Southern Bantu languages

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Southern Bantu
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo?
Proto-languageProto-Southern Bantu

The Southern Bantu languages are a large group of Bantu languages, largely validated in Janson (1991/92).[1] They are nearly synonymous with Guthrie's Bantu zone S, apart from the exclusion of Shona and the inclusion of Makhuwa. They include all of the major Bantu languages of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique, with outliers such as Lozi in Zambia and Namibia, and Ngoni in Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.


Language groups are followed by their code in the Guthrie classification.


  1. ^ Tore Janson (1991-92) "Southern Bantu and Makua", Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika (SUGIA) Vol. 12/13: 63-106, Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Cologne [1]