Eastern Sudanic languages

Eastern Sudanic languages

Infobox Language family
name=Eastern Sudanic
region=Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Nubia
child1=Astaboran ("k" languages)
child2=Kir-Abbaian ("n" languages)
The Eastern Sudanic languages form a family of languages spoken from southern Egypt to northern Tanzania, usually considered a subfamily of Nilo-Saharan, following Joseph Greenberg.

Nubian (and possibly Meroitic) gives Eastern Sudanic some of the earliest written attestations of an African language. However, its largest branch by far is Nilotic, spread by extensive and comparatively recent conquests throughout East Africa. Before the spread of Nilotic, Eastern Sudanic was centered in present-day Sudan, though the name "East Sudanic" refers to the region of Sudan, not the country, contrasts with Central Sudanic and West Sudanic (modern Mande, in the Niger-Congo family).

Lionel Bender (1980) proposes several Eastern Sudanic isoglosses, such as "mouth" "*kutuk", "three" "*(ko)TVS-(Vg)", "fish" "*ku-lug-ut, *kVl(t)".

Internal classification

There are two recent classifications of East Sudanic languages. The one commonly followed by other historical linguists is Bender 2000.

;Bender 2000Bender assigns the languages into two branches, depending on whether the 1sg pronoun ("I") has a /k/ or an /n/:

* Northern Eastern Sudanic ("k" languages)
** Nubian
** Nara
** Nyima
** Taman
* Southern Eastern Sudanic ("n" languages)
** Surmic
** Eastern Jebel
** Temein (Nuba Hills)
** Daju
** Nilotic

;Ehret 2001Ehret calls the family "Eastern Sahelian", and controversially adds the Kuliak languages and Berta, which Bender assigns to higher-level branches of Nilo-Saharan, and reassigns Nyima to the southern branch.

* Astaboran
** Nara
** Western Astaboran
*** Nubian
*** Taman
* Kir-Abbaian
** Jebel
*** Eastern Jebel
*** Berta
** Kir
*** Nuba Hills
*** Daju
*** Surma-Nilotic
**** Surmic
**** Nilotic
* Rub languages (ie Kuliak)


* M. L. Bender, 2000. "Nilo-Saharan". In Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse, eds., "African Languages: An Introduction." Cambridge University Press.
* M. L. Bender. "Some Nilo-Saharan isoglosses". ed. Thilo Schadeberg, M. L. Bender, "Nilo-Saharan: Proceedings of the First Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium, Leiden, Sept. 8-10, 1980." Foris: Dordrecht 1981.
*Christopher Ehret, 2001. "A historical-comparative reconstruction of Nilo-Saharan." Köln: Rudiger Köppe.

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