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Until the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Kordofan was the most central state of the Sudan. This vast area located in the very middle of the Sahelian belt has given its name to a peculiar language group, Kordofanian, whose members are all endogenous to Kordofan, more specifically to South Kordofan, a rocky area also called Nuba Mountains. The Nubas are the indigenous inhabitants of South Kordofan: they belong to many cultural groups and speech communities and their languages fit into two unrelated language families (Quint 2006a), namely Nilo-Saharan and Kordofanian, itself a branch of Niger-Congo. Basically, Nilo-Saharan languages occupy the Western Nuba Mountains (or Jebels) while Kordofanian languages are mainly spread across the Eastern Jebels. In this chapter, I shall endeavor to introduce the reader to the Kordofanian languages. First, I will give a brief overview of those tongues. Second, I will deal with Kordofanian studies, insisting in particular on the difficulties of the fieldwork and the successive stages of the development of research in that area. Thirdly, I will present some salient features of Kordofanian languages and discuss the available hypotheses about the phylogenetic relationships between the different Kordofanian sub-branches and between Kordofanian and other Niger-Congo languages. Finally, I will conclude about the challenges that expect the scholarly community regarding Kordofanian languages.
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halshs-03093501 , version 1 (03-01-2021)


  • HAL Id : halshs-03093501 , version 1


Nicolas Quint. Kordofanian. Rainer Vossen & Gerrit J. Dimmendaal. The Oxford Handbook of African Languages, Oxford University Press, 2020, The Oxford Handbook of African Languages. ⟨halshs-03093501⟩
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