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|Region||South-eastern Ghana, around Accra|
|Latin (Ga alphabet)
Official language in
Ga is the predominant language of the Ga people, an ethnic group of Ghana.
Ga is spoken in south-eastern Ghana, in and around the capital Accra. It has relatively little dialectal variation. Although English is the official language of Ghana, Ga is one of 16 languages in which the Bureau of Ghana Languages publishes material.
Ga has 31 consonant phonemes.
- [ŋʷ] is an allophone of /w/ which occurs before nasals and is represented with its own digraph in writing.
- /l/ may be realised as [r] when between a consonant and vowel
- /j/ has an allophone [ɲ] before nasal vowels
Ga has 7 oral vowels and 5 nasal vowels. All of the vowels have 3 different vowel lengths: short, long or extra long (the latter appears only in the simple future and the simple past negative forms).
Sometimes, Ga is also spoken in the north, and even to the east near Togo. Western Togo also speaks some Ga.
Ga has 2 tones, high and low. Like many West African languages, it has tone terracing.
The syllable structure of Ga is (C)(C)V(C), where the second phoneme of an initial consonant cluster can only be /l/ and a final consonant may only be a (short or long) nasal consonant, e.g. ekome, "one", V-CV-CV; kakadaŋŋ, "long", CV-CV-CVC; mli, "body", CCV. Ga syllables may also consist solely of a syllabic nasal, for example in the first syllable of ŋshɔ, "sea".
Ga was first written by Christian Jacobsen Protten, who was the son of a Danish soldier and an Ga woman, in about 1764. The orthography has been revised a number of times since 1968, with the most recent review in 1990.
The writing system is a Latin-based alphabet and has 26 letters. It has three additional letter symbols which correspond to the IPA symbols. There are also eleven digraphs and two trigraphs. Vowel length is represented by doubling or tripling the vowel symbol, e.g. 'a', 'aa' and 'aaa'. Tones are not represented. Nasalisation is represented after oral consonants where it distinguishes between minimal pairs.
The Ga alphabet is: Aa, Bb, Dd, Ee, Ɛɛ, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ŋŋ, Oo, Ɔɔ, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Yy, Zz
The following letters represent sounds which do not correspond with the same letter as the IPA symbol (e.g. B represents /b/):
- J j - /d͡ʒ/
- Y y - /j/
Digraphs and trigraphs:
- Gb gb - /ɡb/
- Gw gw - /ɡʷ/
- Hw hw - /hʷ/
- Jw jw - /d͡ʒʷ/
- Kp kp - /kp/
- Kw kw - /kʷ/
- Ny ny - /ɲ/
- Ŋm ŋm - /ŋm/
- Ŋw ŋw - [ŋʷ] (an allophone rather than a phoneme)
- Sh sh - /ʃ/
- Ts ts - /t͡ʃ/
- Shw shw - /ʃʷ/
- Tsw tsw - /t͡ʃʷ/
- M. E. Kropp Dakubu, ed. (1977). West African Language Data Sheets Vol 1. West African Linguistic Society.
- M. E. Kropp Dakubu, ed. (1988). The Languages of Ghana. London: Kegan Paul International for the International African Institute. ISBN 0-7103-0210-X.
- M. E. Kropp Dakubu (1999). Ga-English dictionary with English-Ga Index. Accra: Black Mask Ltd. ISBN 9964-960-50-6.
- M. E. Kropp Dakubu (2002). Ga Phonology. Legon: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
- Bureau of Ghana Languages (1995). Ga Wiemɔ Kɛ Ŋmaa. Accra:Bureau of Ghana Languages. ISBN 9964-2-0276-8.
- A. A. Amartey (1989). Beginners' Ga. Ga Society.
|Ga language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|