Cushitic languages

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The Cushitic languages are a subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic languages, named after the Biblical figure Cush by analogy with Semitic. They are spoken in the Horn of Africa. The most prominent language is Oromo with about 25 million speakers, followed by Somali (in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya) with about 15 million speakers, Sidamo (in Ethiopia) with about 2 million speakers, and Afar (in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti) with about 1.5 million speakers. It is divided into the following subgroups, as per Joseph Greenberg, as modified by Harold Fleming:

Robert Hetzron has suggested that the South Cushitic languages are a subgroup of Lowland East Cushitic. Maarten Mous, in his 24 June 2005 oration at Leiden University, has suggested more specifically that South Cushitic be linked to the Southern Lowland East Cushitic branch, together with such languages as Oromo, the Omo-Tana languages (such as Somali), and Yaaku-Dullay.

Richard Hayward, on the other hand, breaks up East Cushitic into three well-supported families: Sidamic or Highlands, a diverse Lowlands family (with Afar, Somalic, and Oromic subgroups), and Dullay (he apparently leaves Yaaku unclassified), that he believes should be considered separately when attempting to work out the internal relationships of Cushitic. This makes for a tentative four to seven branches, depending on the status of Beja, Rift, and Yaaku.

Cushitic was traditionally seen as also including the Omotic languages, then called West Cushitic, but this view has been largely abandoned; the Omotic languages are now considered an independent branch of Afro-Asiatic.

[edit] Cushitic peoples

Cushitic also is used to refer to the indigenous peoples of the Horn of Africa. Ethiopid is an equivalent, though somewhat archaic, term.


br:Yezhoù kouchitek bg:Кушитски езици de:Kuschitische Sprachen es:Lenguas cusitas eu:Cushit hizkuntzak fr:Langues couchitiques ko:쿠시어파 it:Lingue cuscitiche nn:Kusjittiske språk pl:Języki kuszyckie pt:Línguas cuchíticas fi:Kuušilaiset kielet sv:Kushitiska språk zh:庫希特語族

Cushitic languages

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