, a grouping at a higher level than a family
. Where a family can be reconstruct
ed with reasonable confidence, and there is little doubt of the common descent
of its members, a macrofamily is invoked when the constituent language
s or families are probably but not unquestionably related.
For example, the Turkic family of languages, the Manchu-Tungusic languages, and Mongolian can probably be related as part of a larger group called Altaic. The Siouan and Iroquoian families are generally held to belong together in a Macro-Siouan (macro)family. Other macrofamilies in America named with the Macro- prefix are Macro-Cariban and Macro-Gê.
At an even further level of remove, a very wide-encompassing and tentative grouping of families is called a phylum.