Bantu languages From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search Bantu Ethnicity Bantu peoplesGeographic distribution Africa, mostly Southern Hemisphere Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo Atlantic–Congo oVolta-Congo Benue–Congo Bantoid Southern Bantoid BantuProto-language Proto-BantuSubdivisions Zones A–S (geographic) (Jarawan?–Mbam?) ManengubaSawabantu Basaa Bafia Beti Makaa–Njem Kele–Tsogo Teke–Mbede Mboshi–Buja Bangi–Tetela Mbole–Enya Lega–Binja Boan Lebonya Nyanga–Buyi Northeast BantuTongwe-Bende Mbugwe–Rangi
Kilombero Kongo–Yaka–Sira Kimbundu Chokwe–Luchazi LuyanaMbukushuPende Luban Lunda Rukwa Sabi–Botatwe Nyasa Rufiji–Ruvuma UmbunduKavango–Southwest Bantu YeyiShona Southern BantuISO 639-2 / 5 bntGlottolognarr1281Map showing the distribution of Bantu vs. other African languages. The Bantu area is in orange.
The Bantu languages(English: /ˈbæntuː/ t -ntu b nt family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the Bantoid group, they are part of the Benue–Congo language family, which in turn is part of the large Niger–Congo phylum. The total number of Bantu languages ranges in the hundreds, depending on the definition of "language" versus "dialect" and is estimated at between 440 and 680 distinct languages.For Bantuic, Linguasphere (Part 2, Transafrican phylosector, phylozone 99) has 260 outer languages (which are equivalent to languages, inner languages being dialects). McWhorter points out, using a comparison of 16 languages from Bangi-Moi, Bangi-Ntamba, Koyo-Mboshi, Likwala-Sangha, Ngondi-Ngiri and Northern Mozambiqean, mostly from Guthrie Zone C, that many varieties are intercomprehensible.The total number of Bantu speakers is in the hundreds of millions, estimated around 350 million in the mid-2010s (roughly 30% of the total population of Africa or roughly 5% of world population).Bantu languages are largely spoken southeast of Cameroon, throughout Central Africa, Southeast Africa and Southern Africa. About one sixth of the Bantu speakers, and about one third of Bantu languages, are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone (c. 60 million speakers as of 2015). See list of Bantu peoples. The Bantu language with the largest total number of speakers is Swahili; however, the majority of its speakers use it as a second language (L1: c. 16 million, L2: 80 million, as of 2015).Other major Bantu languages include Zulu, with 27 million speakers (15.7 million L2) and Shona, with about 11 million speakers (if Manyika and Ndau are included).Ethnologue separates the largely mutually intelligible Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, which, if grouped together, have 20 million speakers.Contents 1Name 2Origin 3Classification o3.1Grollemund (2012) 4Language structure o4.1Reduplication o4.2Noun class 5By country 6Geographic areas 7Bantu words popularised in western cultures 8Writing systems 9See also 10References 11Bibliography 12External links