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. Urhobo is endangered by the impact of Nigerian Pidgin English.
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/.
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.
|Plosive||p b||t d||c ɟ||k ɡ||k͡p ɡ͡b|
|Fricative||ɸ||f v||s z||ɕ ʑ||ɣ||h|
|Approximant||ʋ [ʋ̃]||l [n]||j [ɲ]||w [ŋʷ]|
Temu: A substance or person reaching a position or status respectively.
- It is likely to originate from Atamu/Atumu, meaning 'Sun'.
Urhobo dictionaries have been compiled by Ukere, Osubele, and Julius Arerierian. A multilingual dictionary of English, Okpe, Urhobo and Uvwie was compiled by Akpobọmẹ Diffrẹ-Odiete with funding from Foundation for Endangered Languages.
- Frank Kügler, Caroline Féry, Ruben Van De Vijver (2009) Variation and Gradience in Phonetics and Phonology
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