Zigula language

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Zigula
Mushunguli
Native to Tanzania, Somalia
Ethnicity Zigula people, Somali Bantu
Native speakers
380,000  (1993–2006)[1]
Dialects
Mushunguli
Zigula
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
ziw – Zigula
xma – Mushunguli
G.31,311[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Zigula (Zigua) is a Bantu language of Tanzania and of Somalia, where it is known as Mushunguli (Mushungulu).[3] It is best known for the Mushunguli dialect.

Mushunguli[edit]

Mushunguli is spoken by about 23,000 people from the Bantu minority ethnic of southern Somalia, in Jamaame, Kismayo, Mogadishu, and the Juba River valley.[4]

It shows affinities with other adjacent Bantu varieties. In particular, Mushunguli shares strong lexical and grammatical similarities with the language of the Zigua people who inhabit Tanzania, one of the areas in south-eastern Africa where many Bantu in Somalia are known to have been captured from as slaves during the 19th century.[5] Ethnologue notes that the Mushunguli in Tanzania are the Wazegua.[4]

Many Mushunguli Bantu men also speak as working languages the Afro-Asiatic Maay and Somali languages of their Somali neighbors.[4]

Phonology[edit]

There is no official or traditional orthography for Mushunguli. However, spelling practices from related Bantu languages can easily be adopted to render the language with minimal phonetic diacritics.

Vowels[edit]

Front Back
High ɪ ʊ
Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

Consonants[edit]

nasals m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless stops p t k
voiced implosives ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ
voiceless fricatives f s ~ θ ʃ
voiced fricatives v z ~ ð
sonorants w l, ɾ j ɦ

The fricatives [z] and [s] freely vary with [ð] and [θ], respectively.

Tone[edit]

Vowel length is not distinctive, but phonetic length is especially associated with falling tones as in chîga 'leg'. The tone system is similar to that of Tanzanian Zigua.[6][7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zigula at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Mushunguli at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  3. ^ Declich, Francesca. 1995. "Gendered Narratives," History, and Identity: Two Centuries along the Juba River among the Zigula and Shanbara. History in Africa 22: 93-122.
  4. ^ a b c Ethnologue – Mushungulu
  5. ^ Refugee Reports November 2002 Volume 23, Number 8
  6. ^ Kenstowicz, Michael. 1989. Tone and accent in Kizigua – a Bantu language. in P.M. Bertinetto & M. Loporcaro (eds). Certamem phonologicum: papers from the 1987 Cortona Phonology Meeting, pp. 177-188. Torino: Rosenberg and Sellier.
  7. ^ Kenstowicz, Michael. & Charles Kisseberth. 1990. Chizigula tonology: the word and beyond. In S. Inkelas & D. Zec(eds) The phonology-syntax connection, pp. 163-194. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

External links[edit]