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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The two dozen or so Kordofanian langages are all endemic to the Sudanese province of South Kordofan (also termed the “Nuba Mountains”). Together they make up the Kordofanian branch, i.e. one of the primary subdivisions of the Niger-Congo phylum. This chapter summarizes the available information about these languages. First, it lists all known Kordofanian languages and the five families or sub-branches (namely Heibanian, Talodian, Lafofa, Rashadian, and Katloid) into which they are distributed. Second, it provides an overview of the field of Kordofanian studies. Third, it examines the most salient linguistic characteristics of Kordofanian languages in the domain of phonology, morphology (noun classes, verb extensions), and the lexicon. Building upon systematic comparisons between the diverse Kordofanian families and languages, it also proposes reconstructed Proto-Kordofanian roots for dozens of items. The conclusion recapitulates the main scientific challenges and questions that Kordofanian studies are expected to address in the future.

Keywords: Kordofanian, Niger-Congo, noun class, Nuba Mountains, Sudanese, verb extension

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