|West Africa, around Burkina Faso in the west to CAR in the east|
|Subdivisions||most ex-Gur, most ex-Adamawa, possibly Ubangian:|
History of classificationEdit
The Gur–Adamawa link was demonstrated in Kleinewillinghöfer (1996) and has been accepted as established by later researchers, who have gone further in noting that the Adamawa and Gur languages themselves do not form coherent groups and are not necessarily more closely related internally than they are to each other.
Bennett (1983) had also mentioned a North Central Niger-Congo branch consisting of Gurunsi, "Ubangian", and Trans-Benue groups, with the Trans-Benue group consisting of the Burak-Jen (i.e., Bikwin-Jen), Yungur (i.e., Bena-Mboi), and Tula-Longuda subgroups.
There are several clusters of Adamawa languages; among the Gur languages, only the core of that proposal (Central Gur) has been retained, though it is possible that some of the 'peripheral' languages may turn out to be related to each other. Kleinewillinghöfer et al. (2012) note that a reconstruction of proto-Central Gur noun classes needs to include several Adamawa families.
Dimmendaal (2008) excludes the Ubangian family from Niger–Congo altogether, stating that it "probably constitutes an independent language family that cannot or can no longer be shown to be related to Niger–Congo (or any other family)," though the Ubangian languages are themselves not a valid group, and the Gbaya branch may turn out to be related to Gur.
Apart from such exceptions, Dimmendaal notes that the Savanna languages "can be shown to be genetically related beyond any reasonable doubt. The evidence is not only lexical in nature, it is based primarily on a range of cognate grammatical morphemes."
Kleinewillinghöfer (2014) notes that many "Adamawa" languages in fact share more similarities with various (Central) Gur languages than with other Adamawa languages, and proposes that early Gur-Adamawa speakers had cultivated guinea corn and millet in a wooded savanna environment.
The Savannas languages, with an agnostic approach to internal classification, are as follows:
The moribund Oblo language was left unclassified within Adamawa, and has not been addressed in Savannas.
Kleinewillinghöfer et al. (2012) note that the reconstruction of the noun-class system indicates that Waja ('Tula–Waja') and Leko–Nimbari ('Sama–Duru') (and possibly other Adamawa groups) belong with Central Gur, and that the noun-class system they reconstruct for these languages is akin to those of Bantu, Senufo, Tiefo, Vyemo, Tusya, and "Samu".
Güldemann (2018) recognises the following coherent "genealogical units" (8 Gur, 14 Adamawa, and 7 Ubangi) but is agnostic about their positions within Niger-Congo.
Branches and locations (Nigeria)Edit
Below is a list of major Savannas (Adamawa) branches and their primary locations (centres of diversity) within Nigeria based on Blench (2019).
|Duru (Vere)||Fufore LGA, Adamawa State|
|Leko||Adamawa and Taraba States; Cameroon|
|Yendang||Mayo Belwa and Numan LGAs, Adamawa State|
|Waja||Kaltungo and Balanga LGAs, Gombe State|
|Kam||Bali LGA, Taraba State|
|Baa||Numan LGA, Adamawa State|
|Laka||Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State and Yola LGA, Adamawa State|
|Jen||Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State|
|Bikwin||Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State|
|Yungur||Song and Guyuk LGAs, Adamawa State|
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "North Volta–Congo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 1996. 'Relationship between Adamawa and Gur: The case of Waja.' Gur Papers / Cahiers Voltaiques 1.25–46.
- Bennett, Patrick R. 1983. Adamawa-Eastern: problems and prospects. - in: Dihoff, I. R. (ed.) Current Approaches to African Linguistics. Vol. 1: 23-48.
- Miehe, Kleinewillinghöfer, von Roncador, & Winkelmann, 2012. "Overview of noun classes in Gur (II)"
- Gerrit Dimmendaal, 2008, "Language Ecology and Linguistic Diversity on the African Continent", Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5:841.
- Blench, Roger. 2012. Niger-Congo: an alternative view.
- Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 2014. Adamawa. ‘Linguistisches Kolloquium’, Seminar für Afrikawissenschaften, 04 Februar 2014. Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
- Güldemann, Tom (2018). "Historical linguistics and genealogical language classification in Africa". In Güldemann, Tom (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of Africa. The World of Linguistics series. 11. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 58–444. doi:10.1515/9783110421668-002. ISBN 978-3-11-042606-9.
- Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
- Blench (2004) List of Adamawa languages
- Rapid appraisal and lexicostatistical analysis surveys of Dama, Mono, Pam, Ndai and Oblo (PDF) by Michael & Charlene Ayotte, 2002. SIL Electronic Survey Reports SILESR 2002-048.
- Vocabulaires comparés des instruments aratoires dans le Nord-Cameroun, Tourneaux
- Adamawa-Gur languages