In this article the author illustrates the linguistic diversity of African Pygmy populations in order to better address their anthropological diversity and history. The author also introduces a new method, based on the analysis of specialised vocabulary, to reconstruct the substratum of some languages they speak.

This report shows that Pygmy identity is not based on their languages, which have often been borrowed from neighbouring non-Pygmy farmer communities with whom each Pygmy group is linked. Understanding the nature of this partnership, quite variable in history, is essential to addressing Pygmy languages, identity, and history. Finally, the author show that only a multidisciplinary approach is likely to push forward the understanding of African Pygmy societies as genetic, archeological, anthropological, and ethnological evidence suggest.