Altaic (/ælˈteɪ.ᵻk/) is a proposed language family of central Eurasia, now widely seen as discredited.
Various versions included the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, sometimes the Koreanic, and less often the Japonic languages. These languages are spoken in a wide arc stretching from northeast Asia through Central Asia to Anatolia and eastern Europe. The group is named after the Altai mountain range in Central Asia.
Another view accepts Altaic as a valid family but includes in it only Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic. This view was widespread prior to the 1960s but has almost no supporters among specialists today. The expanded grouping, including Korean and sometimes Japanese, came to be known as "Macro-Altaic", leading to the designation of the smaller grouping as "Micro-Altaic" by retronymy. Most proponents of Altaic continue to support the inclusion of Korean.
Micro-Altaic includes about 66 living languages, to which Macro-Altaic would add Korean, Japanese, and the Ryukyuan languages for a total of about 74. (These are estimates, depending on what is considered a language and what is considered a dialect. They do not include earlier states of languages, such as Middle Mongol or Old Japanese.)
Opponents maintain that the similarities are due to areal interaction between the language groups concerned. Also they criticize the inclusion of Korean and Japanese.
Doubt is also cast on the relationship between Turkic, Tungusic, and Mongolic languages by comparisons of similarities of the proto-languages. If Altaic is a legitimate family, the similarities would get bigger in the early proto-languages. This is true for all accepted linguistic families (Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, Austronesian and Afro-Asiatic). But an analysis of the earliest written records of Mongolic and Turkic languages shows fewer similarities rather than more. This is more easily explained by language contact and areal effect. This also means that they do not have a common ancestor. Because of this fact, the whole Altaic family is mostly seen as debunked by modern linguists....LESS