Southern Bantoid languages
|Sub-Saharan Africa, but not further west than Nigeria|
The Southern Bantoid languages shown within the Niger–Congo language family. Non-Southern Bantoid languages are greyscale.
Southern Bantoid (or South Bantoid), also known as Wide Bantu or Bin, is a branch of the Benue–Congo languages of the Niger–Congo language family. It consists of several small branches and isolates of eastern Nigeria and west-central Cameroon (though the affiliation of some branches is uncertain) along with the Bantu languages (also called Narrow Bantu), which are spoken across most of Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, Southern Bantoid comprises 643 languages as counted by Ethnologue, though many of these are mutually intelligible.
Southern Bantoid was first introduced in Williamson (1989, based on work presented in Blench ) in a proposal that divided Bantoid into North and South branches. The unity of the North Bantoid group was subsequently called into question, and Bantoid itself may be polyphyletic, but the work did establish Southern Bantoid as a valid genetic unit, something that has not happened for (Narrow) Bantu itself.
According to Williamson and Blench (2000:34–5), Southern Bantoid is divided into the various Narrow Bantu languages, Jarawan, Tivoid, Beboid, Mamfe (Nyang), Grassfields and Ekoid families. The Bendi languages are of uncertain classification; they have traditionally been classed as Cross River, but they may actually be Southern Bantoid. Blench (2010) suggests that Tivoid, Momo (ex-Grassfields) and East Beboid may form a group, perhaps with the uncertain languages Esimbi and Buru:
- ? Bendi
- Tivoid–Beboid: Tivoid, Esimbi, East Beboid, ? Momo, ? Buru, ? Menchum
- Furu (with Beboid?)
- Ekoid–Mbe: Ekoid, Mbe
- West Beboid (not a valid clade?)
- Bantu: Grassfields (? Momo), Jarawan–Mbam, Narrow Bantu
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Southern Bantoid". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Williamson, Kay (1989) 'Niger–Congo Overview'. In: The Niger–Congo languages, ed. by John Bendor-Samuel, 3–45. University Press of America.
- Roger Blench. "Niger-Congo classification : Niger-Congo: an alternative view" (PDF). Rogerblench.info. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger–Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages – An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 11–42.
- Blench, Roger (2011). "'The membership and internal structure of Bantoid and the border with Bantu" (PDF). Berlin: Humboldt University. p. 17.
- Blench, Roger (2010). "The Tivoid Languages" (PDF). pp. 12, 15.