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Afro-Asiatic languages

"Afro-Asiatic" redirects here. For other uses, see Afro-Asiatic (disambiguation).

Afroasiatic
Geographic
distribution:
Horn of Africa, North Africa, Sahel, Middle East
Linguistic classification: One of the world's major language families
Proto-language: Proto-Afroasiatic
Subdivisions:
Ethnologue code: 5: afa

Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian and traditionally Hamito-Semitic (Chamito-Semitic),[2] is a large language family, of several hundred related languages and dialects. There are about 300 or so living languages and dialects, according to the 2009 Ethnologue estimate.[3] It includes languages spoken predominantly in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel. The Afro-Asiatic family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the longest recorded history of any language family.

Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken by almost 362 million native speakers, the third largest number of any language family.[4] The most widely spoken Afroasiatic language is Arabic (including literary Arabic and the spoken colloquial varieties), with about 200 to 230 million native speakers, spoken mostly in the Middle East and parts of North Africa.[5] Berber (including all its varieties) is spoken in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, northern Mali, and northern Niger by about 25 to 35 million people. Other widely spoken Afroasiatic languages are Hausa, the dominant language of northern Nigeria and southern Niger, spoken as a first language by 25 million people and used as a lingua franca by another 20 million across West Africa and the Sahel;[6][7] Oromo of Ethiopia and Kenya, with about 33 million speakers; Amharic of Ethiopia, with over 25 million native speakers, not including the millions of other Ethiopians speaking it as a secondary language; Somali, spoken by 15.5 million people in Greater Somalia; and Modern Hebrew, spoken by about seven million people worldwide.

In addition to languages spoken today, Afroasiatic includes several important ancient languages, such as Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew, and Aramaic. Several disputed proposals link Afro-Asiatic as a whole or certain parts of its branches to other major language families.

Etymology

The Afroasiatic language family was originally referred to as "Hamito-Semitic", a term introduced in the 1860s by the German scholar Karl Richard Lepsius.[8] The name was later popularized by Friedrich Müller in his Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft (Wien 1876-88).[9]

The term "Afroasiatic" (often now spelled as "Afro-Asiatic") was later coined by Maurice Delafosse (1914). However, it did not come into general use until Joseph Greenberg (1963) formally proposed its adoption. In doing so, Greenberg sought to emphasize the fact that Afroasiatic was the only language family that was represented transcontinentally, in both Africa and Asia.[9]

Individual scholars have also called the family "Erythraean" (Tucker 1966) and "Lisramic" (Hodge 1972). In lieu of "Hamito-Semitic", the Russian linguist Igor Diakonoff later suggested the term "Afrasian", meaning "half African, half Asiatic", in reference to the geographic distribution of the family's constituent languages.[8]

The term "Hamito-Semitic" remains in use in the academic traditions of some European countries.

Distribution and branches

The Afroasiatic language family is usually considered to include the following branches:

While there is general agreement on these six families, there are some points of disagreement among linguists who study Afroasiatic. In particular:

  • The Omotic language branch is the most controversial member of Afroasiatic, since the grammatical formatives which most linguists have given greatest weight in classifying languages in the family "are either absent or distinctly wobbly" (Hayward 1995). Greenberg (1963) and others considered it a subgroup of Cushitic, while others have raised doubts about it being part of Afroasiatic at all (e.g. Theil 2006).[1]
  • The Afroasiatic identity of Ongota is also broadly questioned, as is its position within Afroasiatic among those who accept it, due to the "mixed" appearance of the language and a paucity of research and data. Harold Fleming (2006) proposes that Ongota constitutes a separate branch of Afroasiatic.[10] Bonny Sands (2009) believes the most convincing proposal is by Savà and Tosco (2003), namely that Ongota is an East Cushitic language with a Nilo-Saharan substratum. In other words, it would appear that the Ongota people once spoke a Nilo-Saharan language but then shifted to speaking a Cushitic language while retaining some characteristics of their earlier Nilo-Saharan language.[1]
  • Beja is sometimes listed as a separate branch of Afroasiatic but is more often included in the Cushitic branch, which has a high degree of internal diversity.
  • Whether the various branches of Cushitic actually form a language family is sometimes questioned, but not their inclusion in Afroasiatic itself.
  • There is no consensus on the interrelationships of the five non-Omotic branches of Afroasiatic (see "Subgrouping" below). This situation is not unusual, even among long-established language families: there are also many disagreements concerning the internal classification of the Indo-European languages, for instance.
  • Meroitic has been proposed as an unclassified Afroasiatic language, as it shares the phonotactics characteristic of the family, but there is not enough evidence to secure a classification.

