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The Austroasiatic (AA) languages are a large language family in Mainland Southeast and South Asia. Theoretical, methodological, and material constraints have limited research on the origin and dispersal of AA-speaking populations within historical-comparative linguistics. With the deepening of archaeological and genetic studies, interdisciplinary collaboration has become the key to solving this problem. Based on the latest achievements of linguistics, archaeology and molecular anthropology, we review the hypotheses and propose insights on the origin and dispersal of AA languages. The ancestors of the AA-speaking populations were suggested to be the rice farmers living in the Neolithic Age in southern China. During 3000–4500 BP, some of these ancestors who spoke Proto-AA migrated from southern China to northern Vietnam together with shouldered stone tools and domesticated rice. They mixed with local hunter-gatherers and expanded to the south of Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA), giving rise to the Mon-Khmer, Aslian, and Nicobarese populations. They also spread to the Preprint version. Visit after publication to acquire the final version. northeast of India to form the Munda-speaking populations. Another group arrived near Dian Lake in Yunnan about 2500 BP, where they created the Bronze Drum culture with the Proto-Tai-Kadai (TK)-speaking populations and later spread eastward to northern Vietnam via Guangxi. Finally, the Proto-AA-speaking people who remained in southern China mixed with the Proto-TK-speaking groups from Fujian and Guangdong, leading to a language shift, which we hypothesized was one of the main reasons for the “disappearance” of the AA in southern China.