Eastern Nilotic languages

Eastern Nilotic
southwestern Ethiopia, eastern South Sudan, northeastern Uganda, western Kenya, northern Tanzania
Linguistic classification:


  • Bari
  • Teso–Lotuko–Maa
Glottolog: east2418[1]

The Eastern Nilotic languages are one of the three primary branches of the Nilotic languages, themselves belonging to the Eastern Sudanic subfamily of Nilo-Saharan; they are believed to have begun to diverge about 3,000 years ago, and have spread southwards from an original home in Equatoria in South Sudan. They are spoken across a large area in East Africa, ranging from Equatoria to the highlands of Tanzania. Their speakers are mostly cattle herders living in semi-arid or arid plains.


According to Vossen (1982), the Eastern Nilotic languages are basically classified as follows by the comparative method.

It is generally agreed upon that Bari forms a primary branch, but lower-level splits are less clear.

Swadesh approach (Vossen 1982)

Vossen's classification using the Swadesh approach is as follows (Vossen 1982:114).

Eastern Nilotic

Gleason approach (Vossen 1982)

Vossen's classification using the Gleason approach is as follows (Vossen 1982:119).

Eastern Nilotic

See also


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


External links

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