World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ubangian languages

Article Id: WHEBN0018801012
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ubangian languages  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Classification of Pygmy languages, Congo Pygmies, Languages of Africa, Ngbaka languages, Mayogo language
Collection: Ubangian Languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Ubangian languages

Ubangian
Geographic
distribution:
Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan
Linguistic classification: Niger–Congo?
Subdivisions:
Glottolog: uban1244  (Ubangian + Zande)[1]

The Ubangian languages form a fairly close-knit language family of some seventy languages centered on the Central African Republic. They are the predominant languages of the CAR, spoken by 2–3 million people, and include the national language, Sango. They are generally included in the Niger–Congo family, though this has not been demonstrated.

External classification

Greenberg (1963) classified the then-little-known Ubangian languages as Niger–Congo and placed them within the Adamawa languages as "Eastern Adamawa". They were soon removed to a separate branch of Niger–Congo, for example within Blench's Savanna languages.[2] However, this has become increasingly uncertain, and Dimmendaal (2008) states that, based on the lack of convincing evidence for a Niger–Congo classification ever being produced, Ubangian "probably constitutes an independent language family that cannot or can no longer be shown to be related to Niger–Congo (or any other family)."[3] Blench (2012) notes that Dimmendaal presents no positive evidence that it is distinct, and continues to include Ubangian within Niger–Congo.[4]

Internal classification

Boyd and Moñino (2010) removed the Gbaya and Zande languages.[5] The half dozen remaining branches are coherent, but their interrelationships are not straightforward. Williamson & Blench (2000) propose the following arrangement:

Ubangian 

Banda


Ngbandi (Sango, with 2 million speakers total, is Ngbandi-based)

 Sere–Mba 

Sere

 Ngbaka–Mba 

Ngbaka (note the principal Gbaya language is also called Ngbaka)


Mba




In addition there is the Ngombe language, whose placement is uncertain due to a paucity of data.

Note: The ambiguous name Ngbaka is used for various languages in the area. Generally, singular Ngbaka language refers to one of the main Gbaya languages, whereas plural Ngbaka languages refers to a branch of Ubangian.


References

  • Yves Moñino, 1988, Lexique comparatif des langues oubanguiennes
  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Ubangian + Zande". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger–Congo', in Heine, Bernd & Nurse, Derek (eds.) African languages: an introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Gerrit Dimmendaal (2008) "Language Ecology and Linguistic Diversity on the African Continent", Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5:841.
  4. ^ Roger Blench, Niger-Congo: an alternative view
  5. ^ The position of Gbaya-Manza-Ngbaka group among the Niger-Congo languages
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.