Afro-Asiatic language of northern Nigeria and southern Niger. Hausa, which is spoken by some 40–50 million people, belongs to the Chadic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language phylum. Outside of Hausaland, communities of Hausa merchants have stimulated the use of Hausa as a lingua franca across a broad area of the African Sahel and savanna region. Hausa is now customarily written in the Latin alphabet (introduced in the early 20th century), though writing in an adaptation of the Arabic alphabet (attested about a century earlier) continues in Qur'anic schools and some other contexts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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