Kalenjin languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
western Kenya, eastern Uganda, northern Tanzania
Linguistic classificationNilo-Saharan?
ISO 639-3kln

The Kalenjin languages are a family of a dozen Southern Nilotic languages spoken in Kenya, eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. The term Kalenjin comes from a Nandi expression meaning 'I say (to you)'. Kalenjin in this broad linguistic sense should not be confused with Kalenjin as a term for the common identity the Nandi-speaking peoples of Kenya assumed halfway through the twentieth century; see Kalenjin people and Kalenjin language.

The Kalenjin languages are generally distinguished into four branches. There is less certainty regarding internal relationships within these.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kalenjin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


  • Distefano, John Albert. 1985. The precolonial history of the Kalenjin of Kenya: a methodological comparison of linguistic and oral traditional evidence. Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles.
  • Rottland, Franz (1982) Die Südnilotischen Sprachen: Beschreibung, Vergleichung und Rekonstruktion (Kölner Beiträge zur Afrikanistik vol. 7). Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. (See esp. map 1 on p. 31, and the 'Sprachbeschreibung' of the Kalenjin languages on pp. 69–143.)
  • van Otterloo, Roger. 1979. A Kalenjin dialect study. (Language Data Africa Series, 18.) Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

External links[edit]