Classification history

In the 9th century, the Hebrew grammarian Judah ibn Quraysh of Tiaret in Algeria was the first to link two branches of Afroasiatic together; he perceived a relationship between Berber and Semitic. He knew of Semitic through his study of Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

In the course of the 19th century, Europeans also began suggesting such relationships. In 1844, Theodor Benfey suggested a language family consisting of Semitic, Berber, and Cushitic (calling the latter "Ethiopic"). In the same year, T.N. Newman suggested a relationship between Semitic and Hausa, but this would long remain a topic of dispute and uncertainty.

Friedrich Müller named the traditional "Hamito-Semitic" family in 1876 in his Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft. He defined it as consisting of a Semitic group plus a "Hamitic" group containing Egyptian, Berber, and Cushitic; he excluded the Chadic group. These classifications relied in part on non-linguistic anthropological and racial arguments that have largely been discredited (see Hamitic hypothesis).

Leo Reinisch (1909) proposed linking Cushitic and Chadic, while urging a more distant affinity to Egyptian and Semitic, thus foreshadowing Greenberg, but his suggestion found little resonance.

Marcel Cohen (1924) rejected the idea of a distinct Hamitic subgroup and included Hausa (a Chadic language) in his comparative Hamito-Semitic vocabulary.

Joseph Greenberg (1950) strongly confirmed Cohen's rejection of "Hamitic", added (and sub-classified) the Chadic branch, and proposed the new name "Afroasiatic" for the family. Nearly all scholars have accepted Greenberg's classification.

In 1969, Harold Fleming proposed that what had previously been known as Western Cushitic is an independent branch of Afroasiatic, suggesting for it the new name Omotic. This proposal and name have met with widespread acceptance.

Several scholars, including Harold Fleming and Robert Hetzron, have since questioned the traditional inclusion of Beja in Cushitic.

Subgrouping

Proposed Afroasiatic sub-divisions
Greenberg (1963) Newman (1980) Fleming (post-1981) Ehret (1995)
  • Semitic
  • Egyptian
  • Berber
  • Cushitic
    • Northern Cushitic
      (equals Beja)
    • Central Cushitic
    • Eastern Cushitic
    • Western Cushitic
      (equals Omotic)
    • Southern Cushitic
  • Chadic
  • Berber–Chadic
  • Egypto-Semitic
  • Cushitic

(excludes Omotic)

  • Omotic
  • Erythraean
    • Cushitic
    • Ongota
    • Non-Ethiopian
      • Chadic
      • Berber
      • Egyptian
      • Semitic
      • Beja
  • Omotic
    • North Omotic
    • South Omotic
  • Erythrean
    • Cushitic
      • Beja
      • Agaw
      • East–South Cushitic
        • Eastern Cushitic
        • Southern Cushitic
    • North Erythrean
      • Chadic
      • Boreafrasian
        • Egyptian
        • Berber
        • Semitic
Orel & Stobova (1995) Diakonoff (1996) Bender (1997) Militarev (2000)
  • Berber–Semitic
  • Chadic–Egyptian
  • Omotic
  • Beja
  • Agaw
  • Sidamic
  • East Lowlands
  • Rift
  • East–West Afrasian
    • Berber
    • Cushitic
    • Semitic
  • North–South Afrasian
    • Chadic
    • Egyptian

