Arawan South America 6
Baining Oceania 6
Barbacoan South America 6
Chumashan North America 6
East Strickland Oceania 6
Goilalan Oceania 6
Kadugli-Krongo Africa 6
Kartvelian Eurasia 6
Kiwaian Oceania 6
Left May Oceania 6
Nambiquaran South America 6
South Bird's Head Family Oceania 6
Wakashan North America 6
Zaparoan South America 6
Abkhaz-Adyge Eurasia 5
Caddoan North America 5
Chukotko-Kamchatkan Eurasia 5
Eleman Oceania 5
Guahiboan South America 5
Guaicuruan South America 5
Kxa Africa 5
Lengua-Mascoy South America 5
Mirndi Australia 5
Misumalpan North America 5
Nimboranic Oceania 5
Pauwasi Oceania 5
Sahaptian North America 5
South Omotic Africa 5
West Bird's Head Oceania 5
Xincan North America 5
Yanomamic South America 5
Yareban Oceania 5
Yeniseian Eurasia 5
Yuat Oceania 5
Blue Nile Mao Africa 4
Chicham South America 4
Chinookan North America 4
Chonan South America 4
Eastern Jebel Africa 4
Eastern Trans-Fly Oceania 4
Huavean North America 4
Iwaidjan Proper Australia 4
Jodi-Saliban South America 4
Kamakanan South America 4
Koman Africa 4
Maiduan North America 4
Mangarrayi-Maran Australia 4
Maningrida Australia 4
Nadahup South America 4
North Bougainville Oceania 4
Sentanic Oceania 4
Suki-Gogodala Oceania 4
Tamaic Africa 4
Tangkic Australia 4
Turama-Kikori Oceania 4
Walioic Oceania 4
Yokutsan North America 4
Yukaghir Eurasia 4
Ainu Eurasia 3
Arafundi Oceania 3
Aymaran South America 3
Bororoan South America 3
Cahuapanan South America 3
Charruan South America 3
Dizoid Africa 3
East Bird's Head Oceania 3
Giimbiyu Australia 3
Gumuz Africa 3
Jarrakan Australia 3
Kalapuyan North America 3
Kamula-Elevala Oceania 3
Katla-Tima Africa 3
Kawesqar South America 3
Kayagaric Oceania 3
Kolopom Oceania 3
Kuliak Africa 3
Kwalean Oceania 3
Mairasic Oceania 3
Peba-Yagua South America 3
Shastan North America 3
Tequistlatecan North America 3
Tsimshian North America 3
Ulmapo Oceania 3
West Bomberai Oceania 3
Yangmanic Australia 3
Zamucoan South America 3
Amto-Musan Oceania 2
Araucanian South America 2
Baibai-Fas Oceania 2
Bayono-Awbono Oceania 2
Bogia Oceania 2
Boran South America 2
Bulaka River Oceania 2
Bunaban Australia 2
Chimakuan North America 2
Coosan North America 2
Doso-Turumsa Oceania 2
East Kutubu Oceania 2
Eastern Daly Australia 2
Furan Africa 2
Garrwan Australia 2
Haida North America 2
Harakmbut South America 2
Hatam-Mansim Oceania 2
Hibito-Cholon South America 2
Huarpean South America 2
Hurro-Urartian Eurasia 2
Inanwatan Oceania 2
Jarawa-Onge Eurasia 2
Jicaquean North America 2
Kakua-Nukak South America 2
Kariri South America 2
Katukinan South America 2
Keresan North America 2
Konda-Yahadian Oceania 2
Koreanic Eurasia 2
Kresh-Aja Africa 2
Kwomtari-Nai Oceania 2
Lencan North America 2
Lepki-Murkim Oceania 2
Limilngan-Wulna Australia 2
Manubaran Oceania 2
Marrku-Wurrugu Australia 2
Mombum-Koneraw Oceania 2
Namla-Tofanma Oceania 2
North-Eastern Tasmanian Australia 2
Northern Daly Australia 2
Nyimang Africa 2
Pahoturi Oceania 2
Palaihnihan North America 2
Piawi Oceania 2
Puri-Coroado South America 2
Rashad Africa 2
Senagi Oceania 2
Somahai Oceania 2
South-Eastern Tasmanian Australia 2
Southern Daly Australia 2
Tarascan North America 2
Taulil-Butam Oceania 2
Teberan Oceania 2
Temeinic Africa 2
Ticuna-Yuri South America 2
Uru-Chipaya South America 2
Western Tasmanian Australia 2
Wintuan North America 2
Yawa-Saweru Oceania 2
Yuki-Wappo North America 2
Abinomn Oceania 1
Abun Oceania 1
Adai North America 1
Aewa South America 1
Aikanã South America 1
Alsea-Yaquina North America 1
Andaqui South America 1
Andoque South America 1
Anem Oceania 1
Ap Ma Oceania 1
Arutani South America 1
Atacame South America 1
Atakapa North America 1
Banaro Oceania 1
