Swahili is a Bantu language, more specifically a member of the Sabaki subgroup of North East Coast Bantu. It has been suggested that the ancestor of the modern dialects was spoken in an area along the East African coast, somewhere between the Webi Shebelle River in what is now Somalia and the Tana River in Kenya (Nurse and Spear 1985:46; Nurse and Hinnebusch 1993:490–496).

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