(excludes Omotic)

  • Omotic
  • Chadic
  • Macro-Cushitic
    • Berber
    • Cushitic
    • Semitic
  • North Afrasian
    • African North Afrasian
      • Chado-Berber
      • Egyptian
    • Semitic
  • South Afrasian
    • Omotic
    • Cushitic

Little agreement exists on the subgrouping of the five or six branches of Afroasiatic: Semitic, Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, and Omotic. However, Christopher Ehret (1979), Harold Fleming (1981), and Joseph Greenberg (1981) all agree that the Omotic branch split from the rest first.

Otherwise:

  • Paul Newman (1980) groups Berber with Chadic and Egyptian with Semitic, while questioning the inclusion of Omotic in Afroasiatic. Rolf Theil (2006) concurs with the exclusion of Omotic, but does not otherwise address the structure of the family.[11]
  • Harold Fleming (1981) divides non-Omotic Afroasiatic, or "Erythraean", into three groups, Cushitic, Semitic, and Chadic-Berber-Egyptian. He later added Semitic and Beja to Chadic-Berber-Egyptian and tentatively proposed Ongota as a new third branch of Erythraean. He thus divided Afroasiatic into two major branches, Omotic and Erythraean, with Erythraean consisting of three sub-branches, Cushitic, Chadic-Berber-Egyptian-Semitic-Beja, and Ongota.
  • Like Harold Fleming, Christopher Ehret (1995: 490) divides Afroasiatic into two branches, Omotic and Erythrean. He divides Omotic into two branches, North Omotic and South Omotic. He divides Erythrean into Cushitic, comprising Beja, Agaw, and East-South Cushitic, and North Erythrean, comprising Chadic and "Boreafrasian." According to his classification, Boreafrasian consists of Egyptian, Berber, and Semitic.
  • Vladimir Orel and Olga Stolbova (1995) group Berber with Semitic and Chadic with Egyptian. They split up Cushitic into five or more independent branches of Afroasiatic, viewing Cushitic as a Sprachbund rather than a language family.
  • Igor M. Diakonoff (1996) subdivides Afroasiatic in two, grouping Berber, Cushitic, and Semitic together as East-West Afrasian (ESA), and Chadic with Egyptian as North-South Afrasian (NSA). He excludes Omotic from Afroasiatic.
  • Lionel Bender (1997) groups Berber, Cushitic, and Semitic together as "Macro-Cushitic". He regards Chadic and Omotic as the branches of Afroasiatic most remote from the others.
  • Alexander Militarev (2000), on the basis of lexicostatistics, groups Berber with Chadic and both more distantly with Semitic, as against Cushitic and Omotic. He places Ongota in South Omotic.

Position among the world's languages

Afroasiatic is one of the four language families of Africa identified by Joseph Greenberg in his book The Languages of Africa (1963). It is the only one that extends outside of Africa, via the Semitic branch.

There are no generally accepted relations between Afroasiatic and any other language family. However, several proposals grouping Afroasiatic with one or more other language families have been made. The best-known of these are the following:

Date of Afroasiatic

The earliest written evidence of an Afroasiatic language is an Ancient Egyptian inscription of c. 3400 BC (5,400 years ago).[12] Symbols on Gerzean pottery resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs date back to c. 4000 BC, suggesting a still earlier possible date. This gives us a minimum date for the age of Afroasiatic. However, Ancient Egyptian is highly divergent from Proto-Afroasiatic (Trombetti 1905: 1–2), and considerable time must have elapsed in between them. Estimates of the date at which the Proto-Afroasiatic language was spoken vary widely. They fall within a range between approximately 7500 BC (9,500 years ago) and approximately 16,000 BC (18,000 years ago). According to Igor M. Diakonoff (1988: 33n), Proto-Afroasiatic was spoken c. 10,000 BC. According to Christopher Ehret (2002: 35–36), Proto-Afroasiatic was spoken c. 11,000 BC at the latest and possibly as early as c. 16,000 BC. These dates are older than dates associated with most other proto-languages.

