Languages of Nigeria

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Languages of Nigeria
RegionalHausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulfulde, Ijaw, Edo, Ibibio, Karai-Karai, Kupa, Kanuri, Tiv, Idoma, Igala, Nupe, and others
A map of the major languages of Nigeria, Cameroon and Benin

There are over 525 native languages spoken in Nigeria.[1][2] The official language of Nigeria is English, the language of former colonial British Nigeria. As reported in 2003, Nigerian English and Nigerian Pidgin were spoken as a second language by 60 million people in Nigeria.[3] Communication in the English language is much more popular in the country's urban communities than it is in the rural areas, due to globalization.[4]

The major native languages, in terms of population, are Hausa (over 80 million when including second-language, or L2, speakers), Yoruba (over 50 million including L2 speakers), Igbo (over 30 million, including L2 speakers) Fulfulde (13 million), Efik-Ibibio cluster (10 million), Kanuri (8 million), Tiv (5 million), Nupe (3 million) and approx. 2 to 3 million each of Karai-Karai Kupa, Kakanda, Edo, Igala, Idoma and Izon.[5] Nigeria's linguistic diversity is a microcosm of much of Africa as a whole, and the country contains languages from the three major African language families: Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan and Niger–Congo. Nigeria also has several as-yet unclassified languages, such as Centúúm, which may represent a relic of an even greater diversity prior to the spread of the current language families.[6]

Selected languages[edit]

Nigerian English

Afroasiatic languages[edit]

The Afroasiatic languages of Nigeria is divided into Chadic, Semitic and Berber. Among these category, Chadic languages predominate, with more than 700 languages. Semitic is represented by various dialects of Arabic spoken in the Northeast and Berber by the Tuareg-speaking communities in the extreme Northwest.

A map showing Afroasiatic speaking peoples in Nigeria

The Hausa language is the best known Chadic language in Nigeria; though there is a paucity of statistics on native speakers in Nigeria, the language is spoken by 24 million people in West Africa and is the second language of 15 million more. Hausa has therefore emerged as lingua franca throughout much of West Africa, and the Sahel in particular. The language is spoken primarily amongst Northern Nigerians and is often associated with Islamic culture in Nigeria and West Africa on the whole.

Hausa is classified as a West Chadic language of the Chadic grouping, a major subfamily of Afroasiatic. Culturally, the Hausa people became closely integrated with the Fulani following the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate by the Fulani Uthman dan Fodio in the 19th century. Hausa is the official language of several states in Northern Nigeria and the most important dialect is generally regarded as that spoken in Kano, an Eastern Hausa dialect, which is the standard variety used for official purposes.

Eastern dialects also include some dialects spoken in Zaria and Bauchi; Western Hausa dialects include Sakkwatanchi spoken in Sokoto, Katsinanchi in Katsina Arewanchi in both Gobir and Adar, Kebbi and Zamfara. Katsina is transitional between Eastern and Western dialects. Northern Hausa dialects include Arewa and Arawa, whilst Zaria is a prominent Southern version; Barikanchi is a pidgin formerly used in the military.

Hausa is a very atypical Chadic language, with a reduced tonal system and a phonology influenced by Arabic. Other well-known Chadic languages include Mupun, Ngas, Goemai, Mwaghavul, Bole, Ngizim, Bade and Bachama. In the East of Nigeria and on into Cameroon are the Central Chadic languages such as Bura, Kamwe and Margi. These are highly diverse and remain very poorly described. Many Chadic languages are severely threatened; recent searches by Bernard Caron for Southern Bauchi languages show that even some of those recorded in the 1970s have disappeared. However unknown Chadic languages are still being reported, such as the recent description of Dyarim.

Hausa, as well as other Afroasiatic languages such as Kanuri, Margi, Karai-Karai and Bade (another West Chadic language spoken in northeastern Nigeria), have historically been written in a modified Arabic script known as ajami. However the modern official orthography is now a romanization known as boko introduced by the British regime in the 1930s.

