Izere language

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Native toNigeria
RegionKaduna State, Bauchi State, Plateau
Native speakers
(100,000 cited 1993–2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
izr – NE & NW Izere
cen – Cèn (Chen)
gne – Ganàng (Gashish)
izer1242  Izeric, incl. Firan[2]

Izere is a dialect continuum of Plateau languages in Nigeria. According to Blench (2008), it is four languages, though Ethnologue does not distinguish NW and NE Izere. The Cen and Ganang varieties are spoken by only 2000 each. Cen has added Berom noun-class prefixes and consonant alternation to an Izere base.


The Izere phonetic inventory includes 29 consonants and seven vowels and distinguishes three tone levels; two additional contour tones appear only rarely, in loanwords and due to onomatopoeia.[3]


The consonant phonemes of Izere are shown in the following table.

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Labial–velar Glottal
Stop p  b t  d c  j k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ ŋ͡m
Trill (r)
Fricative f  v s  z ʃ  ʒ h
Affricate ts
Approximant yɥ w
Lateral l


The vowel phonemes of Izere are shown in the following table.

Vowel phonemes
Front Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ
Open a


There are three level (L, M & H) and two contour tonemes (LM & HL) in Izere; the latter two are found only in loanwords and onomatopoeia.


  1. ^ NE & NW Izere at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Cèn (Chen) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Ganàng (Gashish) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Izeric". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Blench, Roger; Kaze, Bitrus. Dictionary of the Izere language.