Bangime Africa 1
Basque Eurasia 1
Beothuk North America 1
Berta Africa 1
Betoi-Jirara South America 1
Bilua Oceania 1
Bogaya Oceania 1
Burmeso Oceania 1
Burushaski Eurasia 1
Camsá South America 1
Candoshi-Shapra South America 1
Canichana South America 1
Cayubaba South America 1
Cayuse North America 1
Chimariko North America 1
Chiquitano South America 1
Chitimacha North America 1
Chono South America 1
Coahuilteco North America 1
Cofán South America 1
Comecrudan North America 1
Cotoname North America 1
Cuitlatec North America 1
Culli South America 1
Damal Oceania 1
Dem Oceania 1
Dibiyaso Oceania 1
Duna Oceania 1
Elamite Eurasia 1
Elseng Oceania 1
Esselen North America 1
Etruscan Eurasia 2
Fasu Oceania 1
Fulniô South America 1
Gaagudju Australia 1
Guachi South America 1
Guaicurian North America 1
Guamo South America 1
Guató South America 1
Gule Africa 1
Guriaso Oceania 1
Hadza Africa 1
Hattic Eurasia 1
Hruso Eurasia 1
Iberian Eurasia 1
Irántxe-Münkü South America 1
Itonama South America 1
Jalaa Africa 1
Jirajaran South America 1
Kaki Ae Oceania 1
Kanoê South America 1
Kapori Oceania 1
Karami Oceania 1
Karankawa North America 1
Karok North America 1
Kaure-Narau Oceania 1
Kehu Oceania 1
Kembra Oceania 1
Kenaboi Eurasia 1
Kibiri Oceania 1
Kimki Oceania 1
Klamath-Modoc North America 1
Kol (Papua New Guinea) Oceania 1
Kosadle Oceania 1
Kujarge Africa 1
Kunama Africa 1
Kungarakany Australia 1
Kunza South America 1
Kuot Oceania 1
Kusunda Eurasia 1
Kutenai North America 1
Kwaza South America 1
Laal Africa 1
Lafofa Africa 1
Laragia Australia 1
Lavukaleve Oceania 1
Leco South America 1
Lule South America 1
Máku South America 1
Maratino North America 1
Marori Oceania 1
Massep Oceania 1
Matanawí South America 1
Mato Grosso Arára South America 1
Mawes Oceania 1
Maybrat-Karon Oceania 1
Meroitic Africa 1
Mimi-Gaudefroy Africa 1
Minkin Australia 1
Mochica South America 1
Molale North America 1
Molof Oceania 1
Mor (Bomberai Peninsula) Oceania 1
Mosetén-Chimané South America 1
Movima South America 1
Mpur Oceania 1
Muniche South America 1
Mure South America 1
Nara Africa 1
Natchez North America 1
Nihali Eurasia 1
Nivkh Eurasia 1
Odiai Oceania 1
Omurano South America 1
Ongota Africa 1
Oti South America 1
Otomaco-Taparita South America 1
Oyster Bay-Big River-Little Swanport Australia 1
Páez South America 1
Pankararú South America 1
Papi Oceania 1
Pawaia Oceania 1
Payagua South America 1
Pele-Ata Oceania 1
Pirahã South America 1
Puelche South America 1
Puinave South America 1
Pumé South America 1
Puquina South America 1
Purari Oceania 1
Pyu Oceania 1
Ramanos South America 1
Salinan North America 1
Sandawe Africa 1
Sapé South America 1
Sause Oceania 1
Savosavo Oceania 1
Sechuran South America 1
Seri North America 1
Shabo Africa 1
Shom Peng Eurasia 1
Siamou Africa 1
Siuslaw North America 1
Sulka Oceania 1
Sumerian Eurasia 1
Tabo Oceania 1
Taiap Oceania 1
Takelma North America 1
Tallán South America 1
Tambora Oceania 1
Tanahmerah Oceania 1
Taruma South America 1
Taushiro South America 1
Timote-Cuica South America 1
Timucua North America 1
Tinigua South America 1
Tiwi Australia 1
Tonkawa North America 1
Touo Oceania 1
Trumai South America 1
Tunica North America 1
Tuxá South America 1
Umbugarla Australia 1
Urarina South America 1
Usku Oceania 1
Vilela South America 1
Wadjiginy Australia 1
Wageman Australia 1
Waorani South America 1
Warao South America 1
Washo North America 1
Wiru Oceania 1
Xukurú South America 1
Yale Oceania 1
Yámana South America 1
Yana North America 1
Yele Oceania 1
Yerakai Oceania 1
Yetfa Oceania 1
Yuchi North America 1
Yuracaré South America 1
Yurumanguí South America 1
Zuni North America 1

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