(Note: This site is under construction and is being continually updated. References are currently being added.)


Welcome to Andy Hsiu's Sino-Tibetan Branches Project (STBP) site, an online encyclopedia covering the branches of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Notes on the positions of each branch with Sino-Tibetan are discussed, with a particular emphasis on lexical isoglosses. Some pages include my own proto-language reconstructions.

To begin, you can browse the menu on the right and click on any topic that interests you. Various downloadable spreadsheets and text files have been attached at the bottoms of many pages.

Many of the ideas presented in this website are my own, although they are ultimately based on the many works of previous scholars who had paved the way for these ideas to be born. Please acknowledge and cite data, hypotheses, and claims presented here.

Other than doing armchair historical linguistics, I have also performed linguistic fieldwork throughout East Asia. My field notes and recordings can be accessed on my MSEAlangs site.

Note that to avoid confusion and bias, I have chosen to use the name conventional name "Sino-Tibetan" instead of "Trans-Himalayan" or "Tibeto-Burman." Since I do not consider Sinitic to form a sister to "Tibeto-Burman" (i.e., all other Sino-Tibetan branches), "Sino-Tibetan" is used interchangeably with "Tibeto-Burman"; both names are considered to be equivalent.

Map of Sino-Tibetan branches

The map below shows the various Sino-Tibetan branches (or "fallen leaves," quoting George van Driem) that are of phylogenetic significance.

See also the following interactive map of Sino-Tibetan branches.


This site contains many proto-languages that I have reconstructed myself. These include:

All reconstructions can be cited, although please note that they are continually being updated. Reconstructions for Gong, rGyalrong, and Anu-Hkongso are relatively secure, while the rest are still highly preliminary due to the eroded states of their respective synchronic languages.

Proto-rGyalrong is currently being revised, while reconstructions of Proto-Lavrung, Proto-Horpa, and Proto-Horpa-Lavrung are underway.

Tones remain to be reconstructed for Proto-Tujia and Proto-Cai-Long.

Credits and acknowledgments

This project would not have been possible without the help of many people: Paul Sidwell, Doug Cooper, Ziwo Lama, Jerold Edmondson, Harald Hammarstrom, Eric Johnson, Jinfang Li, Roger Blench, Frederic Pain, and many others.

Inspiration for this website's design and layout comes from Timothy Usher's Newguineaworld site (https://sites.google.com/site/newguineaworld/). Special thanks to Timothy Usher.


Please feel free to e-mail me for contributions, questions, comments, requests, etc.

msealangs AT gmail DOT com