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
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.