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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 ?
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.
For example, adjectives in Sampur and probably also in Camus (both are dialects of Nilo-Saharan Maa) are probably better analyzed as verbs heading a relative construction (Heine 1980: 182).
Christopher Ehret gives us an, as always, articulate reconstruction of the remote past, this time attempting to associate Nilo-Saharan speakers with early Saharan food producers.