The Kordofanian languages are a geographic grouping of three to five language families spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan Province, Sudan. In 1963 Joseph Greenberg added them to the Niger-Congo family, creating his Niger-Kordofanian proposal. The Kordofanian languages have not been shown to be more distantly related than other branches of Niger-Congo, however, nor have they been shown to constitute a valid group. Today the Kadu family is excluded, and the other four usually included in Niger-Congo proper.
The Heiban languages, also called Koalib or Koalib-Moro, and the Talodi languages, also called Talodi-Masakin, are closely related.
The number of Rashad languages, also called Tegali-Tagoi, varies among different descriptions, from two (Williamson & Blench 2000), three (Ethnologue), to eight (Blench ms). Tagoi has a noun-class system like the Atlantic Congo languages—apparently borrowed,—while Tegali does not.
Roger Blench notes that the Talodi and Heiban languages have the noun-class systems characteristic of the Atlantic-Congo core of Niger-Congo, but that the two Katla languages have no trace of ever having had such a system, whereas the Kadu languages and some of the Rashad languages appear to have acquired noun classes as part of a Sprachbund rather than having inherited them. He concludes that the Kordofanian languages do not form a genealogical group, but that Talodi and Heiban are core Niger-Congo whereas Katla and Rashad form a peripheral branch along the lines of Mande.
Since Schadeberg 1981c, the "Tumtum" or Kadu branch is now widely seen as Nilo-Saharan. However, the evidence is slight, and a conservative classification would treat it as an independent family.
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