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Chadic Languages

Chadic Languages
Chadic Languages

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chadic people

Chadic Languages and Afroasiatic Languages:

The Afroasiatic languages were grouped in the early 20th century after the amalgamation of different African and Asian languages by linguists. Of course, the merger also has a lot to do with the similar migration route of the indigenous travelers, the trans-Saharan connections, detailed reviews, and collections of texts written by earliest historians. And it further has six branches including one which is a point of disagreement among many. The six branches are

  • Berber

  • Chadic

  • Cushitic

  • Egyptian

  • Omotic

  • Semitic

According to historical events, archaeological findings, and genetic records, the common ancestors of both Chadic and Cushitic inhabited either Northeast or East Africa, the evidence of movement can be viewed by the collections of texts found in different researchers’ work. The westward and southward migration enhanced the diversification of many languages in Eastern Africa.

Siwa, located in Western Egypt is a Berber speaking area. Siwa’s climatic conditions are mainly dry. Omotic is the branch that is a matter of dispute due to the insufficient grammar formulation. Many even regard it as a sub-branch of Cushitic. Some even doubt it as an Afro Asiatic language.

In the most recent articles, striking contour maps were created with colored bands to show relationships between the Chadic language and Sub Haplogroups. Haplogroup diversity is marked by the potential presence of speakers in the region. Age estimates were also recorded for gaining medical information. Estimation techniques were used to ensure better results.

Arabic which is a language of the Semitic group, is the largest spoken Afroasiatic language with over 300 million speakers worldwide. Arabic is by far the most widely spoken Afro Asiatic language. It is important to keep in mind that not all Arabic speakers are Arabs. The assimilation of local groups has had a huge impact on both ways of life and dialects of the Arabic speakers of the region.

Chadic, The Family Of Languages

The Chad basin is popular for the historic movement of people where it acted as a center of attraction for neighboring populations of Proto-Chadic, Niger-Congo, and Nilo-Saharan origin and also because of the 150 Chadic languages that are spoken in the Central Republic of Africa, Northern Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Southern Chad, also in parts of the Sahel. The population structure of the Chad basin is based on human migrations in the area. Lake Chad is also one of the most important geographic locations of the region. The country of Chad got its name from Lake Chad too.

Although Arabic is regarded as the most widely spoken language of Africa based on the number of Arabic speakers, there are many other languages that are world-famous but belong to the Chadic family. Word order in Chadic vernacular is subject verb object.

Hausa

Among the Chadic speaking groups, the most popular is Hausa, spoken mainly in Eastern west Africa and Eastern Africa as a whole. Subdivided into some 8 or 9 branches, the Chadic language can be further broken down as West Chadic, which has two branches including Hausa, Ron, Bole, and Angas languages and Bade, Warji, and Zaar languages.

Biu-Mandra or Central Chadic has three branches which include Bura, Kamwe, and Bata languages, the Buduma and Musgu languages, and Gidar.

East Chadic includes two branches namely the Tumake, Nancere, and Kera languages,

Dangleat, Mukulu, and Sokoro languages

Others are Masa and Kujarge

chadic language
chad language

Chadic Languages Of Central Africa

Africa is vast. The Central Chadic branch of the Afroasiatic family is widely spread all across Africa, particularly the central region. Arabic Speakers may have seemed to dominate others, but the countries in the Chad Basin also have different aboriginal languages which also include many Chadic dialects, branches, and versions. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

  • Chad

Even though the country’s major focus is on its official languages which are French and Modern Standard Arabic, a wide range of regional and local languages are spoken across the country. Below are the languages of Chad which come from the Chadic family

Bidiyo – Buduma – Dangaléat – Gabri – Herdé – Kabalai – Kera

Kimré -Kwang -Lele – Marba – Masana – Masmaje – Mesme

Migaama – Mubi – Musey – Musgu – Nancere – Pévé – Sokoro – Tobanga – Tumak

Apart from these, many Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Creole, and unclassified languages are also spoken in the country.

