Koalib language

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Native toSudan
RegionNuba Hills
EthnicityKoalib, Turum, Umm Heitan
Native speakers
(44,000 cited 1984)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3kib

Koalib (also called Kwalib, Abri, Lgalige, Nirere and Rere) is a Niger–Congo language in the Heiban family spoken in the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan.[3] The Koalib Nuba, Turum and Umm Heitan ethnic groups speak this language.

Dialects and locations[edit]

Koalib dialects and locations (Ethnologue, 22nd edition):

  • Nginyukwur dialect: Hadra, Nyukwur, and Umm Heitan
  • Ngirere dialect: Abri area
  • Ngunduna dialect: Koalib hills area
  • Nguqwurang dialect: Turum and Umm Berumbita

Writing system[edit]

Capital and small at letters in Doulos SIL typeface

It is written using the Latin script,[3] but includes some unusual letters. It shares a tailed R (Ɽ) with other Sudanese languages, and uses a letter resembling the at sign (@) for transcribing the letter ع in Arabic loanwords. The Unicode Standard includes R WITH TAIL at code points U+027D (lowercase) and U+2C64 (uppercase), but the Unicode Consortium declined to encode the at sign separately as an orthographic letter.[4] However, SIL International maintains a registry of Private Use Area code points in which U+F247 represents LATIN SMALL LETTER AT, and U+F248 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER AT.[5]


The New Testament was published in Koalib in 1967.


  1. ^ Koalib at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Koalib-Rere". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Ethnologue report for language code: kib, retrieved on Apr. 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Constable, Peter, and Lorna A. Priest (Oct. 12, 2009) SIL Corporate PUA Assignments 5.2a. SIL International. pp. 59-60. Retrieved on Apr. 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Charis SIL font documentation, retrieved on Apr. 12, 2010.

External links[edit]