Advanced search
1 file | 8.83 MB Add to list

The Bantu expansion : some facts and fiction

Koen Bostoen (UGent)
Author
Organization
Project
  • BANTUFIRST (The First Bantu Speakers South of the Rainforest: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Human Migration, Language Spread, Climate Change and Early Farming in Late Holocene Central Africa)
Abstract
The Bantu Expansion, the foremost linguistic, cultural and demographic event in Late Holocene Africa, has sparked a fervent interdisciplinary debate, especially regarding its driving forces. As is often the case with hotly debated issues, certain ‘factoids’ bearing little relation to factual evidence emerge. Two such factoids are that (1) the Bantu Expansion would have been a single migratory macro-event and (2) it would have been driven by agriculture. These two widely held beliefs are critically assessed here. Regarding (1), I argue that the Bantu Expansion did involve the actual migration of Bantu speakers but that backward and forward migration occurred after the initial spread and that Bantu languages also expanded through adoption by autochthonous hunter-gatherers. As for (2), I argue that the earliest Bantu speakers had their own archaeologically visible culture, but they were not farmers. Therefore, the Bantu Expansion is not a textbook example of a farming/language dispersal.
Keywords
Bantu, Africa, Late Holocene, migration, evolutionary genetics, archaeology, farming, foraging, pottery, climate change

Downloads

  • (...).pdf
    • full text
    • |
    • UGent only
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 8.83 MB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Bostoen, Koen. “The Bantu Expansion : Some Facts and Fiction.” Language Dispersal, Diversification, and Contact, edited by Mily Crevels and Pieter Muysken, Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 227–39, doi:10.1093/OSO/9780198723813.003.0013.
APA
Bostoen, K. (2020). The Bantu expansion : some facts and fiction. In M. Crevels & P. Muysken (Eds.), Language dispersal, diversification, and contact (pp. 227–239). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/OSO/9780198723813.003.0013
Chicago author-date
Bostoen, Koen. 2020. “The Bantu Expansion : Some Facts and Fiction.” In Language Dispersal, Diversification, and Contact, edited by Mily Crevels and Pieter Muysken, 227–39. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/OSO/9780198723813.003.0013.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bostoen, Koen. 2020. “The Bantu Expansion : Some Facts and Fiction.” In Language Dispersal, Diversification, and Contact, ed by. Mily Crevels and Pieter Muysken, 227–239. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/OSO/9780198723813.003.0013.
Vancouver
1.
Bostoen K. The Bantu expansion : some facts and fiction. In: Crevels M, Muysken P, editors. Language dispersal, diversification, and contact. Oxford University Press; 2020. p. 227–39.
IEEE
[1]
K. Bostoen, “The Bantu expansion : some facts and fiction,” in Language dispersal, diversification, and contact, M. Crevels and P. Muysken, Eds. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 227–239.
@incollection{8673642,
  abstract     = {The Bantu Expansion, the foremost linguistic, cultural and demographic event in Late Holocene Africa, has sparked a fervent interdisciplinary debate, especially regarding its driving forces. As is often the case with hotly debated issues, certain ‘factoids’ bearing little relation to factual evidence emerge. Two such factoids are that (1) the Bantu Expansion would have been a single migratory macro-event and (2) it would have been driven by agriculture. These two widely held beliefs are critically assessed here. Regarding (1), I argue that the Bantu Expansion did involve the actual migration of Bantu speakers but that backward and forward migration occurred after the initial spread and that Bantu languages also expanded through adoption by autochthonous hunter-gatherers. As for (2), I argue that the earliest Bantu speakers had their own archaeologically visible culture, but they were not farmers. Therefore, the Bantu Expansion is not a textbook example of a farming/language dispersal.},
  author       = {Bostoen, Koen},
  booktitle    = {Language dispersal, diversification, and contact},
  editor       = {Crevels, Mily and Muysken, Pieter},
  isbn         = {9780198723813},
  keywords     = {Bantu,Africa,Late Holocene,migration,evolutionary genetics,archaeology,farming,foraging,pottery,climate change},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {227--239},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  title        = {The Bantu expansion : some facts and fiction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/OSO/9780198723813.003.0013},
  year         = {2020},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric