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Afroasciatic

Afroasiatic languages are spoken throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel. There are approximately 375 Afroasiatic languages spoken by over 350 million people. The main subfamilies of Afroasiatic are the Berber languages, Semitic languages, Chadic languages and the Cushitic languages. The Afroasiatic Urheimat is uncertain. However, its most extensive sub-branch, the Semitic languages (including Arabic, Amharic and Hebrew among others), seems to have developed in the Arabian peninsula. The Semitic languages are the only branch of the Afroasiatic family of languages that is spoken outside of Africa.

Some of the most widely spoken Afroasiatic languages include Arabic (a Semitic language, and a recent arrival from West Asia), Somali (Cuchitic), Berber (Berber), Hausa (Chadic), Amharic (Semitic), and Oromo. Of the world's surviving language families, Afroasiatic has the longest written history, as both the Akkadian language of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egyptian are members.

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