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The Korean language is an East Asian languagespoken by about 80 million people. It is a member of the Koreanic language family and is the official and national language of both Koreas: North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Jilin province, China.
Historical and modern linguists classify Korean as a language isolate; however, it does have a few extinct relatives, which together with Korean itself and the Jeju language (spoken in the Jeju Province and considered somewhat distinct) form the Koreanic language family. This implies that Korean is not an isolate, but a member of a micro-family. The idea that Korean belongs to the controversial Altaic language family is discredited in academic research.
Korean is now often included in Paleosiberian, a group of ancient languages in Northeast Asia. Paleosiberian is not a language family per se, but a term of convenience for genetically unrelated languages that predate other regional language families such as Tungusic and Turkic. Korean is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.
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