Kiga language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Native toUganda, Rwanda
EthnicityKiga, Twa
Native speakers
1.6 million (2002 census)[1]
Standard forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3cgg
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Kiga (also called Rukiga, Ruchiga, or Chiga) is a Great Lakes Bantu language of the Kiga people (Bakiga). Kiga is a similar and partially mutually intelligible with Nkore language. It was first written in the second half of the 19th century.

Kiga is so similar to Nkore (84%–94% lexical similarity[4]) that some argue they are dialects of the same language, called Nkore-Kiga by Charles Taylor.[5]

In common with other Bantu languages, Kiga has a noun class system in which prefixes on nouns mark membership of one of the noun genders. Pronouns, adjectives, and verbs reflect the noun gender of the nominal they refer to. Some examples of noun classes:

  • mu – person (singular), e.g. omukiga = inhabitant of Kigezi land
  • ru – language, e.g. Rukiga = language of the Kiga
  • ba – people, e.g. Bakiga = The Kiga people
  • ki – customs or traditions, e.g. kikiga, (sometimes spelled Kichiga), describes religious tradition common to the Kiga people. Sometimes the people are called 'Chiga' by people misunderstanding the linguistic rules in relation to the prefixes.

The sound [l] is not distinctive in Rukiga. The letter "r" is used instead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kiga at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Chiga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Lewis, Paul M. (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue Report for Language Code: nyn". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved 9 December 2009.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Poletto, Robert E. (1998). Topics in Runyankore Phonology (PDF). Linguistics Graduate Program, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved Dec 8, 2009.[permanent dead link]