Gwandara language

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Native toNigeria
Native speakers
27,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3gwn

Gwandara is a West Chadic language, and the closest relative of Hausa. Its several dialects are spoken in northern Nigeria, predominantly in the north central region of Nigeria with over 400,000 people. Gwandara are situated among these areas; Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Niger state,Nasarawa state, and some part of Kogi state. And with other dispatch communities across the northern part of Nigeria in area like Kano, Kaduna and katsina state. The incumbent governor of Nasarawa state Tanko Al-makura is the first gwandara person to become a governor in Nigeria.

History According to Dr Silvestre O.Ayih (the Abaga Toni Sarkin Garaku)in his book titled "The history of Gwandara Towns and Villages" chapter one page 17 that, It took many years of wondering and hunting for a group of gwandara's led by Danbaba to reach and settled in the site called kupai. where they established a permanent settlement and as time went by, they built a large empire which extends to the river Benue in the south and river Niger in west.

The karshi Abuja gwandara people are the notable and the most influential gwandara dialect in Nigeria.[3][better source needed]

The Nimbia dialect has a duodecimal numeral system, whereas other dialects, such as Karshi below, have decimal systems:[4]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ten eleven twelve
Nimbia da bi ugu furu biyar shide bo'o tager tanran gwom kwada tuni
Karshi da bi uku huru biyari shida bakwe takushi tara gom gom sha da gom sha bi

It is thought that Nimbia, which is isolated from the rest of Gwandara, acquired its duodecimal system from neighboring East Kainji languages. It is duodecimal even to powers of base twelve:

tuni mbe da 13 (dozen and one)
gume bi 24 (two dozen)
gume bi ni da 25 (two dozen and one)
gume kwada ni kwada 143 (eleven dozen and eleven)
wo 144 (gross)
wo bi 288 (two gross)


  1. ^ Gwandara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gwandara". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Karshi Abuja
  4. ^ Matsushita, 'Decimal vs. Duodecimal'