Bariba language

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Native toBenin, Niger
EthnicityBariba people
Native speakers
560,000 (1995)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bba

Bariba, also known as Baatonum (also Baatombu, Baatonu, Barba, Barganchi, Bargawa, Bargu, Baruba, Berba, Bogung, and Burgu), is the language of the Bariba people of Benin and Nigeria and was the language of the state of Borgu. It is primarily spoken in Benin, but also across the border in adjacent Kwara State. It is not closely related to neighbouring languages as a member of the Savannas branch of the Niger–Congo language family.

Bariba is a tonal language.[3] Tonal patterns in Bariba have been claimed to present a challenge[clarification needed] to the Two-Feature Model of tonal phonology.[4]


  1. ^ Bariba at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Baatonum". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ N.L. Haddock (1959) The tones of Bariba Phonetica 3:90-94
  4. ^ Clements, Michaud, and Patin, Do we need tone features? In Tones and features: phonetic and phonological perspectives, Goldsmith, Hume, and Whetzels, editors

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