Cross River languages
The Cross River or Delta–Cross languages are a branch of the Benue–Congo language family in south-easternmost Nigeria posited by Joseph Greenberg. It is one of the few of his branches of Niger–Congo that has withstood the test of time.
The original name was Cross River. The Bendi languages were soon seen to be aberrant, and the other branches united under the term Delta–Cross. However, the inclusion of Bendi is doubtful, and it has been tentatively reassigned to the Southern Bantoid family, making the terms Cross River and Delta–Cross synonymous.
There are four sections of Cross River:
- Central Delta, 8 languages, the most populous being Ogbia with 100,000 speakers
- the 5 Ogoni languages, with Ogoni proper (Khana) having 200,000 speakers
- Upper Cross River, 22 languages, the most populous being Lokaa with 120,000 speakers)
- Lower Cross River, 23 languages, including Ibibio-Efik (3½ million)
- Cross River (Nigeria), the namesake of the language group
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