|Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, China (Hainan Island), various countries with recent immigrants|
|ISO 639-2 / 5||cmc|
The Chamic languages, also known as Aceh-Chamic and Achinese-Chamic, are a group of ten languages spoken in Aceh (Sumatra, Indonesia) and in parts of Cambodia, Vietnam and Hainan, China. The Chamic languages are a subgroup of Malayo-Sumbawan languages in the Austronesian family. The ancestor of this subfamily, proto-Chamic, is associated with the Sa Hu?nh culture, its speakers arriving in what is now Vietnam from Borneo or perhaps the Malay Peninsula.
After Acehnese, with 3.5 million, Jarai and Cham are the most widely spoken Chamic languages, with about 230,000 and 280,000 speakers respectively, in both Cambodia and Vietnam. Tsat is the most northern and least spoken, with only 3000 speakers.
Cham has the oldest literary history of any Austronesian language. The Dong Yen Chau inscription, written in Old Cham, dates from the late 4th century AD.
The Proto-Chamic numerals from 7 to 9 are shared with those of the Malayic languages, providing partial evidence for a Malayo-Chamic subgrouping (Thurgood 1999:37).
Roger Blench (2009) also proposes that there may have been at least one other Austroasiatic branch in coastal Vietnam that is now extinct, based on various Austroasiatic loanwords in modern-day Chamic languages that cannot be clearly traced to existing Austroasiatic branches (Blench 2009; Sidwell 2006).
The following table of Proto-Chamic presyllabic consonants are from Thurgood (1999:68). There are a total of 13-14 presyllabic consonants depending on whether or not ? is counted. Non-presyllabic consonants include *?, *?, *?, *?, *y, *w. Aspirated consonants are also reconstructable for Proto-Chamic.
|Tap or trill||r|
The following consonant clusters are reconstructed for Proto-Chamic (Thurgood 1999:93): *pl-, *bl-, *kl-, *gl-, *pr-, *tr-, *kr-, *br-, *dr-.
Reconstructed Proto-Chamic morphological components are:
Proto-Chamic has the following personal pronouns (Thurgood 1999:247-248):