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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Interspersed between two other major phyla on the African continent, Afro-Asiatic (mainly to the north) and Niger-Congo (mainly to the south), lies the Nilo-Saharan phylum. In this chapter a survey is presented of the major groups classified as members of this phylum by Greenberg and other authors in subsequent contributions. The present chapter also addresses the methodological background to the establishment of this phylum as well as controversies over the inclusion or exclusion of specific language groups. In addition, it discusses the most prominent and convincing grammatical (and, to a lesser extent, lexical) features pointing towards a common origin for languages classified as Nilo-Saharan today.

Keywords: language group, Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Greenberg

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