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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since Greenberg (1963) the languages of the Adamawa-Ubangi family of Niger-Congo have been classified as forming a genetic unit. Before they were considered isolate languages or isolate dialect clusters. Greenberg’s classification has been a matter of debate from the beginning, since most of the languages concerned are not well known and the evidence does not hold. Boyd claims that the internal classification of Ubangi cannot be proved, nor its relation to Adamawa, and Dimmendaal (2011) classifies Ubangi as a phylum out of Niger-Congo. Blench considers the group a geographic unit, not a genetic one. At the same time many linguists see the Adamawa and the Gur languages on a continuum.

Keywords: Ubangi, Adamawa, Niger-Congo, genetic unit, classification, continuum, dialect cluster;

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