Bamum language

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Bamum
Shüpamom
Region Cameroon, Nigeria
Native speakers
420,000 (2005)[1]
Bamum syllabary
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bax
Glottolog bamu1253[2]
Shumom-text.jpg
Page from a manuscript in the Bamum script

Bamum (Shüpamom [ʃŷpǎˑmə̀m] "Bamum language"), or in its French spelling Bamoun, is one of the Benue–Congo languages of Cameroon, with approximately 420,000 speakers.[1] The language is well known for its original script developed by King Njoya and his palace circle around 1895. Cameroonian musician Claude Ndam is a native speaker of the language and uses it in his music.[3]

Phonology[edit]

Bamum has tone, long vowels and diphthongs, and coda consonants. The simple vowels are,

Front Central Back
i   y ɨ ɯ   u
e ə
ɛ ɔ
a

The consonants are,

Labial Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Velar Labialized
velar
Labial-
velar
Glottal
p t k kp ʔ
b d ɡ ɡʷ ɡb
mp nt ŋk ŋkʷ ?
mb nd ŋɡ ŋɡʷ ?
f s ʃ x ?
v z ʒ ɣ ?
ɱf ? ɲʃ
ɱv ? ɲʒ
m n ? ŋ ŋʷ ŋm
r   l j w

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bamum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Bamun". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Cathy Kell (14 September 2005). "Cameroon: Claude Ndam : Committed To Culture". Retrieved 28 August 2015.