Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Southern Bantoid languages

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Glottolog  sout3152
Geographic distribution  Subsaharan Africa, but not further west than Nigeria
Linguistic classification  Niger–Congo Atlantic–Congo Benue–Congo Southern Bantoid
Subdivisions  ? Bendi Tivoid ? Esimbi ? Menchum Momo East Beboid ? Buru Mamfe (Nyang) Furu Ekoid–Mbe West Beboid ? Grassfields ? Jarawan (Bantu?) ? Mbam (Bantu?) (Narrow) Bantu (unity dubious)

In the classification of African languages, Southern Bantoid (or South Bantoid), also known as Wide Bantu or Bin, is a branch of the Benue–Congo languages of the Niger–Congo family. Southern Bantoid, which includes the well known and numerous (Narrow) Bantu languages, 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 [1987]) in a proposal that divided Bantoid into North and South branches. The uniformity 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. Blench (2010) suggests that Tivoid, Momo (ex-Grassfields), and 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?)
  • Mamfe
  • Ekoid–Mbe: Ekoid, Mbe
  • West Beboid (not a valid clade?)
  • Bantu: Grassfields (? Momo), Jarawan–Mbam, Narrow Bantu
  • References

    Southern Bantoid languages Wikipedia

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