Mel languages

The Mel languages are a branch of Niger–Congo languages spoken in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The most populous is Temne, with about two million speakers; Kissi is next, with half a million.

Mel
Southern (West) Atlantic [reduced]
Geographic
distribution
Guinea-Bissau through Liberia
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
Subdivisions
  • Temne
  • Sua–Kissi
Glottologmela1257[1]

LanguagesEdit

Mel has traditionally been classified as the bulk of a southern branch of a West Atlantic branch of Niger–Congo. However, these are geographic and typological rather than genealogical groups; Segerer (2010) shows that there is no exclusive relationship between Mel and the other southern languages, Sua (Mansoanka), Gola and Limba.

 Mel 
Temne

Temne

Baga languages

 Bullom–Kissi 

Bullom languages

Kissi

Fields (2004) splits Mel into a Highlands group originating in Guinea, and also a Bullom-Kisi-Gola group.[2]

Fields (2008:83) proposes that the homeland of Proto-Mel is located in the north-central highlands of Sierra Leone just to the south of the Lesser Scarcies River, rather than on the coast. The homeland of Proto-Highlands is located along the middle stretches of the Konkoure River in Guinea, just to the northeast of Conakry (Fields 2008:85).[3]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mel". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Fields, Edda L. Before "Baga": Settlement Chronologies of the Coastal Rio Nunez Region, Earliest Times to c.1000 CE. In: The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2 (2004), pp. 229-253. Boston University African Studies Center.
  3. ^ Fields-Black, Edda L. 2008. Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora. (Blacks in the Diaspora.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

ReferencesEdit