Afroasiatic Urheimat

The term Afroasiatic Urheimat (Urheimat meaning "original homeland" in German) refers to the 'hypothetical' place where Proto-Afroasiatic speakers lived in a single linguistic community, or complex of communities, before this original language dispersed geographically and divided into distinct languages. Afroasiatic languages are today primarily spoken in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel. Their distribution seems to have been influenced by the Saharan pump operating over the last 10,000 years.

There is no agreement on when and where this Urheimat existed, though the language is generally believed to have originated somewhere in the area between the Eastern Sahara and the Horn of Africa, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.[13][14][15][16][17]

Similarities in grammar and syntax

Verbal paradigms in several Afroasiatic languages:
Number Language → Arabic Coptic Kabyle Somali Beja Hausa
Meaning → write die fly come eat drink
singular 1 ʼaktubu timou ttafgeɣ imaadaa tamáni ina shan
2f taktubīna temou tettafgeḍ timaadaa tamtínii kina shan
2m taktubu kmou tamtíniya kana shan
3f smou tettafeg tamtíni tana shan
3m yaktubu fmou yettafeg yimaadaa tamíni yana shan
dual 2 taktubāni
3f
3m yaktubāni
plural 1 naktubu tənmou nettafeg nimaadnaa támnay muna shan
2m taktubūna tetənmou tettafgem timaadaan támteena kuna shan
2f taktubna tettafgemt
3m yaktubūna semou ttafgen yimaadaan támeen suna shan
3f yaktubna ttafgent

Widespread (though not universal) features of the Afroasiatic languages include:

  • A set of emphatic consonants, variously realized as glottalized, pharyngealized, or implosive.
  • VSO typology with SVO tendencies.
  • A two-gender system in the singular, with the feminine marked by the sound /t/.
  • All Afroasiatic subfamilies show evidence of a causative affix s.
  • Semitic, Berber, Cushitic (including Beja), and Chadic support possessive suffixes.
  • Morphology in which words inflect by changes within the root (vowel changes or gemination) as well as with prefixes and suffixes.

One of the most remarkable shared features among the Afroasiatic languages is the prefixing verb conjugation (see table above), with a distinctive pattern of prefixes beginning with /ʔ t n y/, and in particular a pattern whereby third-singular masculine /y-/ is opposed to third-singular feminine and second-singular /t-/.

Tonal languages appear in the Omotic, Chadic, and Cushitic branches of Afroasiatic, according to Ehret (1996). The Semitic, Berber, and Egyptian branches do not use tones phonemically.

Shared vocabulary

Following are some examples of Afroasiatic cognates, including ten pronouns, three nouns, and three verbs.

