An inventory of Bantu languages
An inventory of Bantu languages. In M. Van de Velde, K. Bostoen, D. Nurse, & G. Philippson (Eds.
), The Bantu languages
(2nd). London: Routledge.
This chapter aims to provide an updated list of all Bantu languages known at present and to provide individual pointers to further information on the inventory. The area division has some correlation with what are perceived genealogical relations between Bantu languages, but they are not defined as such and do not change whenever there is an update in our understanding of genealogical relations. Given the popularity of Guthrie codes in Bantu linguistics, our listing also features a complete mapping to Guthrie codes. The language inventory listed excludes sign languages used in the Bantu area, speech registers, pidgins, drummed/whistled languages and urban youth languages. Pointers to such languages in the Bantu area are included in the continent-wide overview in Hammarstrom. The most important alternative names, subvarieties and spelling variants are given for each language, though such lists are necessarily incomplete and reflect some degree of arbitrary selection.