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The impact of non-Bantu languages on Bantu language variation 2 
Hilde Gunnink (Ghent University)
Koen Bostoen (Ghent University)
Tom Güldemann (HU Berlin)
Thursday 10 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam

Short Abstract:

The spread of Bantu speech communities from their homeland in the borderland between Nigeria and Cameroon towards Eastern and Southern Africa beginning ~4000 years ago had a significant influence on the continent’s linguistic, demographic and cultural landscape. The Bantu Expansion led to the disappearance of many pre-existing languages and speech communities. Speakers of autochthonous languages regularly shifted to those of migrating Bantu speakers by whose societies they often got absorbed. In some areas this shift is historically attested or even ongoing, for instance in certain parts of Southern Africa; in others, such prehistoric language shift can only be deduced from the traces it left in the surviving Bantu languages. Interdisciplinary approaches, combining linguistic data with insights from archaeology, anthropology and human genetics, have greatly improved the likelihood of understanding this prehistoric language contact. The goal of this workshop is to identify linguistic traces left in Bantu languages from non-Bantu languages, and discuss their implications for our understanding of how these different communities interacted in the past.