Jagham language

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Native toNigeria, Cameroon
EthnicityEkoi people
Native speakers
120,000 (2000)[1]
  • Bendeghe
  • Northern Etung
  • Southern Etung
  • Ekwe
  • Akamkpa-Ejagham
  • Keaka
  • Obang
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3etu

The Jagham language, Ejagham, also known as Ekoi, is an Ekoid language of Nigeria and Cameroon.

The Ekoi are one of several peoples who use nsibidi ideographs, and may be the ones that created them.


Ekoi is dialectally diverse. The dialects of Ejagham are divided into Western and Eastern groups:

  • Western varieties include Bendeghe, Northern and Southern Etung, Ekwe and Akamkpa-Ejagham;
  • Eastern varieties include Keaka and Obang.[3]


Ekoi has the following noun classes, listed here with their Bantu equivalents. Watters (1981) says there are fewer than in Bantu because of mergers (class 4 into 3, 7 into 6, etc.), though Blench notes that there is no reason to think that the common ancestral language had as many noun classes as proto-Bantu.

Noun class Prefix Concord
1 N- w, ɲ
2 a- b
3 N- m
5 ɛ- j
6 a- m
8 bi- b
9 N- j, ɲ
14 ɔ- b
19 i- f

('N' stands for a homorganic nasal. 'j' is "y".)


  1. ^ Ekoi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ejagham". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Blench, Roger. "Ekoid: Bantoid languages of the Nigeria-Cameroun borderland" (PDF). p. 1.

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