Alumu language

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Native toNigeria
RegionNassarawa State
Native speakers
7,000 (1999)[1]
  • Alumu
  • Tesu
Language codes
ISO 639-3aab

Alumu is a Plateau language spoken by approximately 7,000 people in Nassarawa State, Nigeria. It has lost the nominal affix system characteristic of the Niger–Congo family.


Two varieties, Alumu and Tesu, differ only in intonation.[1] Information for Alumu and Tesu is listed from Blench (2004).[2]

Alumu (or Arum), with 4,000 speakers, is spoken in the settlements of Arum-Kado (main settlement), Arum-Tsabo, Arum-Sarki, Arum-Tumara, Arum-Chugbu, Arum-Kurmi (Gbira), and Arum-Chine.

Tesu (Təsu) (Hausa: Chessu[3]), with just under 2,000 speakers, is spoken in the two villages of Chessu Sarki and Chessu Madaki, which are about one kilometre apart from each other on the Wamba - Fadan Karshi road.

Akpondu is also closely related (also Babur, Nisam and Nigbo) but moribund or extinct, and its classification as a separate language or as a shifting dialect or sociological group of related dialects is not clear.[4]


Consonant phonemes[5]
  Labial Alveolar Palatal Labialized
Velar Labialized
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p b t d k ɡ kp ɡb
Implosive ɓ ɗ
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ x h
Approximant l j ɥ w
Tap ɾ
Trill r
Vowel phonemes[6]
  Front Central Back
Close i u
Near-Close ɪ ʊ
Close-Mid e o
Open-Mid ɛ ə ɔ
Open a

It is unclear whether or not vowel nasality is phonemic in Alumu.[7]


  1. ^ a b Alumu-Tesu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Blench, Roger. 2004. Tarok and related languages of east-central Nigeria.
  3. ^ Blench, Roger. 2010. The Təsu language of Central Nigeria and its affinities.
  4. ^ Blench, Roger, 2005. Akpondu, Nigbo, Bəbər and Nisam: Moribund or Extinct Languages of Central Nigeria, manuscript, 16 November 2005. 4pp.
  5. ^ Roger Blench (2012:6)
  6. ^ Roger Blench: The Təsu language of Central Nigeria and its affinities. (2012:5).
  7. ^ Roger Blench (2012:5)