Kalenjin languages

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western Kenya, eastern Uganda, northern Tanzania
Linguistic classification: Nilo-Saharan?
ISO 639-2 / 5: kln
Glottolog: kale1246[1]

The Kalenjin languages are a group of twelve related Southern Nilotic languages spoken in Kenya, eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. The term Kalenjin comes from a Nandi expression meaning 'I say (to you)'. Kalenjin in this broad linguistic sense should not be confused with Kalenjin as a term for the common identity the Nandi-speaking peoples of Kenya assumed halfway the twentieth century; see Kalenjin and Kalenjin language.

The Kalenjin languages are generally distinguished into four branches. There is less certainty regarding internal relationships within these.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kalenjin". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 


  • Rottland, Franz (1982) Die Südnilotischen Sprachen: Beschreibung, Vergleichung und Rekonstruktion (Kölner Beiträge zur Afrikanistik vol. 7). Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. (See esp. map 1 on p. 31, and the 'Sprachbeschreibung' of the Kalenjin languages on pp. 69–143.)

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