Their language, which is neither monosyllabic nor tonic, has nothing in common with that of the MonAnnam group. It has, moreover, been pointed out that had the Malays been driven southwards by the stronger races of the mainland of Asia, it might be expected that the people inhabiting the country nearest to the border between Siam and Malaya would belong to the Malayan and not to the Mon-Annam or Mon-Khmer stock.
An examination of their language seems to indicate that, it belongs to the Mon-Khmer group of languages, and the anthropological information forthcoming concerning the Sakai points to the conclusion that they show a greater affinity to the people of the Mon-Khmer races than to the Malayan stock.
All this, however, must necessarily be of the nature of the purest speculation, and the only facts which we are able to deduce in the present state of our knowledge of the subject may be summed up as follows: (a) That the Malays ethnologically belong to a race which is allied to the Polynesians; (b) that the theory formerly current to the effect that the Sakai and other similar races of the peninsula and archipelago belonged to the Malayan stock cannot be maintained, since recent investigations tend to identify them with the Mon-Annam or Mon-Khmer family of races; (c) that the Malays are, comparatively speaking, newcomers in the lands which they now inhabit; (d) that it is almost certain that their emigration took place from the south; (e) and that, at some remote period of their history, they came into close contact with the Polynesian race, probably before its dispersion over the extensive area which it now occupies.
The Mon-Khmer family, which is most numerous in Indo-China, is here represented by the Talaings of southern Burma and the Khasis of Assam.
Instead, we find the Sakai occupying this position, thus indicating that they have been driven northward by the Malays, and that the latter people has not been expelled by the Mon-Khmer races from the countries now represented by Burma, Siam and French Indo-China.