Kordofanian languages

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Kordofanian
(geographic)
Geographic
distribution:
Kordofan
Linguistic classification: Niger–Congo
  • Kordofanian
Subdivisions:
ISO 639-5: kdo
Glottolog: None
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The Kordofanian languages are a geographic grouping of half a dozen language families spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan Province, Sudan. In 1963 Joseph Greenberg added them to the Niger–Congo family, creating his Niger–Kordofanian proposal. The Kordofanian languages have not been shown to be more distantly related than other branches of Niger–Congo, however, nor have they been shown to constitute a valid group. Today the Kadu family is excluded, and the others usually included in Niger–Congo proper.

Roger Blench notes that the Talodi and Heiban families have the noun-class systems characteristic of the Atlantic–Congo core of Niger–Congo, but that the two Katla languages have no trace of ever having had such a system, whereas the Kadu languages and some of the Rashad languages appear to have acquired noun classes as part of a Sprachbund rather than having inherited them. He concludes that Talodi and Heiban are core Niger–Congo whereas Katla and Rashad form a peripheral branch along the lines of Mande.

Talodi–Heiban[edit]

The Heiban languages, also called Koalib or Koalib–Moro, and the Talodi languages, also called Talodi–Masakin, are closely related.[1]

Lafofa[edit]

Main article: Lafofa languages

Lafofa (Tegem) was for a time classified with Talodi, but appears to be a separate branch of Niger–Congo.

Rashad[edit]

Main article: Rashad languages

The number of Rashad languages, also called Tegali–Tagoi, varies among descriptions, from two (Williamson & Blench 2000), three (Ethnologue), to eight (Blench ms). Tagoi has a noun-class system like the Atlantic–Congo languages—apparently borrowed,—while Tegali does not.

Katla languages[edit]

Main article: Katla languages

The two Katla languages have no trace of ever having had a Niger–Congo-type noun-class system.

Kadu languages[edit]

Main article: Kadu languages

Since Schadeberg 1981c, the "Tumtum" or Kadu branch is now widely seen as Nilo-Saharan. However, the evidence is slight, and a conservative classification would treat it as an independent family.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerrit Dimmendaal, 2008. "Language Ecology and Linguistic Diversity on the African Continent", Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5:842.