Tonga (Nyasa) language

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For other uses, see Tonga language (disambiguation).
Tonga
Western Nyasa
Chitonga
Native to Malawi
Ethnicity Tonga
Native speakers
170,000  (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 tog
ISO 639-3 tog
N.15[2]
Glottolog tong1321[3]

There are about 170,000 speakers of the Malawi language called Tonga, also called Western Nyasa.

The language is called chiTonga. The 'chi' means 'the language of the', like 'ki' in kiSwahili or 'se' in seTswana.

The Tonga language of Malawi is described as "similar" to Tumbuka and Turner's dictionary [4] lists only those words which differ from the Tumbuka, with the added comment that "the Tonga folk, being rapid speakers, slur or elide the final syllable of many words, e.g. kulira becomes kuliya, kukura becomes kukuwa, kutoa becomes kuto’."

Vocabulary[edit]

chingana - although; ndi - and; pa rweka - beyond; msuzi - blacksmith (plural: wasuzi, ʋasuzi); matchiwa - breezes; kufya - to burn; chigawu - cassava; fungu - wild damson; wiskekuru - ancestor; kutenga - to bring; gutu - ear (plural: makutu); kuwomba manja - to clap hands; mbweno! - enough!.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tonga at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tonga (Nyasa)". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Turner, Rev. Wm. Y., Tumbuka–Tonga–English Dictionary. Hetherwick Press, Blantyre (Malawi), MCMLII.
  5. ^ Turner's Dictionary, as above