Source: Christopher Ehret, Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).
Note: Ehret does not make use of Berber in his etymologies, stating (1995: 12): "the kind of extensive reconstruction of proto-Berber lexicon that might help in sorting through alternative possible etymologies is not yet available." The Berber cognates here are taken from previous version of table in this article and need to be completed and referenced.
Abbreviations: NOm = 'North Omotic', SOm = 'South Omotic'. MSA = 'Modern South Arabian', PSC = 'Proto-Southern Cushitic', PSom-II = 'Proto-Somali, stage 2'. masc. = 'masculine', fem. = 'feminine', sing. = 'singular', pl. = 'plural'. 1s. = 'first person singular', 2s. = 'second person singular'.
Symbols: Following Ehret (1995: 70), a caron ˇ over a vowel indicates rising tone, a circumflex ^ over a vowel indicates falling tone. V indicates a vowel of unknown timbre. Ɂ indicates a glottal stop. * indicates reconstructed forms based on comparison of related languages.
Proto-Afroasiatic Omotic Cushitic Chadic Egyptian Semitic Berber
*Ɂân- / *Ɂîn- or *ân- / *în- ‘I’ (independent pronoun) *in- ‘I’ (Maji (NOm)) *Ɂâni ‘I’ *nV ‘I’ ink 'I' *Ɂn ‘I’ nek / nec "I, me"
*i or *yi ‘me, my’ (bound) i ‘I, me, my’ (Ari (SOm)) *i or *yi ‘my’ *i ‘me, my’ (bound) -i (1s. suffix) *-i ‘me, my’ inu "my"
*Ɂǎnn- / *Ɂǐnn- or *ǎnn- / *ǐnn- ‘we’ *nona / *nuna / *nina (NOm) *Ɂǎnn- / *Ɂǐnn- ‘we’ inn ‘we’ *Ɂnn ‘we’ nekni "we"
*Ɂânt- / *Ɂînt- or *ânt- / *înt- ‘you’ (sing.) *int- ‘you’ (sing.) *Ɂânt- ‘you’ (sing.) ntt IInd pers fem *Ɂnt ‘you’ (sing.) keyy / kem "you" (sing.)
*ku, *ka ‘you’ (masc. sing., bound) *ku ‘your’ (masc. sing.) (PSC) *ka, *ku (masc. sing.) -k (2s. masc. suffix) -ka (2s. masc. suffix) (Arabic) -k / nnek "your" (masc. sing.)
*ki ‘you’ (fem. sing., bound) *ki ‘your’ (fem. sing.) *ki ‘you’ (fem. sing.) -ṯ (fem. sing. suffix, < *ki) -ki (2s. fem. sing. suffix) (Arabic) nnem / inem "your" (fem. sing.)
*kūna ‘you’ (plural, bound) *kuna ‘your’ (pl.) (PSC) *kun ‘you’ (pl.) -ṯn ‘you’ (pl.) *-kn ‘you, your’ (fem. pl.) kent, kennint "you" (fem. pl.)
*si, *isi ‘he, she, it’ *is- ‘he’ *Ɂusu ‘he’, *Ɂisi ‘she’ *sV ‘he’ sw ‘he, him’, sy ‘she, her’ *-šɁ ‘he’, *-sɁ ‘she’ (MSA) -s / nnes / ines "his/her/its"
*ma, *mi ‘what?’ *ma- ‘what?’ (NOm) *ma, *mi (interr. root) *mi, *ma ‘what?’ m ‘what?’, ‘who?’ ‘what?’ (Arabic) 'Ma / Mayen / Min? "what?"
*wa, *wi ‘what?’ *w- ‘what?’ *wä / *wɨ ‘what?’ (Agaw) *wa ‘who?’ wy ‘how ...!’ mamek? "how?"
*dîm- / *dâm- ‘blood’ *dam- ‘blood’ (Gonga) *dîm- / *dâm- ‘red’ *d-m- ‘blood’ (West Chadic) i-dm-i ‘red linen’ *dm ‘blood’ idammen "blood"
*îts ‘brother’ *itsim- ‘brother’ *itsan or *isan ‘brother’ *sin ‘brother’ sn ‘brother’ uma "brother"
*sǔm / *sǐm- ‘name’ *sum(ts)- ‘name’ (NOm) *sǔm / *sǐm- ‘name’ *ṣǝm ‘name’ smi ‘to report, announce’ *smw ‘name’ isem
*-lisʼ- ‘to lick’ litsʼ- ‘to lick’ (Dime (SOm)) *alǝsi ‘tongue’ ns ‘tongue’ *lsn ‘tongue’ iles "tongue"
*-maaw- ‘to die’ *-umaaw- / *-am-w(t)- ‘to die’ (PSom-II) *mǝtǝ ‘to die’ mwt ‘to die’ *mwt ‘to die’ mmet "to die"
*-bǐn- ‘to build, to create; house’ bin- ‘to build, create’ (Dime (SOm)) *mǐn- / *mǎn- ‘house’; man- ‘to create’ (Beja) *bn ‘to build’; *bǝn- ‘house’ *bnn ‘to build’ *bn (?)

