According to a recent chinese report at http://culture.peopl...23/6792706.html and http://news.xinhuane...ent_7460791.htm published by Xinhua, a research had been carried out by 90 linguists/experts from Chinese Academy of Social Science to find out how many different languages are spoken in China today.
The recent research showed that China currently has 5 major different language families and 129 different languages, excluding dialects or sub-dialects.
The research was published in the academic source "China Languages" (Zhongguo Yuyan 《中国的语言》) by Commercial Press. The book was edited and written by more than 90 linguistics experts such as Sun Hongkai 孙宏开, Hu Zhenyi 胡增益, Huang Xin 黄行 and other ethnic minorities linguists from Chinese Research Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology (Chinese Academy of Social Science).
The statistics of languages in China are as follow:
5 Major Language Families:
Sino-Tibetan Family - 76 languages
Altaic-Turkic Family - 21 languages
Austronesian Family - 16 languages
South Asian Family (Indo-Iranian) - 9 languages
Indo-European Family - 1 language
Mixed Language Family - 5 languages
Others - 1 language (Korean)
The book illustrated that out of these 129 languages, 117 languages were on the decline or on the danger of extinction: 21 are already in the danger of extinction, 64 on the path towards extinction and 24 nearing the path of decline.
China Languages which are disappearing include:
For those who are interested in researching the languages of China, you might want to get hold of this academic source.
Edited by General_Zhaoyun, 19 November 2008 - 10:04 PM.