Branches and locations[edit]

Below is a list of major Chadic branches and their primary locations based on Blench (2019).[7] Like the Adamawa and Bantu languages, Chadic branches are also referred to by lettered codes.

Branch Code Primary locations
Distributions of West Chadic branches
Hausa–Gwandara A1 Northern Nigeria
Bole–Tangale A2 Darazo LGA, Bauchi State; Yobe, Taraba, Gombe, Borno states
Angas A3 Shendam and Mangu LGAs, Plateau State
Ron A4 Mangu LGA, Plateau State
Bade B1 Bade LGA, Borno State
Warji (North Bauchi) B2 Darazo and Ningi LGAs, Bauchi State
Barawa (South Bauchi) B3 Bauchi State (Toro, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi LGAs)
Branch Code Primary locations
Distributions of Biu–Mandara branches in Nigeria
Tera A1 Gombi LGA, Adamawa State and Biu LGA, Borno State
Bata A8 Mubi LGA, Adamawa State
Kamwe (Higi) A3 Michika LGA, Mubi North LGA, Hong LGA, Madagali LGA Adamawa State; Askira/Uba LGA, Borno State
Mandara A4 Gwoza LGA, Borno State and Michika LGA, Adamawa State

Other than Chadic languages, Arabic varieties, particularly Shuwa Arabic, are also spoken throughout northern Nigeria.

Niger–Congo languages[edit]

Systematic graphic of the Niger–Congo languages with numbers of speakers

Niger–Congo predominates in the Central, East and Southern areas of Nigeria; the main branches represented in Nigeria are Mande, Atlantic, Gur, Kwa, Benue–Congo and Adamawa–Ubangi.[8] Mande is represented by the Busa cluster and Kyenga in the northwest. Fulfulde is the single Atlantic language, of Senegambian origin but now spoken by cattle pastoralists across the Sahel and largely in the northeastern states of Nigeria, especially Adamawa.

The Ijoid languages are spoken across the Niger Delta and include Ịjọ (Ijaw), Kalabari, and the intriguing remnant language Defaka. The Efik language is spoken across the coastal southeastern part of Nigeria and includes the dialects Ibibio, Annang, and Efik proper. The single Gur language spoken is Baatọnun, in the extreme Northwest.

The Adamawa–Ubangian languages are spoken between central Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Their westernmost representatives in Nigeria are the Tula-Waja languages. The Kwa languages are represented by the Gun group in the extreme southwest, which is affiliated to the Gbe languages in Benin and Togo.

The classification of the remaining languages is controversial; Joseph Greenberg classified those without noun-classes, such as Yoruba, Igbo, and Ibibio (Efik, Ibibio, and Annang), as 'Eastern Kwa' and those with classes as 'Benue–Congo'. This was reversed in an influential 1989 publication and reflected on the 1992 map of languages, where all these were considered Benue–Congo. Recent opinion, however, has been to revert to Greenberg's distinction. The literature must thus be read with care and due regard for the date. There are several small language groupings in the Niger Confluence area, notably Ukaan, Akpes, Ayere-Ahan and Ọkọ, whose inclusion in these groupings has never been satisfactorily argued.

Former Eastern Kwa, i.e. West Benue–Congo would then include Igboid, i.e. Igbo language proper, Ukwuani, Ikwerre, Ekpeye etc., Yoruboid, i.e. Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala, Akokoid (eight small languages in Ondo, Edo and Kogi state), Edoid including Edo (sometimes referred to as) Bini in Edo State, Ibibio-Efik, Idomoid (Idoma) and Nupoid (Nupe) and perhaps include the other languages mentioned above. The Idoma language is classified in the Akweya subgroup of the Idomoid languages of the Volta–Niger family, which include Alago, Agatu, Etulo and Yala languages of Benue, Nasarawa and Northern Cross River states.

East Benue–Congo includes Kainji, Plateau (46 languages, notably Gamai language), Jukunoid, Dakoid and Cross River. Apart from these, there are numerous Bantoid languages, which are the languages immediately ancestral to Bantu. These include Mambiloid, Ekoid, Bendi, Beboid, Grassfields and Tivoid languages.

The geographic distribution of Nigeria's Niger-Congo languages is not limited to the middle east and south-central Nigeria, as migration allows their spread to the linguistically Afro-Asiatic northern regions of Nigeria, as well as throughout West Africa and abroad. Igbo words such as 'unu' for 'you people', 'sooso' for 'only', 'obia' for 'native doctoring', etc. are used in patois of Jamaica and many Central American nations, Yoruba is spoken as a ritual language in cults such as the Santeria in the Caribbean and South-Central America, and the Berbice Dutch language in Surinam is based on an Ijoid language.

Even the above listed linguistic diversity of the Niger–Congo in Nigeria is deceptively limiting, as these languages may further consist of regional dialects that may not be mutually intelligible. As such some languages, particularly those with a large number of speakers, have been standardized and received a romanized orthography. Nearly all languages appear in a Latin alphabet when written.

The Efik, Igbo, and Yoruba languages are notable examples of this process. The more historically recent standardization and romanization of Igbo have provoked even more controversy due to its dialectical diversity, but the Central Igbo dialect has gained the widest acceptance as the standard-bearer. Many such as Chinua Achebe have dismissed standardization as colonial and conservative attempts to simplify a complex mosaic of languages.

Such controversies typify inter- and intra-ethnic conflict endemic to post-colonial Nigeria. Also worthy of note is the Enuani dialect, a variation of the Igbo that is spoken among parts of Anioma. The Anioma are the Aniocha, Ndokwa/Ukwuani, Ika and Oshimilli of Delta state. Standard Yoruba came into being due to the work Samuel Crowther, the first African bishop of the Anglican Church and owes most of its lexicon to the dialects spoken in Ọyọ and Ibadan.

Since Standard Yoruba's constitution was determined by a single author rather than by a consensual linguistic policy by all speakers, the Standard has been attacked regarding for failing to include other dialects and spurred debate as to what demarcates "genuine Yoruba". Linguistically speaking, all demonstrate the varying phonological features of the Niger–Congo family to which they belong, these include the use of tone, nasality, and particular consonant and vowel systems; more information is available here.

Branches and locations[edit]

Below is a list of major Niger–Congo branches and their primary locations based on Blench (2019).[7]

Distributions of Volta–Niger branches
Branch Primary locations
Akpes Akoko North LGA, Ondo State
Ayere–Ahan Akoko North LGA, Ondo State
Gbe Badagry LGA, Lagos State and adjacent areas
Yoruboid Southwestern Nigeria
Edoid Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Delta States
Akoko Akoko North LGA, Ondo State
Igboid Anambra, Rivers, Delta States (excluding Igbo proper)
Nupoid Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa States, Kogi, FCT
Oko Ogori-Magongo LGA, Kogi State
Idomoid Benue, Cross River, Nasarawa States
Ukaan Akoko North LGA, Ondo State
Distributions of Benue–Congo branches in Nigeria
Branch Primary locations
Cross River Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers States
Bendi Obudu and Ogoja LGAs, Cross River State
Mambiloid Sardauna LGA, Taraba State; Cameroon
Dakoid Mayo Belwa LGA, Taraba State and adjacent areas
Jukunoid Taraba State
Yukubenic Takum LGA, Taraba State
Kainji Kauru LGA, Kaduna State and Bassa LGA, Plateau State; Kainji Lake area
Plateau Plateau, Kaduna, and Nasarawa States
Tivoid Obudu LGA, Cross River State and Sardauna LGA, Taraba State; Cameroon
Beboid Takum LGA, Taraba State; Cameroon
Ekoid Ikom and Ogoja LGAs, Cross River State; Cameroon
Grassfields Sardauna LGA, Taraba State; Cameroon
Jarawan Bauchi, Plateau, Adamawa, and Taraba States
Distributions of Adamawa branches in Nigeria
Branch Primary locations
Duru (Vere) Fufore LGA, Adamawa State
Leko Adamawa and Taraba States; Cameroon
Mumuye Taraba State
Yendang Mayo Belwa and Numan LGAs, Adamawa State
Waja Kaltungo and Balanga LGAs, Gombe State
Kam Bali LGA, Taraba State
Baa Numan LGA, Adamawa State
Laka Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State and Yola LGA, Adamawa State
Jen Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State
Bikwin Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State
Yungur Song and Guyuk LGAs, Adamawa State