There are two etymological dictionaries of Afroasiatic, one by Christopher Ehret, and one by Vladimir Orel and Olga Stolbova. The two dictionaries disagree on almost everything. The following table contains the thirty roots or so (out of thousands) that represent a fragile consensus of present research:


Number Proto-Afroasiatic Form Meaning Berber Chadic Cushitic Egyptian Omotic Semitic
1 *ʔab father
2 (ʔa-)bVr bull
3 (ʔa-)dVm red, blood
4 *(ʔa-)dVm land, field, soil
5 ʔa-pay- mouth
6 ʔigar/ *ḳʷar- house, enclosure
7 *ʔil- eye
8 (ʔi-)sim- name
9 *ʕayn- eye
10 *baʔ- go
11 *bar- son
12 *gamm- mane, beard
13 *gVn cheek, chin
14 *gʷarʕ- throat
15 *gʷinaʕ- hand
16 *kVn- co-wife
17 *kʷaly kidney
18 *ḳa(wa)l-/ *qʷar- to say, call
19 *ḳas- bone
20 *libb heart
21 *lis- tongue
22 *maʔ- water *aman *aman
23 *mawVt- to die
24 *sin- tooth
25 *siwan- know
26 *inn- I, we
27 *-k- thou
28 *zwr seed
29 *ŝVr root
30 *šun to sleep, dream
  • paras - horse (Semitic, Chadic, Cushitic) is a very old loanword and does not belong here, as the horse was introduced in the region in the late fifth- early fourth millennium BP, after the split of Afroasiatic and even Semitic.

Etymological bibliography

Some of the main sources for Afroasiatic etymologies include:

  • Cohen, Marcel. 1947. Essai comparatif sur le vocabulaire et la phonétique du chamito-sémitique. Paris: Champion.
  • Diakonoff, Igor M. et al. 1993–1997. "Historical-comparative vocabulary of Afrasian", St. Petersburg Journal of African Studies 2–6.
  • Ehret, Christopher. 1995. Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian): Vowels, Tone, Consonants, and Vocabulary (= University of California Publications in Linguistics 126). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Orel, Vladimir E. and Olga V. Stolbova. 1995. Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary: Materials for a Reconstruction. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-10051-2.

