Review of Contribution de la linguistique `a l’histoire des peuples du Gabon: La m´ethode comparative et son application au bantu by Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda.
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While the basic genetic unity of the Bantu family has been recognized for a century and a half (see Schadeberg (2003: 144–146)), important aspects of its internal composition and external relationships remain poorly understood. Greenberg (1955: 40) is credited with the now widelyaccepted view that the Bantu homeland was located around the Cameroon-Nigeria border. However, there is still no consensus on the details of Bantu’s split from the rest of Benue-Congo, nor is it even clear exactly which Benue-Congo languages should be classified as Bantu—or, more precisely, as Narrow Bantu, a term used to designate a hypothetical node in the Benue- Congo family tree clearly delineating “Bantu” languages from their closest Bantoid relatives (see Nurse & Philippson (2003b: 5–7)).