In addition, Ijaw languages are spoken in Rivers State, Bayelsa State, and other states of the Niger Delta region. Mande languages are spoken in Kebbi State, Niger State, and Kwara State.[7]

Nilo-Saharan languages[edit]

In Nigeria, the Nilo-Saharan language family is represented by:

List of languages[edit]

This is a non-exhaustive list of languages in Nigeria.[9][10][11][12]

Language Alternate names Number of speakers Native speakers States spoken in Current status Language Varieties
Abanyom Abanyum, Befun, Bofon, Mbofon 13,000 Cross River Active 2
Abon Abong, Abõ, Ba'ban 1,000 Taraba
Abua Odual, Abuan 25,000 Rivers
Abureni Mini 4,000 Bayelsa
Achipa Achipawa 5,000 Kebbi
Adim Cross River
Aduge 30,000 Anambra
Adun Cross River
Afade Affade, Afadeh, Afada, Kotoko, Moga Borno, Yobe
Afo Plateau
Afrike Afrerikpe 60,000 Cross River
Ajawa Aja, Ajanci Bauchi Extinct
Akaju-Ndem Akajuk Cross River Active
Akweya-Yachi Benue
Alago Arago Plateau
Anang 1,000,000 Akwa Ibom
Angas 368000 Bauchi, Jigawa, Plateau
Ankwei Plateau
Arabic Chadian Arabic also known as Shuwa Arabic 1,000,000 100,000 Borno by Baggara Arabs
Anyima Cross River
Arum Nasarawa
Attakar Ataka Kaduna
Auyoka Auyokawa, Auyakawa, Awiaka Jigawa
Awori Lagos, Ogun
Ayu Kaduna
Babur Adamawa, Bomo, Taraba, Yobe
Bachama Adamawa
Bachere Cross River
Bada Plateau
Bade Yobe
Bakulung Taraba
Bambora Bambarawa Bauchi
Bambuko Taraba
Banda Bandawa
Banka Bankalawa Bauchi
Banso Panso Adamawa
Bara Barawa Bauchi
Baruba Barba Niger
Bashiri Bashirawa Plateau
Basa Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Plateau
Batta Adamawa
Baushi Niger
Baya Adamawa
Bekwarra Cross River
Bele Buli, Belewa Bauchi
Betso Bete Taraba
Bette Cross River
Bilei Adamawa Rivers
Bille 40,000
Bina Binawa Kaduna
Bini Edo
Birom Plateau
Bobua Taraba
Boki Nki Cross River
Bokkos Plateau
Boko Bussawa, Bargawa Niger
Bole Bolewa Bauchi, Yobe
Botlere Adamawa
Boma Bomawa, Burmano Bauchi
Buduma Borno, Niger
Buji Plateau
Buli Bauchi
Bunu Kogi
Bura Bura-Pabir Borno, Adamawa, Yobe
Burak Bauchi
Burma Burmawa Plateau
Buru Yobe
Buta Butawa Bauchi
Bwall Plateau
Bwatiye Adamawa
Challa Plateau
Chama Chamawa Fitilai Bauchi
Chamba Taraba
Chamo Bauchi
Cibak Chibbak, Chibok Borno
Chinine Borno
Chip Plateau
Chukkol Taraba
Cipu Western Acipa 20,000 Kebbi, Niger
Daba Adamawa
Dadiya Bauchi
Daka Adamawa
Dakarkari Niger, Kebbi
Danda Dandawa Kebbi
Dangsa Taraba
Daza Dere, Derewa Bauchi
Degema Rivers
Deno Denawa Bauchi
Dghwede 30,000 Borno
