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Language family of the Horn of Africa, a branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The principal Cushitic language is Somali. There is a great diversity in member languages. One unusual one is Mbugu, which has adopted Bantu morphology.

Formerly the languages known as Omotic, from the same region, were classified together with the Cushitic, but they are now considered a separate branch. In fact, Christopher Ehret, the foremost scholar in the field of reconstructing Proto-Afro-Asiatic (which he prefers to call Afrasian to emphasize its African provenance), believes on phonetic grounds that Omotic was the first group to branch away from the other Afro-Asiatic languages.

The name comes from the ancient land of Cush.

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