. "5 Working Toward a Synthesis of Archaeological, Linguistic, and Genetic Data for Inferring African Population History--Laura B. Scheinfeldt, Sameer Soi, and Sarah A. Tishkoff ." In the Light of Evolution IV: The Human Condition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.
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In the Light of Evolution Volume IV: The Human Condition
and likely points of origin and expansion of their ancestors. Undoubtedly, the specific details of human demographic history are more complex than any synthesis can account for, but we are focusing here on the overlap among the archaeological, linguistic, and genetic data collected in Africa to make inferences about African demographic history.
AFRICAN LANGUAGE FAMILY CLASSIFICATION
Africa is home to almost a third of all modern languages, encompassing >2,000 ethno-linguistic groups (Tishkoff et al., 2009) that have largely been classified into four language families: Niger-Kordofanian, Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and Khoesan. As displayed in Fig. 5.1, Niger-Kordofanian languages are spoken throughout western Africa, eastern Africa, central Africa, and southern Africa and include the common Bantu languages. The Afroasiatic language family includes languages spoken in northern, central, and eastern Africa such as Cushitic, Chadic, Semitic, and ancient Egyptian. The Nilo-Saharan language family is spoken predominantly in central and eastern Africa and includes the Sudanic and Nilotic languages. The Khoesan language family, which includes languages that
FIGURE 5.1 Map of Africa colored by the language family spoken in each region [adapted from Campbell and Tishkoff (2008)]. The Afroasiatic language family is shown in dark gray, the Nilo-Saharan language family is shown in white, the Khoesan language family is shown in light gray, and the Niger-Kordofanian language family is shown in medium gray.