Gwari language

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Native toNigeria.
RegionAbuja, Kaduna State, Niger State, Kogi State, and Nasarawa State.
EthnicityGbagyi people
Native speakers
(600,000 Gbagyi cited 1991)[1]
800,000 Gbari (2002)
  • Atlantic–Congo
    • Volta–Niger
      • kwa-Sub group
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
gbr – Gbagyi
gby – Gbari

Gwari is a kwa language spoken by the Gbagyi people, which make up over a million people in Nigeria. There are two principal varieties, Gbari (West Gwari) and Gbagyi (East Gwari), which have some difficulty in communication; sociolinguistically they are distinct languages.


Gbagye is also known as Gwari-Matai or Gwarin Ngenge, which are recently adopted cover terms.[2]

There are two separate Gbagyi groups living in:[2]

Gbagye is the only Nupoid language that has the bilabial implosive /ɓ/.[2]

Gbagyi (also known as Gwari) is a cover term for all the Gbari-speaking peoples, and includes many varieties.[2]

Gbari-Yama is a cover term used for all southern Gbari dialects. There are two closely related dialects, which are:[2]

  • Shigokpna
  • Zubakpna

Gbedegi is an extinct language (possibly a Nupe dialect) spoken near Mokwa (Nadel 1941).[2]


  1. ^ Gbagyi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Gbari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Blench, Roger. 2013. The Nupoid languages of west-central Nigeria: overview and comparative word list.