The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50–60 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers, including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of the Nile meet.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nilo-Saharan_languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50–60 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers, including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of the Nile meet.
Nilo-Saharan languages, a group of languages that form one of the four language stocks or families on the African continent, the others being Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan, and Niger-Congo. The Nilo-Saharan languages are presumed to be descended from a common ancestral language and, therefore, to be genetically related.
Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in the more eastern zones, such as many Nilotic and several Surmic languages as well as those belonging to the Kuliak and Kadu groups, belong to the former type, whereas western and northern Nilo-Saharan languages such as Fur, Kunama, and the Maban and Nubian languages have verb-final structures.
Where are Nilo-Saharan languages spoken? These languages are spoken – in Eastern Africa, mainly along the Lower Nile (Sudan and Ethiopia) and all the way to Tanzania and Kenya ; – in the centre, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and along the Chari River (Central African Republic and Chad) ; – to the West, in Benin and Nigeria ;
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The Nilo-Saharan languages stretch across the eastern Sahara, the upper Nile valley, and the regions surrounding East Africa's Lake Victoria. Members of the Nilo-Saharan family are also found in Northeastern Congo Kinshasa, west to the Chari River, and south to the Niger valley of South Africa (see Map 1).
- Afroasiatic Languages
- Nilo-Saharan Languages
- Niger-Congo Languages
- Khoe Languages
- European Languages in Africa
The term Afroasiatic is used to classify nearly 300 languages primarily spoken throughout the western and northern regions of Africa as well as in the Horn of Africa. About 495 million Africans speak an Afroasiatic language as their first language. Arabic has more speakers than any other Afroasiatic language on the continent. Arabic is mainly popular in nations with a large Muslim populationsuch as Algeria, Egypt, and Libya and in these three countries, the constitution recognizes it as an official language. Another prominent Afroasiatic language is Hausa which is dominant in the northern section of Nigeria, most of Ghana, and the southern portion of Niger.
Another major group of languages spoken on the African continent is the Nilo-Saharan group. Speakers of Nilo-Saharan languages live in 17 countries with some in the north of the continent such as Algeria and Libya, and others in the east such as Tanzania and Kenya. One of the significant tongues in this category is the Luo which is spoken by a segment of the Kenyan and Tanzanian populations. Slightly fewer than 4.5 million people speak it as their first language. Several other Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken in Kenya such as Maasai and Teso. Another Nilo-Saharan dialect with a significant number of native speakers is Kanuri which is dominant around the Lake Chad area. Songhay is the most prevalent Nilo-Saharan language in West Africa with speakers spread out in several nations such as Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Most of the regions where the language is spoken were once part of one of the most well-known African empires, the Songhai Empire.
The Niger-Congo language group is one of Africa's most significant since it has more speakers than any of the other language groups on the continent. Globally, it is ranked third regarding native speakers and some linguists rank it first regarding the number of individual languages. Swahili is the most prominent of the Niger-Congo languages as it has the most speakers while others such as Yoruba, Shona, and Igbo have the highest number of native speakers. The languages that fall in this category have some distinct features such as phonology and vowel harmony.
The Khoe language group is one of the dominant language groups in the southern section of Africa. The most prominent dialect within this group is the Nama which is spoken in Namibia. Some of the languages within this group are facing the risk of extinction as native speakers opt to use other languages such as English.
One of the significant impacts of colonization was the introduction of European languages to Africa which are mainly used as Lingua Franca in many countries. Languages such as German, English, and French were introduced by the colonial masters to facilitate communication with the conquered communities.
Additionally, Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken by what the government calls the "Nilotic" people, though scholars distinguish Nilotic from the Surmic languages, Gumuz languages, and Koman languages spoken in Ethiopia. Of the languages spoken in Ethiopia, 86 are living and 2 are extinct. 41 of the living languages are institutional, 14 are ...
Hausa, one of the most prominent indigenous languages of Nigeria, is spoken by about 30 million people as a native language in West Africa and an additional 20 million as a second language. It is often considered to be the lingua franca of West Africa, as the Hausa ethnic group is one of the largest in the region.
Nilo-Saharan includes about 140 languages spoken by about eleven million people in Central and East Africa. Niger-Saharan covers two-thirds of the African population. The main branch is the Niger-Congo group, which includes more than 1000 languages with about 200 million speakers.