Language situation in Africa
(Source SIL : ETHNOLOGUE 2000)
Some 1500 to 2000 African languages have been differently identified and classified by SIL. However, this identification does not take into account language/dialect/speech. Therefore, the same language can not only be identified and classified in two or seral African States, but it can also appear as a dialect and/or spoken differently, which explains the relatively high and often controversed number of languages.
However, four main groupings can be distinguished:
Afro-Asiatic (appoximately 200 languages) covering nearly Northern Africa (including the horn of Africa, Central Sahara et the top Nile) :
Niger-Saharian (Niger-Congo) covering the two third of Africa with as a principal branch the Niger-Congo which gathers more than 1000 languages with some 200 millions speakers. The Bantu languages of Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa form a sub-group of the Niger Congo branch.
Nilo-Saharian gathering appoximately 140 languages with some eleven millions speakers scattered in Central and Eastern Africa.
Khoisan gathering about thirty languages in Western part of Southern Africa.
For further details on the African languages, you can consult ETHNOLOGUE (SIL 2000), 14th Edition from Barbara F. GRIMES
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