Saharan languages

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Saharan
Geographic
distribution
Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Sudan, Cameroon
Linguistic classificationNilo-Saharan?
  • Songhay-Saharan?
    • Saharan
Subdivisions
  • Eastern Saharan
  • Western Saharan
Glottologsaha1256[1]
Saharan languages.png
Range of the Saharan languages (in orange)

The Saharan languages are a small family of languages across parts of the eastern Sahara, extending from northwestern Darfur to southern Libya, north and central Chad, eastern Niger and northeastern Nigeria. Noted Saharan languages include Kanuri (4 million speakers, around Lake Chad in Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon), Daza (330,000 speakers, Chad), Teda (49,000 speakers, northern Chad), and Zaghawa (170,000 speakers, eastern Chad and Darfur). They are a part of the proposed Nilo-Saharan family.

A comparative word list of the Saharan languages has been compiled by Václav Blažek (2007).[2]

Internal classification[edit]

Václav Blažek's 2007 classification of the Saharan languages
Saharan 
 Eastern 

 Berti † (AKA Sagato;[3] extinct), Zaghawa (AKA Beria[3])

 Western 
 Kanuri 

 Kanuri (Bilma, Manga, Tumari, Central), Kanembu (Tarjumo)

 Tebu 

 Daza, Teda

External classification[edit]

Roger Blench argues that the Saharan and Songhay languages form a Songhay-Saharan branch with each other within the wider Nilo-Saharan linguistic phylum.[3]

Comparative vocabulary[edit]

Sample basic vocabulary of Saharan languages from Blažek (2007):[4]

Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water eat name
Kanuri[5] shîm sə́mò kə́nzà tímì; shélì tə́làm shíllà kə̀ská njî
Tubu *samo > sómo > sao / sā /sa súmo/šímo > sĩ/šiĩ /si/ši kya / ca tomai / tẽ̱ < *temi, pl. toa / tī́ tirmḗsu > tirišī́ / tərše > tərhi kai > kī > ci gẹrε súru / súrki akkέ, pl. akká / εkέ iyī́ / yi bo / bu súro / súru
Daza sama, sa, pl. saã ši, pl. šiĩ ca tei, pl. teẽ / tiĩ teleši / East terihi ci, pl. ka gəre sọr(o) ekke, pl. akka yi / ii bọr / owe / bọdər sorọ, pl. sora
Teda samo, saõ, pl. sama šimi, šiĩ, pl. šima ca tome, pl. toma termeso koe, pl. ka gɔrε, gəre sọr(o), sọrce ekke, pl. akka yi bọr / cọbo / bọdər cεr / cero / curo
Zaghawa í kέbέ síná màrgi: tàmsi: áá ógú úrú bɛ̀gìdi: sε:gì tír
Beria íī: kέbέ sɪ́na: màrgi: tàm(ì)si: áá ógu: úrú bɛ̀gìdi: bíi: sέ- tɪ́r
Bideyat ’é kèmé šéna margé tamišé a uru ʔèbè bi šé
Berti / Sagato ke(i)ng sano / sāno tam(ī)si a / á / ā àkú shuru / shírung mi / mī /mī́ tir(r)

Numerals[edit]

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[6]

Classification Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eastern Zaghawa nɔ́kkɔ súyi wɛɛ ístîː hóíyi dɛ́stɛ́ dístiː ɔ́ttɛ́ dístî sóɡódí
Western, Kanuri Kanembu tūló yìndí yàkú dīyə̄u úù àràkú túlùr ùskú lár mìyò̬u
Western, Kanuri Central Kanuri (1) fál, tiló indí yakkə́ déɣə́ úwu arakkə́ túlur wuskú ləɣár mewú
Western, Kanuri Central Kanuri (2) tìlo / fal / lasku ìndi yàkkə deɡə uwù àràkkə tulùr wùskú lə̀ɡar / làar mèwu
Western, Kanuri Manga Kanuri fál, tìló yìndí yàkkú déwú úwù àràkkú túlùr wùskú ləɡár mèwú
Western, Kanuri Tumari Kanuri tìló jìndí jàkú dʲíjó úù àɾàkú túúlù ùskú lááɽú mèʲó
Western, Tebu Dazaga (Tubu) tə̀ɾɔ̌n tʃúú àɡʊ̀zʊ́ʊ́ tʊ̀zɔ́ɔ́ fòú dìsí túɾùsù wʊ́ssʊ̀ jìsìí mʊ́rdə̀m
Western, Tebu Tedaga (Tebu) (1) tɾɔ̀ɔ́ cúː òɡòzú tʊ̀zɔ́ː fɔ́ː dɪ̀sɪ́ː túɾùsù jʊ́sʊ̀ jìsíː mʊ́rdɔ̀m
Western, Tebu Tedaga (Tebu) (2) tʊrɔ cu oɡuzuu tʊzɔɔ hɔɔ diʃee tuduʃu yʊsʊ yisii mʊrdɔm

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Saharan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Blažek, Václav. 2007. On application of glottochronology for Saharan languages.
  3. ^ a b c Blench, Roger. m.s. Saharan and Songhay form a branch of Nilo-Saharan.
  4. ^ Blažek, Václav. 2007. ]https://www.muni.cz/en/research/publications/763232 On application of Glottochronology for Saharan Languages]. In Viva Africa 2007. Proceedings of the IInd International Conference on African Studies (April 2007). Plzeň: Dryáda, 2007. p. 19-38, 19 pp. ISBN 978-80-87025-17-8.
  5. ^ Doris Löhr, H. Ekkehard Wolff (with Ari Awagana). 2009. Kanuri vocabulary. In: Haspelmath, Martin & Tadmor, Uri (eds.) World Loanword Database. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 1591 entries.
  6. ^ Chan, Eugene (2019). "The Nilo-Saharan Language Phylum". Numeral Systems of the World's Languages.