The Linguasphere Register

of the world’s languages and speech communities

The linguascale


Geosector 0= AFRICA

Phylosector 1= AFRO-ASIAN

Geosector 2= AUSTRALASIA

Phylosector 3= AUSTRONESIAN

Geosector 4= EURASIA

Phylosector 5= INDO-EUROPEAN

Geosector 6= NORTH-AMERICA

Phylosector 7= SINO-INDIAN

Geosector 8= SOUTH-AMERICA

Phylosector 9= TRANSAFRICAN



Total number of voices covered by the languages of each zone (or of each part of a divided zone) :

  • More than 100 million
  • More than 10 million
  • More than 1 million
  • More than 100 thousand
  • Less than 100 thousand

This geosector covers 44 sets of languages (237 outer languages, comprising 763 inner languages) spoken by communities across the African continent south of the Sahara, from West Africa to East Africa, and in southwestern Africa.

These sets comprise all languages of Africa not covered by phylosectors 1=Afro-Asian, 3=Austronesian, 5=Indo-European and 9=Transafrican.

Zones 00= to 07= cover languages spoken in a belt of great linguistic diversity, extending from Senegal to Tanzania.

Zones 08= to 09= cover languages spoken in Southwestern Africa, in and around the Kalahari desert.

Languages of zones 00= and 01= have constituted a "Mande + Songhai" hypothesis, and languages of zones 01= to 05= have constituted an overlapping "Nilo-Saharan" hypothesis. Languages of zones 00= and 06= have been included in the "Congo-Kordofanian" or "new Niger-Congo" hypothesis (together with languages of phylosector 9=), and languages of zones 08= (as "Central Khoisan") and 09= (as "North Khoisan" plus "South Khoisan") have constituted the major part of a "wider Khoisan" hypothesis.

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