Language and history in Africa

The prehistory of East Africa has become much clearer as a result of the combination of data collected in different fields of science: physical anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. There are now at least three completely independent maps of East African ethnographic history available: John Baker’s map of the subraces, David Phillipson’s two maps of the expansion of iron smelters and users in subequatorial Africa, and Achille Meeussen’s map of the Bantu languages, on which the author outlines the expansion of the five-vowel languages and their borderline with the seven-vowel languages. The three maps mutually confirm one another. It seems that during the first centuries of the first millennium AD, the Kafrids fanned out into East Africa from what is now the southern Sudan and northern Uganda, sweeping away and partly subjecting the earlier ‘stray’ settlers of the Palaenegrid subrace who spoke an older type of Bantu languages now only preserved in the Kikuyu-Kamba-Segeju and Makua groups. Bibliogr.

Title: Language and history in Africa
Author: Knappert, Jan
Year: 1991
Periodical: Annales aequatoria (ISSN 0254-4296)
Volume: 12
Pages: 79-109
Language: English
Notes: biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms: East Africa
Africa
Abstract: The prehistory of East Africa has become much clearer as a result of the combination of data collected in different fields of science: physical anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. There are now at least three completely independent maps of East African ethnographic history available: John Baker’s map of the subraces, David Phillipson’s two maps of the expansion of iron smelters and users in subequatorial Africa, and Achille Meeussen’s map of the Bantu languages, on which the author outlines the expansion of the five-vowel languages and their borderline with the seven-vowel languages. The three maps mutually confirm one another. It seems that during the first centuries of the first millennium AD, the Kafrids fanned out into East Africa from what is now the southern Sudan and northern Uganda, sweeping away and partly subjecting the earlier ‘stray’ settlers of the Palaenegrid subrace who spoke an older type of Bantu languages now only preserved in the Kikuyu-Kamba-Segeju and Makua groups. Bibliogr.