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see African languagesAfrican languages,
geographic rather than linguistic classification of languages spoken on the African continent. Historically the term refers to the languages of sub-Saharan Africa, which do not belong to a single family, but are divided among several distinct linguistic stocks.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Clan names of Ser(a), Minito, Miro, Riam, Erepo, Kere, Kulok (Kuliak), K(w)or, Liwa/Riwa and Oropom recur among the Karimojong, reflecting Nilo-Saharan and Nilotic--Southern, Western, and Eastern--origins.
In an early source Tucker and Mpaayei (1955: 123) show that in Maasai, an Eastern Nilotic Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Kenya and Tanzania, this marker expresses action towards the speaker or the main person in the sentence (interlinear glossing added by the present author).
Though the Nilo-Saharan language with the greatest number of speakers (about four million), this is probably among the least familiar of the book's languages to most readers.
Rendille (Afro-Asiatic; Cushitic): N-dem num A Gabra (Afro-Asiatic; Cushitic): N num A dem Sampur (Nilo-Saharan; Eastern Nilotic): dem N num A Camus (Nilo-Saharan: Eastern Nilotic): dem N num A Turkana (Nilo-Saharan: Eastern Nilotic): N dem num A Luo (Nilo-Saharan: Western Nilotic): N num A dem Logoli (Niger-Congo; Central Bantu): N num A dem
Two thousand years ago, speakers of the four main continental language phyla (Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Afrasan, and Khoisan) populated the interior of Eastern Africa (including modern-day Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania), making it by far the most linguistically diverse area on the continent.
Ehret's contribution, "Ancient Egyptian as an African Language, Egypt as an African Culture," additionally points out Nilo-Saharan sources of political, religious, and agricultural practices, all fundamental to the formation and definition of Ancient Egyptian society.
The language is normally considered to be a Nilo-Saharan language and a member of the immediate and small subgroup Saharan, he says, though some scholars find it more closely related to Afroasiatic languages.
He added essential training in African linguistics to assist in his research and could identify Meroitic as a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family.