Tikar (also called Tigé, Tigré or Tikari) is a Northern Bantoid, semi-Bantu language that is spoken in Cameroon by the Tikar people, as well as by the Bedzan Pygmies, who speak their own dialect of the language.A recent hypothesis by Roger Blench suggests that the Tikar language could be a divergent language in the Niger-Congo language family with an uncertain origin.
The little evidence available suggests that it is most closely related to the Mambiloid and Dakoid languages.
The Tikar language has four dialects, including Tikari, Tigé, and Túmú.
Benue–Congo is a major branch of the Volta-Congo languages which covers most of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Southern Bantoid is a branch of the Bantoid language family. It consists of the Bantu languages along with several small branches and isolates of eastern Nigeria and west-central Cameroon. Since the Bantu languages are spoken across most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Bantoid comprises 643 languages as counted by Ethnologue, though many of these are mutually intelligible.
Bantoid is a major branch of the Benue–Congo language family. It consists of the Northern Bantoid languages and the Southern Bantoid languages, a division which also includes the Bantu languages that constitute the overwhelming majority and after which Bantoid is named.
The Tikar are a central African people who inhabit the Western High Plateau and Bamenda in Cameroon. They are known as great artists, artisans and storytellers. Once a nomadic people, some oral traditions trace the origin of the Tikar people to the Nile River Valley in present-day Sudan. Such ethnic groups were referred to in the 1969 official statistics as "Semi-Bantus" and "Sudanese Negroes." They speak a Northern Bantoid language called Tikar. One of the few African people who practiced a monotheistic traditional religion, the Tikar refer to God the Creator by the name Nyuy. They also have an extensive spiritual system of ancestral reverence.
Semi-Bantu or Semibantu is a used for specific inhabitants of the Western grassfields of Cameroon, who speak languages that have certain characteristics to the Bantu language family, but they're excluded from them. The people themselves are considered ethnically and linguistically divergent from other Bantu peoples of central and southern Africa.
The Ekoid languages are a dialect cluster of Southern Bantoid languages spoken principally in southeastern Nigeria and in adjacent regions of Cameroon. They have long been associated with the Bantu languages, without their status being precisely defined. Crabb (1969) remains the major monograph on these languages, although regrettably, Part II, which was to contain grammatical analyses, was never published. Crabb also reviews the literature on Ekoid up to the date of publication.
The Grassfields languages are a branch of the Southern Bantoid languages spoken in the Western High Plateau of Cameroon and some parts of Taraba state, Nigeria. Better known Grassfields languages include the Eastern Grassfields languages, Bamun, Yamba, Bali, and Bafut and the Ring languages, Kom, Nso, and Oku. Almost all of these languages are closely related, sharing approximately half of their vocabulary.
The twelve Mambiloid languages are languages spoken by the Mambila and related peoples mostly in eastern Nigeria and in Cameroon. In Nigeria the largest group is Mambila. In Cameroon the largest group is Vute.
The Dakoid languages are a branch of the Northern Bantoid languages spoken in Taraba and Adamawa states of eastern Nigeria.
Jarawan is a group of languages spoken mostly in Bauchi State, Nigeria, with some also scattered in Plateau State, Taraba State, and Adamawa State in the same country. Two related languages formerly spoken in Cameroon are now extinct but are believed to have belonged to the group. This connection between Nigerian and Cameroonian Jarawan is attributed to Thomas (1925). Whether Jarawan languages are best classified alongside other Bantu languages or among non-Bantu Bantoid languages is a matter of ongoing debate. A number of descriptions and classifications in the early 20th century suggest that they be may historically related to Bantu languages but not necessarily Bantu themselves. Other perspectives based on lexicostatistic modeling and other phylogenetic techniques for language comparison argue instead that Jarawan languages are properly classified alongside Zone A Bantu languages (A31-A40-A60). For classifications based on these more recent studies, see for example Blench (2006), Piron (1997), and Grollemund (2012).
The Furu languages are a proposed group of poorly attested extinct or nearly extinct and otherwise unclassified Southern Bantoid languages of Cameroon. Suggested Furu languages are:
The term Congo Pygmies refers to "forest people" who have, or recently had, a hunter-gatherer economy and a simple, non-hierarchical societal structure based on bands, are of short stature, have a deep cultural and religious affinity with the Congo forest and live in a generally subservient relationship with agricultural "patrons", with which they trade forest products such as meat and honey for agricultural and iron products.
Daka is one of two languages spoken by the Chamba people in Nigeria, the other being Chamba Leko.
The Jagham language, Ejagham, also known as Ekoi, is an Ekoid language of Nigeria and Cameroon spoken by the Ekoi people. The E- in Ejagham represents the class prefix for "language", analogous to the Bantu ki- in KiSwahili
Tep is a Mambiloid language of Nigeria. Ethnologue considers it a dialect of Mambila, as speakers identify as Mambila, but it is a distinct language.
Gaa, or Tiba, is a poorly documented language of Nigeria. It is apparently one of the Dakoid languages.
Dong, or Donga, is a poorly documented language in Nigeria. Though clearly Niger–Congo, it is difficult to classify; British linguist Roger Blench proposes that it is one of the Dakoid languages, the closest to Gaa.
Taram is language of Nigeria. It has traditionally been considered a dialect of Daka, but appears to be more divergent than that. It is poorly documented, only attested in a publication from 1931.
The Mbwasa language is a Southern Bantoid language of Cameroon. It is very similar to Ki, and is sometimes considered a dialect of it.
Northern Bantoid is a branch of the Bantoid languages. It consists of the Mambiloid, Dakoid, and Tikar languages of eastern Nigeria and west-central Cameroon.