The Niger–Congo languages are a hypothetical language family. They are spoken in the southern half of Africa. They may be world's largest language family in terms of number of languages. Most of the most widely spoken languages of Subsaharan Africa belong to this group. A common part of many Niger-Congo languages is the use of a noun class system. The most widely spoken Niger-Congo languages by native speakers are Yoruba, Igbo, Fula and Shona. The most widely spoken by total number of speakers is Swahili.
|Linguistic classification:||If valid, one of the world's primary language families|
Ijoid (inclusion disputed)
Mande (inclusion disputed)
Katla (Kordofanian)(inclusion disputed)
Rashad (Kordofanian) (inclusion disputed)
Atlantic–Congo (noun classes)
|ISO 639-2 and 639-5:||nic|
Map showing the distribution of Niger–Congo languages (yellow). The area is divided into B (Bantu) and A (rest) to show the extent of the Bantu subfamily.
- Williamson, Kay (1989) 'Niger-Congo overview', in Bendor-Samuel & Hartell (eds.) The Niger-Congo Languages, 3-45.
- Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger-Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages - An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 11–42.