Edo language

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Edo
Bini
Ẹ̀dó
Native toNigeria
RegionEdo State
EthnicityEdo people
Native speakers
1.6 million (2015)[1]
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-2bin
ISO 639-3bin
Glottologbini1246
Nigeria Benin Cameroon languages.png
Linguistic map of Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Edo is spoken in southern Nigeria.

Edo /ˈɛd/[2] (with diacritics, Ẹ̀dó), also called Bini (Benin), is a language spoken in Edo State, Nigeria. It is the native language of the Edo people and was the primary language of the Benin Empire and its predecessor, Igodomigodo.

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

There are seven vowels, /i e ɛ a ɔ o u/, all of which may be long or nasal, and three tones.

Consonants[edit]

Edo has a rather average consonant inventory for an Edoid language. It maintains only a single phonemic nasal, /m/, but has 13 oral consonants, /ɺ, l, ʋ, j, w/ and the 8 stops, which have nasal allophones such as [n, ɲ, ŋʷ] before nasal vowels.

Labial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Glottal
Nasal m
Plosive p  b
[pm bm]
t  d
[tn dn]
k  ɡ
[kŋ ɡŋ]
k͡p  ɡ͡b
[k͡pŋ͡m ɡ͡bŋ͡m]
Fricative f  v s  z x  ɣ h
Close approximant ɹ̝̊  ɹ̝
Open approximant ʋ
[ʋ̃]
l  ɹ
[n  ɾ̃]
j
[ɲ]
w
[ŋʷ]

The three rhotics have been described as voiced and voiceless trills as well as a lax English-type approximant. However, Ladefoged[3][page needed] found all three to be approximants, with the voiced–voiceless pair being raised (without being fricatives) and perhaps at a slightly different place of articulation compared to the third but not trills.

Phonotactics[edit]

Syllable structure is simple, being maximally CVV, where VV is either a long vowel or /i, u/ plus a different oral or nasal vowel.

Orthography[edit]

The Edo alphabet has separate letters for the nasalised allophones of /ʋ/ and /l/, mw and n:

A B D E F G Gb Gh H I K Kh Kp L M Mw N O P R Rh Rr S T U V Vb W Y Z
/a/ /b/ /d/ /e/ /ɛ/ /f/ /ɡ/ /ɡb/ /ɣ/ /h/ /i/ /k/ /x/ /kp/ /l/ /m/ /ʋ/ /l/ /o/ /ɔ/ /p/ /ɹ/ /ɹ̝̊/ /ɹ̝/ /s/ /t/ /u/ /v/ /ʋ/ /w/ /j/ /z/

Long vowels are written by doubling the letter. Nasal vowels may be written with a final -n or with an initial nasal consonant. Tone may be written with acute accent, grave accent, and unmarked, or with a final -h (-nh with a nasal vowel).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edo at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  3. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.

External links[edit]