Diba Taraba
Doemak Dumuk Plateau
Duguri Bauchi
Duka Dukawa Kebbi
Duma Dumawa Bauchi
Ebana Ebani Rivers
Ebirra Igbirra 1,000,000 Edo, Kogi, Ondo
Ebu Edo, Kogi
Efik Cross River
Egbema Rivers
Eggon Plateau
Egun Gùn Lagos, Ogun
Ejagham Jagham Cross River
Eket Akwa Ibom
Ekoi Cross River
Ekpeye Ekpe ye Rivers
Engenni Ngene
English Nigerian English 178,000,000 40,000,000 4
Esan Ishan Edo
Etche Rivers
Etolu Etilo Benue
Etsako Afenmai Edo
Etung Cross River
Etuno Edo
Falli Adamawa
French 1,000,000 200,000 Bordering states of Nigeria
Fula Fulani, Fulbe, Fulfulde 15,000,000 12,000,000 Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe 7
Fyam Fyem Plateau
Fyer Fer
Ga’anda Adamawa
Gade Niger
Galambi Bauchi
Gamergu Mulgwa, Malgo, Malgwa Borno
Ganawuri Qanawuri Plateau
Gavako Borno
Gbedde Kogi
Gbo Agbo, Legbo Cross River
Gengle Taraba
Geji Bauchi
Gera Gere, Gerawa
Geruma Gerumawa Bauchi, Plateau
Gingwak Bauchi
Gira Adamawa
Goernai Plateau
Gokana Kana Rivers
Gombi Adamawa
Gornun Gmun Taraba
Gubi Gubawa Bauchi
Gude Adamawa
Gure Kaduna
Gurmana Niger
Gururntum Bauchi
Gusu Plateau
Gwa Gurawa Adamawa
Gwandara Kaduna, Niger, Plateau
Gwari Gbari Kaduna, Niger, FCT, Nasarawa,Kogi
Gwom Taraba
Gwoza 40,000 Borno
Gyem Bauchi
Hausa 64,000,000 28,000,000 Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara 9
Humono Kohumono Cross River
Holma Adamawa
Hyam Ham, Jaba, Jabba Kaduna
Ibeno Akwa Ibom
Ibibio 3,000,000
Ichen Adamawa
Idoma Benue, Taraba
Igala Kogi
Igbo 30,000,000 30,000,000 Abia, Anambra,Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Benue, Rivers 3
Igede Egede Benue
Ijaw Bayelsa
Ijumu Kogi
Ika Delta
Ikorn Cross River
Irigwe Plateau
Isoko Delta
Isekiri Itsekiri 1,000,000
Iyala Iyalla Cross River
Izere Izarek, Fizere, Fezere, Feserek, Afizarek, Afizare, Afusare, Jari, Jarawa, Jarawan Dutse, Hill Jarawa, Jos-Zarazon. 100,000 Plateau
Izondjo Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Rivers
Jahuna Jahunawa Taraba
Jaku Bauchi
Jara Jaar, Jarawa, Jarawa-Dutse
Jere Jare, Jera, Jera, Jerawa Bauchi, Plateau
Jero Taraba
Jibu Adamawa
Jidda-Abu Plateau
Jimbin Jimbinawa Bauchi
Jirai Adamawa
Jju Kaje, Kache Kaduna
Jonjo Jenjo Taraba
Jukun Bauchi, Benue, Taraba, Plateau
Kaba Kabawa Taraba
Kadara Ajuah, Ajure, Adaa, Adara, Azuwa, Ajuwa, Azuwa,[13] Eda Kaduna,[14] Niger[15]
Kafanchan Kaduna
Kajuru Kajurawa
Kaka Manenguba Adamawa
Kamaku Karnukawa Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger
Kambari Kebbi, Niger
