|Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon|
The Chadic languages constitute a language family of perhaps 150 languages spoken across northern Nigeria, southern Niger, southern Chad, Central African Republic and northern Cameroon, that are a branch of the Afroasiatic family. The most widely spoken Chadic language is Hausa, a lingua franca of much of inland West Africa.
Newman (1977) classified the languages into four groups which have been accepted in all subsequent literature. Further subbranching, however, has not been as robust; Blench (2006), for example, only accepts the A/B bifurcation of East Chadic.
- West Chadic. Two branches, which include
- Biu–Mandara (Central Chadic). Three branches, which include
- (A) the Bura, Kamwe, and Bata languages, among other groups;
- (B) the Buduma and Musgu languages; and
- (C) Gidar
- East Chadic. Two branches, which include
Modern genetic studies of populations which speak Chadic languages has shown high frequencies of the Y-Chromosome Haplogroup R1b (specifically the R1b R-V88 variant), a marker which is common in parts of Europe and Asia, but otherwise rare in Africa. This has led to the theory that the Proto-Chadic people originated in Asia (the Middle East) before entering Africa as early as 7 thousand years ago, probably before the First Dynasty of Egypt. The speakers of Proto-Chadic might have been a Levantine population dating back to an African migration (a "back-migration").
- Ethnologue entry for Chadic languages
- Lukas, Johannes (1936) 'The linguistic situation in the Lake Chad area in Central Africa.' Africa, 9, 332–349.
- Lukas, Johannes. Zentralsudanische Studien, Hamburg 1937;
- Newman, Paul and Ma, Roxana (1966) 'Comparative Chadic: phonology and lexicon.' Journal of African Languages, 5, 218–251.
- Newman, Paul (1977) 'Chadic classification and reconstructions.' Afroasiatic Linguistics 5, 1, 1–42.
- Newman, Paul (1978) 'Chado-Hamitic 'adieu': new thoughts on Chadic language classification', in Fronzaroli, Pelio (ed.), Atti del Secondo Congresso Internazionale di Linguistica Camito-Semitica. Florence: Instituto de Linguistica e di Lingue Orientali, Università di Firenze, 389–397.
- Newman, Paul (1980) The Classification of Chadic within Afroasiatic. Leiden: Universitaire Pers Leiden.
- Herrmann Jungraithmayr, Kiyoshi Shimizu: Chadic lexical roots. Reimer, Berlin 1981.
- Herrmann Jungraithmayr, Dymitr Ibriszimow: Chadic lexical roots. 2 volumes. Reimer, Berlin 1994
- Schuh, Russell (2003) 'Chadic overview', in M. Lionel Bender, Gabor Takacs, and David L. Appleyard (eds.), Selected Comparative-Historical Afrasian Linguistic Studies in Memory of Igor M. Diakonoff, LINCOM Europa, 55–60.