Proto-Austronesian was a language that was spoken about 5,000 years ago near Taiwan. I am just curious about, partly because of the geographic connection, if Chinese is related to the Austronesian language family. Has there ever been a genetic relationship proposed between Austronesian languages and Chinese? My guess is that the language family was last in China around 4,000 BC/BCE.

Note: Austronesian languages started in Taiwan and now range from Madagascar to Easter Island.

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First of all, Chinese is not an isolated language, but a member of the well-established Sino-Tibetan language family. Relationships beyond Sino-Tibetan aren't well established although the Tai-Kaddai language or the Hmong-Mien languages are included in some proposals of a larger Sino-Tibetan family.

Sino-Austronesian was indeed proposed by some linguists (Sagart and Starosta, with different proposals). However, it is not accepted as a valid and established grouping, and similarities between Chinese and Austronesian languages are more often traced to an Austronesian substrate in Chinese (cf. Vovin).

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