Map of the languages of Africa, 1883

Map of the languages of Africa, 1883

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Geography and Map Division/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Map of the languages of Africa, prepared by German geographer Ernst Georg Ravenstein (1834-1913) for 'Modern Languages of Africa' (1883) by British linguist Robert Needham Cust (1821-1909). The language groups (colour key at bottom left) are: Semitic (pink), Hamitic (yellow, modern Berber, Egyptian, and Cushitic), Nuba-Falah (orange), Negro (brown, western Africa), Bantu (green) and Hottentot-Bushman (brown, southern Africa, modern Khoi-San). The area covered by the terms Nuba-Falah, Negro and Bantu falls mostly under what is now called the Niger-Congo languages, of which the Bantu languages remain a major subdivision.

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