Macrofamily

In historical linguistics, a macrofamily, also called a superfamily or phylum, is a proposed genetic relationship grouping together language families (also isolates) in a larger scale classification. However, Campbell regards this term as superfluous, preferring "language family" for those classifications for which there is consensus and "distant genetic relationship" for those for which there is no, or not yet, consensus, whether due to lack of documentation or scholarship of the constituent languages, or to an estimated time depth thought by many linguists to be too great for reconstruction.[citation needed]

More rarely, the term has also been applied to an exceptionally old, large and diverse language family, such as Afro-Asiatic.

Examples of proposed macro-families range from relatively recent such as East Asian, Macro-Jê, Macro-Waikurúan, Macro-Mayan, Macro-Siouan, Penutian, Dené–Yeniseian and Congo-Saharan (Niger-Saharan) to older ones such as Austric, Dené–Caucasian, Eurasiatic, Nostratic or Ural-Altaic.

See also



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