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Niger-Congo languages

The Niger-Congo languages are probably the largest group of the world in terms of different languages. Some of the African Languages with the largest number of speakers belong to it.

Greenberg labeled this group Niger-Kordofanian. Bendor-Samuel uses the term Niger-Congo for the whole family (p. 19) which reflects current usage among linguists. (see Kordofanian languages)

Some major languages or subgroups belonging to Niger-Congo:

Some linguists link the thirty or so Kordofanian languages to the Niger-Congo family, forming a Niger-Kordofanian language family. While a plausible hypothesis, this idea is still generally regarded as not proven.


  • Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse, African Languages - An Introduction, Cambridge Universtity press, 2000
  • Niger-Congo, John Bendor-Samuel, The Niger-Congo Languages, - A classification and description of Africa's largest language family, University Press of America, 1989.

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