Guruntum language

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Native speakers
(15,000 cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3grd
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Guruntum is a Chadic language spoken in Bauchi and Alkaleri LGAs, Bauchi State, Nigeria. In 1993 it was spoken by about 15,000 people.


Guruntum is a West Chadic language of the Barawa (B.3) group.

Major dialects include Kuuku, Gayar, Mbaaru, Dooka, Gar and Karakara.



Guruntum contrasts long and short forms for all vowels except for /ɨ/. In addition, two nasalized vowel phonemes exist: /ũː/ /ãː/.

Front Central Back
short long short long short long
Close i ɨ u uː ũː
Mid e o
Open a aː ãː

There are two diphthongs, /ai/ and /au/.


Labial Alveolar Postalveolar
or palatal
Plain Palatalized Labialized Plain Palatalized Labialized
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᶮdʒ ᵑɡ ᵑɡʲ ᵑɡʷ
voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ ɡʲ ɡʷ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ
voiced v z ʒ
Trill r
Approximant l j w

/r/ is realized as a flap intervocalically before back vowels; elsewhere it is a trill.


Guruntum has four tones: high, low, rising (low-high) and falling (high-low).


  1. ^ Guruntum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Guruntum-Mbaaru". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Jaggar, Philip J. (1998). "Guruntum (gùrdùŋ) (West Chadic-B): Linguistics notes and wordlist". African Languages and Cultures. 1 (2): 169–189.