Learn More about the most important languages to learn >>

The Republic Of Congo

In Congo, French has the crown of the official language of the country. However, there is a vast majority that speaks Creole languages among which Kituba is the Lingua Franca in the region. Bantu languages such as Kikongo/Kongo and Lingala are among the most spoken languages of the country.

Equatorial Guinea

The official languages of Equatorial Guinea are French, Portuguese, English, and Spanish. However, regional languages of various language families are widely spoken all across the country. Most of these languages are Bantu, Mande, some are central African and a couple of them are creole languages as well.

The Democratic Republic Of Congo

The official and recognized languages are French, Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba. Being the place of many conflicts, civil war, and ethnic diversity, the country is rich with various linguistic affiliations.

Gabon

Gabon or the Gabonese Republic is a country located on the west coast of Central Africa. The official language is French, however, recognized and commonly spoken languages include Teke, Fang, and Njebi, Bantu languages, and Punu which is a Niger-Congo language.

São Tomé and Príncipe

Know officially as the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Saint Thomas and Prince, is a Portuguese speaking country. Apart from Portuguese, there are minority and creole languages spoken by people all across the country.

Chadic Languages That Are Popular Worldwide

After learning about the countries of the Chad Basin, and particularly of the central region and the common ancestor language family that is used for daily conversation, let’s talk about the most popular ones. Let’s start with the top one of East Africa.

Hausa

Specifically known for being a tongue twister among African linguistics, this is a Chadic West-African vernacular. Spoken mainly in Nigeria, it is a Chadic language of the Afro Asiatic languages’ family.

The Hausa linguistic has a uniform pronunciation and concentrated presence throughout the areas where it is spoken. Perhaps, this unification led to its immense spread into the wide region. Grammatical relations are also distinguished in Hausa. Nonetheless, there are many dialects of individual languages, same is with the Hausaare collection of texts, words, and sentences, etc. Moreover, its grammatical relations are unique, the time of reference is not the determinant of tense change. For instance, if the time of reference is past or future, it will not affect Hausa and the same form of tense will be used in the continuum.

The Hausa Chadic language is further divided into many versions. The derivational process is based on the area where they are spoken. Kano Hausa is considered the standard Hausa.

The Western Hausa, West Hausa, or Classical Hausa is more commonly spoken in niger and Northern Nigeria. West Hausa is also popular because of its association with Shehu Usman Dan Hodiyo and his followers, they introduced Jihad as a reform in the area.

MIYA

This is one of the nine branches of the West Chadic languages. It is interesting to note here that the name Miya comes from the historic town of Miya where native speakers have written numerous texts which were found recently. Over the years, researchers have found out multiple archaeological findings including collections of texts, artifacts, and rituals. The traditional festival of the wedding where the girl who is about to get married is betrothed. These and the life styles of the people who lived there are all matters of interest to anthropologists.

The Miyan culture is very distinctive and so is the music, and instruments. The traditional festivals include masqueraders or dodos, a unique repertoire of drums, unique flutes, and a five-string harp known as bəzakway.

Musey

Musey is a Chadic language spoken in western Chad. According to African linguistics, it belongs to the Masa branch.

chadic peoples

The Yobe Languages

The seven indigenous Yobe languages are Bole, Bade, Duwai, Karekare, Maka, Nigzim and Ngamo. Apart from Bole which has a fair amount of speakers in Gombe state, the rest of the languages are strongly concentrated in Yobe State.

Now that we have learned a lot about the languages prevailing in the Chad basin for a long time, talked about the Proto Chadic people and their migration routes, and discussed the archaeological findings of African linguistics by the researchers, we have our fair share of knowledge about East Africa, central region, the current position of Hausa and Miya in their relevant areas, we can say that we have acquired a decent knowledge of languages in Africa.

official language of chad

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