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This thesis presents a discussion of the typological classification and origins of the languages spoken by Central African Pygmies. It focuses on Aka, the language of the Bayaka Pygmies in Central African Republic (C.A.R.) and Congo-Brazzaville. The Aka language is shown to have arisen out of language contact between pygmy hunter-gatherers and the village agriculturalists with whom they trade. Typologically, Aka is a mixed language, with a Bantu structure but having a significant lexical and grammatical substratum that appears to be the remnant of an ancient pygmy language. The current language use patterns of the Bayaka and their villager patrons in the Lobaye region of C.A.R. are documented in detail.
These patterns are analyzed and the analysis is applied to shed light on what language contact situation would have given rise to Aka.