Defoid languages

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Nigeria, Benin and Togo
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo?

The Defoid languages are a proposed branch of the Benue–Congo language family. The name of the group derives from the fact that nearly all of the ethnic groups who speak member languages refer to the city of Ilé Ifè as their place of origin: "Defoid" comes from èdè ('language') + ifè (Ife) + oid. It was first proposed by Capo (1989),[2] but evidence for it is still regarded as insufficient by Güldemann (2018).[3]

The Defoid language group consists of three branches, Yoruboid, Akoko and Ayere-Ahan.


  1. ^ Pozdniakov, Konstantin (31 August 2018). The numeral system of Proto-Niger-Congo: A step-by-step reconstruction. ISBN 9783961100989.
  2. ^ Capo, H. B. C. (1989). "Defoid". In Bendor-Samuel, J. (ed.). The Niger-Congo Languages: A classification and description of Africa's largest language family. Lanham: University Press of America. pp. 275–290.
  3. ^ Güldemann, Tom (2018). "Historical linguistics and genealogical language classification in Africa". In Güldemann, Tom (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of Africa. The World of Linguistics series. Vol. 11. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 58–444. doi:10.1515/9783110421668-002. ISBN 978-3-11-042606-9. Capo's (1989a) claim about a larger Defoid family including [Yoruboid,] Owon-Arigidi and Ayere-Ahan remains doubtful because of the insufficient empirical support provided for this hypothesis (p. 168).

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