Gun language

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Native toBenin, Nigeria
EthnicityGun people
Native speakers
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3guw
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Gun language (Gun: gungbe) is a language in the Gbe languages group. It is spoken by the Ogu people in Benin Republic and Nigeria.[2] The language is close to Fon, as well as to Agbome, Kpase, Maxi and Weme (Ouémé) languages. It is the second most spoken language of Benin. It is used in some schools in the Ouémé Department of Benin.[3]

Gun is mainly spoken in south Benin in Porto-Novo, Sèmè-Kpodji, Bonou, Adjarra, Avrankou, Dangbo, Akpro-Missérété, Cotonou, and other cities where Ogu people live. Gun is also spoken by a minority of Ogu people in southwest Nigeria near the border with Benin, particularly Badagry, Maun, Tube.

The language has been written with three orthographies, all of them based on the Latin alphabet. In Nigeria, it has been written with an orthography similar to that of Yoruba and some other languages of Nigeria, and using the dot below diacritic to indicate sounds. In Benin, another orthography was developed for publishing a Bible translation in 1923, and it was updated in 1975, and is now used for teaching literacy in some schools in Benin; it is similar to the orthography of Fon, using letters such as ⟨ɛ⟩ and ⟨ɔ⟩.[4] There are proposals to unify the orthographies, for example the one made by Hounkpati Capo in 1990.[5]


  1. ^ Gun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Gun". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  3. ^ Kluge, Angela (2007). "The Gbe Language Continuum of West Africa: A Synchronic Typological Approach to Prioritizing In-depth Sociolinguistic Research on Literature Extensibility" (PDF). Language Documentation & Conservation: 182–215.
  4. ^ Iyetunde Ofulue, Christine (2015). Orie, Ọlanikẹ Ọla (ed.). Bilingualism and Language Maintenance in Small Language Communities: The Case of Gungbe. Current Research in African Linguistics : Papers in Honor of Ọladele Awobuluyi. Ilọri, Johnson F., Yuka, Lendzemo Constantine. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-4438-8142-5. OCLC 954254260.
  5. ^ Capo, Hounkpati B. C. (1990). "Towards a Viable Orthography for Egungbe". African Languages and Cultures. 3 (2): 109–125. ISSN 0954-416X.


  • Saulnier, Pierre (1968). Manuel progressif de conversation en langue goun. Porto-Novo : Centre Catéchétique.
  • Aboh, Enoch (1996). "A propos de la syntaxe du Gungbe". Rivista di Grammatica Generativa.