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Encyclopedia > Chadic languages

The Chadic languages are a language family spoken across northern Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon, belonging to the Afro-Asiatic phylum. The most widely spoken Chadic language is Hausa, the lingua franca of much of West Africa. They are divided into four subgroups: Map showing the distribution of Afro-Asiatic languages The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia. ... Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 24 million people, and as a second language by about 15 million more. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. ...

The Biu-Mandara languages include 79 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken in Africa and western Asia; this language group is a part of the Chadic language family. ... The East Chadic languages include 34 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken in Africa; this language group is a part of the Chadic language family. ...


  • Lukas, Johannes (1936) 'The linguistic situation in the Lake Chad area in Central Africa.' Africa, 9, 332–349.
  • Newman, Paul (1977) 'Chadic classification and reconstructions.' Afroasiatic Linguistics 5, 1, 1–42.
  • Newman, Paul (1978) 'Chado-Hamitic 'adieu': new thoughts on Chadic language classification', in Fronzaroli, Pelio (ed.), Atti del Secondo Congresso Internazionale di Linguistica Camito-Semitica. Florence: Instituto de Linguistica e di Lingue Orientali, Università di Firenze, 389–397.
  • Newman, Paul (1980) The Classification of Chadic within Afroasisatic. Leiden: Universitaire Pers Leiden.
  • Newman, Paul and Ma, Roxana (1966) 'Comparative Chadic: phonology and lexicon.' Journal of African Languages, 5, 218–251.
  • Schuh, Russell (2003) 'Chadic overview', in M. Lionel Bender, Gabor Takacs, and David L. Appleyard (eds.), Selected Comparative-Historical Afrasian Linguistic Sudies in Memory of Igor M. Diakonoff, LINCOM Europa, 55–60.

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Languages in the Mande subgroup are spoken in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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