Gaam language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ingessana language)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Native toSudan
Native speakers
67,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tbi

Gaam (Gaahmg), also known as Ingessana, (Me/Mun)Tabi, Kamanidi, or Mamedja/Mamidza, is an Eastern Sudanic language spoken by the Ingessana people in the Tabi Hills in eastern Sudan, near Ethiopia. It was considered an isolate within Eastern Sudanic until the other Eastern Jebel languages were discovered in the late 20th century. Dialects are Soda (Tao), Kukur (Gor), Kulang (Kulelek, Bau), Buwahg (Buek).



There are 21 distinct consonant phonemes. The fricative, nasal, lateral and rhotic consonants also distinguish length.

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosives p b t d c ɟ k ɡ
Fricatives f, fː s, sː
Nasals m, mː n, nː ɲ, ɲː ŋ, ŋː
Laterals l, lː
Rhotics r, rː
Approximants w ð y


There are six distinct vowel phonemes. All six can also occur in sequential (and thus lengthened) form but may change phonetic quality. Stirtz (2012)[4] proposes the following system:

[-round] [+round]
[-back] [+back]
[+ATR] i ə u
[-ATR] ɛ a ɔ


Gaam is a tonal language. There are three level tones, High, Mid and Low, which can be combined to form rising and falling tones. A total of nine tone melodies is possible, all of them contrastive.


  1. ^ Gaam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gaam". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Stirtz (2012:21)
  4. ^ Stirtz (2012:33)


  • Stirtz, Timothy (2004). "Phonology and orthography in Gaahmg". Occasional Papers in the Study of Sudanese Languages. 9: 127–144.
  • Stirtz, Timothy (2012). A grammar of Gaahmg, a Nilo-Saharan language of Sudan. Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. ISBN 978-94-6093-078-2.

External links[edit]