Southeast Asia (SEA)
Geographic location: Country A, Country B, etc.
Number of Languages: 207
Number of Genetic Units: ??? 25
Genetic Index: .097 (.121)
Mean Level of Endangerment: ??? A.BC
Mean Documentation Status: ??? D.EF
Threat Level: low
??? map of the region


Some of the languages of this area use labial flaps, a consonant that is very rare in the world’s languages, and almost never appears outside of Africa. The labial flap occurs so infrequently that linguists didn’t have a symbol for it until 2005. To make a labial flap, place your lower lip behind your upper teeth, and then flip it out quickly, hitting either your upper teeth or your upper lip with your lower lip. It is easiest to hear your pronunciation if you say a vowel before and after the labial flap. [mw]

Genetic Units found in Hotspot (25):

  1. Malayic
  2. Katuic
  3. Mienic
  4. Pearic
  5. Monic
  6. Viet-Muong
  7. Kadai
  8. Khmuic
  9. Karenic
  10. Kam-Sui
  11. Bahnaric
  12. Tai-Sek
  13. Mangic
  14. Khmer
  15. Hmongic
  16. Lolo-Burmese
  17. Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo
  18. Unclassified
  19. Palaung-Waic
  20. Unclassified Austroasiatic (6)

Hotspots Formula:

List of Languages:

Endangered Languages include:

  • Arem (Viet-Muong under 40 speakers)
  • Red Gelao (Kadai, under 20 speakers)
  • Laghuu (Lolo-Burmese, under 300 speakers)
  • Mok (Palaung-Waic, under 10 speakers)
  • Suoy (Pearic, around 200 speakers)

Some Features of Languages in Hotspot include:

  • Elaborate voice quality contrasts in vowels and/or tonal systems
  • verb serialization
  • SVO order
  • classifier systems



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19th century Nivkh man (courtesy of AMNH)

Konstantin Mukhaev, born 1948 (with his mother Anna Mukhayeva, born 1916) tells a traditional Tofa story "The wood grouse" (2001, recorded by K. David Harrison and Greg Anderson)