Eastern Jebel languages

Eastern Jebel
Linguistic classification:


Glottolog: east2386[1]


The rough location of the Eastern Jebel languages, in An Nil al Azraq province

The Eastern Jebel languages are a small subfamily belonging to the Eastern Sudanic subgroup of Nilo-Saharan. They are spoken in the hills of An Nil al Azraq province in eastern Sudan (the name "Jebel" is simply Arabic for "mountain".) The group consists of:

Gaam has some 40–80,000 speakers, whereas the other three are on the verge of extinction. Gaam was believed to be the only member of this group until more information about Aka, Kelo, and Molo was obtained by Bender; the latter three languages have been significantly influenced by Berta.

Gaam is spoken in a compact area around the towns of Bau, Bobuk, Kukur, and Sawda in the Tabi Hills, roughly 11°15′–30′ N by 33°55′–34°10′ E. The other three are spoken in isolated pockets to its south: Aka in the Sillok Hills, Kelo in the Tornasi Hills on jebels Tornasi (Kayli village) and Beni Sheko, and Molo at Jebel Malkan near the Ethiopian border.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Eastern Jebel". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


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