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Definition of the noun afro-asiatic

What does afro-asiatic mean as a name of something?


  1. a large family of related languages spoken both in Asia and Africa
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • alternative spelling: Afroasiatic
    • synonyms of Afro-Asiatic: Afrasian / Afrasian language / Afroasiatic language / Hamito-Semitic
    • more generic terms: natural language / tongue = a human written or spoken language used by a community
    • more specific terms:
      • Chadic language / Chadic / Chad = a family of Afroasiatic tonal languages (mostly two tones) spoken in the regions west and south of Lake Chad in north central Africa
      • Semitic = a major branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family
      • Hamitic language / Hamitic = a group of languages in northern Africa related to Semitic
      • Egyptian = the ancient and now extinct language of Egypt under the Pharaohs
      • Berber = a cluster of related dialects that were once the major language of northern Africa west of Egypt
      • Cushitic = a group of languages spoken in Ethiopia and Somalia and northwestern Kenya and adjacent regions
      • Omotic = a group of related languages spoken in a valley of southern Ethiopia

Definition of the adjective afro-asiatic

What does afro-asiatic mean as an attribute of a noun?


  1. Of, pertaining to, or being a language family spoken in northern Africa and southwest Asia, and including Semitic, Egyptian, Berber, Omotic, Cushitic, and Chadic languages.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Afro-Asiatic

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Google previewThe Routledge Linguistics Encyclopedia (2009)

by Kirsten Malmkjaer

Languages of Africa The number of distinct languages spoken throughout Africa is estimated at about 1,000, all of which belong to one of the four language families: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Kordofanian, Nilo-Saharan and Khoisan. Afro-Asiatic ...

Google previewWorld History Encyclopedia (2011)

by Alfred J. Andrea, Kevin McGeough, William E. Mierse, Mark Aldenderfer, Carolyn Neel

The largest language families, ranked in terms of numbers of speakers, are Indo- European, Sino- Tibetan, Niger-Congo, Afro-Asiatic, and Austro- nesian. Indo- European is the predominant language family in Europe and West and South Asia.

Google previewA Student's Dictionary of Language and Linguistics (2014)

by Larry Trask

Numbering perhaps 1500, these languages are classified into just four families: Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo and Khoisan. Afrikaans One of the major languages of South Africa. Afrikaans is descended from the Dutch introduced by ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics (2000)

by Robert Lawrence Trask

AFRO-ASIATIC just four proposed families: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo (or Niger- Kordofanian), Nilo-Saharan and Khoisan. Of these the first two are generally regarded as secure, the third is controversial, and the fourth is regarded with great ...

Google previewThe Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (2007)

by P.H. Matthews

*Afro-Asiatic, across North Africa, the Sahara, and the adjacent Near East, includes, as its largest member, *Arabic. A *Khoisan group consists of a minority towards the southern tip of the continent. 'Nilo-Sa haran' represents a speculative ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Cameroon English Usage (2007)

by Jean-Paul Kouega

Geographically, Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken in the area stretching from northern ...

Google previewConcise Encyclopedia of Semantics (2010)

by Keith Allan

Tamachek' (Afro-Asiatic, Berber) kemmou tehousid foull ...

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