Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(2,734 words)

1. The Songhay Empire and Islam

Songhay is spoken by about 700,000 people in Mali, Niger, Upper Volta, Dahomey, and Nigeria and is the westernmost subgroup of Nilo-Saharan. Its dialects or closely related languages are Dendi (in Dahomey) and Dyerma (Zarma, especially in Niger), and the intercomprehension does not seem total. Songhay was considered an isolated linguistic group until Greenberg classified it as one of the six branches of the Nilo-Sahara…

Cite this page
Sergio Baldi, “Songhay”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0314>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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