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Anthony, David. 2007. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Barnett, William and John Hoopes (editors). 1995. The Emergence of Pottery. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-517-8
  • Bender, Lionel et al. 2003. Selected Comparative-Historical Afro-Asiatic Studies in Memory of Igor M. Diakonoff. LINCOM.
  • Bomhard, Alan R. 1996. Indo-European and the Nostratic Hypothesis. Signum.
  • Diakonoff, Igor M. 1988. Afrasian Languages. Moscow: Nauka.
  • Diakonoff, Igor M. 1996. "Some reflections on the Afrasian linguistic macrofamily." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 55, 293.
  • Diakonoff, Igor M. 1998. "The earliest Semitic society: Linguistic data." Journal of Semitic Studies 43, 209.
  • Dimmendaal, Gerrit, and Erhard Voeltz. 2007. "Africa". In Christopher Moseley, ed., Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages.
  • Ehret, Christopher. 1995. Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian): Vowels, Tone, Consonants, and Vocabulary. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Ehret, Christopher. 1997. Abstract of "The lessons of deep-time historical-comparative reconstruction in Afroasiatic: reflections on Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic: Vowels, Tone, Consonants, and Vocabulary (U.C. Press, 1995)", paper delivered at the Twenty-fifth Annual Meeting of the North American Conference on Afro-Asiatic Linguistics, held in Miami, Florida on 21–23 March 1997.
  • Finnegan, Ruth H. 1970. "Afro-Asiatic languages West Africa". Oral Literature in Africa, pg 558.
  • Fleming, Harold C. 2006. Ongota: A Decisive Language in African Prehistory. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 1950. "Studies in African linguistic classification: IV. Hamito-Semitic." Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 6, 47-63.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 1955. Studies in African Linguistic Classification. New Haven: Compass Publishing Company. (Photo-offset reprint of the SJA articles with minor corrections.)
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 1963. The Languages of Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University. (Heavily revised version of Greenberg 1955.)
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 1966. The Languages of Africa (2nd ed. with additions and corrections). Bloomington: Indiana University.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 1981. "African linguistic classification." General History of Africa, Volume 1: Methodology and African Prehistory, edited by Joseph Ki-Zerbo, 292–308. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. 2000–2002. Indo-European and Its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family, Volume 1: Grammar, Volume 2: Lexicon. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Hayward, R. J. 1995. "The challenge of Omotic: an inaugural lecture delivered on 17 February 1994". London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
  • Heine, Bernd and Derek Nurse. 2000. African Languages, Chapter 4. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hodge, Carleton T. (editor). 1971. Afroasiatic: A Survey. The Hague – Paris: Mouton.
  • Hodge, Carleton T. 1991. "Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic." In Sydney M. Lamb and E. Douglas Mitchell (editors), Sprung from Some Common Source: Investigations into the Prehistory of Languages, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 141–165.
  • Huehnergard, John. 2004. "Afro-Asiatic." In R.D. Woodard (editor), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, Cambridge – New York, 2004, 138–159.
  • Militarev, Alexander. "Towards the genetic affiliation of Ongota, a nearly-extinct language of Ethiopia," 60 pp. In Orientalia et Classica: Papers of the Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies, Issue 5. Мoscow. (Forthcoming.)
  • Newman, Paul. 1980. The Classification of Chadic within Afroasiatic. Leiden: Universitaire Pers Leiden.
  • Ruhlen, Merritt. 1991. A Guide to the World's Languages. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Sands, Bonny. 2009. "Africa’s linguistic diversity". In Language and Linguistics Compass 3.2, 559–580.
  • Theil, R. 2006. Is Omotic Afro-Asiatic? Proceedings from the David Dwyer retirement symposium, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 21 October 2006.
  • Trombetti, Alfredo. 1905. L'Unità d'origine del linguaggio. Bologna: Luigi Beltrami.

External links

  • Family trees of Afro-Asiatic from the MultiTree Project at the LINGUIST List.
  • short annotations of the talks given there (Russian)
  • The prehistory of a dispersal: the Proto-Afrasian (Afroasiatic) farming lexicon, by Alexander Militarev in "Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis", eds. P. Bellwood & C. Renfrew. (McDonald Institute Monographs.) Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 2002, p. 135-­50.
  • Once More About Glottochronology And The Comparative Method: The Omotic-Afrasian case, by Alexander Militarev in "Aspects of Comparative Linguistics", v. 1. Moscow: RSUH Publishers, 2005, pp. 339–408.
  • Root Extension And Root Formation In Semitic And Afrasian, by Alexander Militarev in "Proceedings of the Barcelona Symposium on comparative Semitic", 19-20/11/2004. Aula Orientalis 23/1-2, 2005, pp. 83–129.
  • Akkadian-Egyptian lexical matches, by Alexander Militarev in "Papers on Semitic and Afroasiatic Linguistics in Honor of Gene B. Gragg." Ed. by Cynthia L. Miller. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 60. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2007, p. 139-145.
  • A comparison of Orel-Stolbova's and Ehret's Afro-Asiatic reconstructions
  • "Is Omotic Afro-Asiatic?" by Rolf Theil (2006)
  • NACAL The North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics, now in its 35th year
  • family tree).

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