The Sino-Tibetan family calls for the least
branch are spoken, principally in the Tibet region of China, Bhutan and
Myanmar (Burma). Only the Garo language spoken in western Meghalaya is
separated from the main Tibetan zone in the north, by a narrow belt of Indo-
Aryan languages (Bengali and Assamese); and this Indo-Aryan intrusion may
have occurred much later than the arrival of the Tibeto-Burmese branch in the
• Most languages normally tend to be spoken in geographically defined
regions, since their spread depends on the degree of human
interaction. People are also usually inclined to mingle more and
intermarry within such regions, so that eventually, a broad association
between genetic and linguistic borders starts emerging. But such
association could also be misleading. Hence, the point should not be
stretched too far.
• In fact, there are no genetic controls by which one person speaks one
language better than another. In other words, particularities of
pronunciation are transmitted not by birth, but through what a person
hears, especially in childhood, both at home and outside. Thus, there
is no necessary association between a language group and a genetic
group, which in popular parlance, is called a race.
• This can be proved by many examples. Turkic is a relatively young
family of languages (not older than 1,500 years), presently spoken
over large parts of Asia and Europe. The spread of these languages
was caused mostly by migrations (originally from Mongolia and
western China) that are fairly well documented by historical sources.
But the people of Turkey, the leading Turkish-speaking country
today, are ‘Caucasoids’, genetically very close to Greeks, and quite
distant from the oldest Turkic-speaking people, the Uighurs of
western China, who are ‘northern Mongoloids’.
WRITING AND LANGUAGES
The advent of writing signifies an epochal advance in any society. Except