Urhobo language

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Urhobo
Native to Nigeria
Region Delta State
Ethnicity Urhobo people
Native speakers
550,000  (1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 urh
Glottolog urho1239[2]
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Urhobo is one of the Edoid languages and is spoken by the Urhobo people of southern Nigeria. Two closely related languages spoken by the Urhobo, Okpe and Uvwie, are sometimes mistaken for dialects of Urhobo.[citation needed] Urhobo is endangered by the impact of Nigerian Pidgin English.

Phonology[edit]

Urhobo has a rather reduced system, compared to proto-Edoid, of seven vowels; these form two harmonic sets, /i e a o u/ and /i ɛ a ɔ u/.[3]

It has a conservative consonant inventory for an Edoid language. It maintains three nasals, and only five oral consonants, /ɺ, l, ʋ, j, w/, have nasal allophones before nasal vowels.

  Labial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ      
Plosive p  b t  d c  ɟ k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b  
Fricative ɸ   f  v s  z ɕ  ʑ   ɣ   h
Trill          
Flap   ɺ [ɾ̃]        
Approximant   ʋ [ʋ̃] l [n] j [ɲ]   w [ŋʷ]  

Examples[edit]

Temu: A substance or person reaching a position or status respectively.

  • It is likely to originate from Atamu/Atumu, meaning 'Sun'.

Dictionaries[edit]

Urhobo dictionaries have been compiled by Ukere, Osubele, and Julius Arerierian.[citation needed] A multilingual dictionary of English, Okpe, Urhobo and Uvwie was compiled by Akpobọmẹ Diffrẹ-Odiete with funding from Foundation for Endangered Languages.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Urhobo at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Urhobo". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Archangeli & Pulleyblank, 1994. Grounded phonology, p 181ff
  • Frank Kügler, Caroline Féry, Ruben Van De Vijver (2009) Variation and Gradience in Phonetics and Phonology