Kamwe Adamawa, Borno and Republic of Cameroon Active[16]
Kamo Bauchi Active
Kanakuru Dera Adamawa, Borno
Kanembu Borno
Kanikon Kaduna
Kantana Plateau
Kanufi Kaduna[17]
Kanuri Borno, Kaduna, Adamawa, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe
Karai-Karai (language) Karaikarai, Karekare Bauchi, Yobe
Karimjo Taraba
Kariya Bauchi
Katab Kataf Kaduna
Kenern Koenoem Plateau
Kenton Taraba
Kiballo Kiwollo Kaduna
Kilba Adamawa
Kirfi Kirfawa Bauchi
Koma Taraba
Koro Kwaro Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa
Kubi Kubawa Bauchi
Kudachano Kudawa Bauchi
Kugama Taraba
Kulere Kaler Plateau
Kunini Taraba
Kurama Jigawa, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau
Kurdul Adamawa
Kushi Bauchi
Kuteb Taraba
Kwah Baa 18,000 Adamawa
Kwalla Plateau
Kwami Kwom Bauchi
Kwanchi Taraba
Kwanka Kwankwa Bauchi, Plateau
Kwaro Plateau
Kyenga Kengawa Sokoto
Laaru Larawa Niger
Lakka Adamawa
Lama Taraba
Ubbo Adamawa
Limono Bauchi, Plateau
Lopa Lupa, Lopawa Niger
Longuda Lunguda Adamawa, Bauchi
Mabo Plateau
Mada Kaduna, Plateau
Mama Plateau
Mambilla Adamawa
Manchok Kaduna
Mandara Wandala Borno
Manga Mangawa Yobe
Margi Adamawa, Borno
Matakarn Adamawa
Mbembe Cross River, Enugu
Mbol Adamawa
Mbube Cross River
Mbula Adamawa
Mbum Taraba
Memyang Meryan Plateau
Miligili Migili
Miya Miyawa Bauchi
Mobber Borno
Montol Plateau
Moruwa Moro’a, Morwa Kaduna
Muchaila Adamawa
Mumuye Taraba
Mundang Adamawa
Mupun 1,000,000 Plateau
Mwahavul Mwaghavul
Ndoro Taraba
Ngamo Bauchi, Yobe
Ngizim Yobe
Ngweshe Ndhang, Ngoshe-Ndhang Adamawa, Borno
Ningi Ningawa Bauchi
Ninzam Ninzo Kaduna, Plateau
Njayi Adamawa
Nkim Cross River
Nokere Nakere Plateau
Nsukka Enugu State and some parts of Kogi state
Nunku Kaduna, Plateau
Nupe Niger, Kwara, Kogi, FCT
Nyandang Taraba
Obolo Andoni Akwa Ibom, Rivers
Ogba Ogba 1000+ Rivers
Ogbia Bayelsa
Ofutop Ofutop (okangha(2) 5,000 4,000 Ikom, Okuni, Cross River
Ogori Kwara
Okobo Okkobor Akwa Ibom
Okpamheri Edo
Okpe Okpe 1,000,000 Delta
Olulumo Cross River
Oro Oron 1,000,000 Akwa Ibom
Owan Edo
Owe Kwara
Pa’a Pa’awa, Afawa Bauchi
Pai Plateau
Panyam Taraba
Pero Bauchi
Pire Adamawa
Pkanzom Taraba
Polchi Habe Bauchi
Pongo Pongu Niger
Potopo Taraba
Pyapun Piapung Plateau
Qua Cross River
Rebina Rebinawa Bauchi
Reshe Kebbi, Niger
Rindire Rendre Plateau
Rishuwa Kaduna
Ron Plateau
Rubu Niger
Rukuba Plateau
Rumada Kaduna
Sakbe Taraba
Sanga Bauchi
Sate Taraba
Saya Sayawa, Za’ar Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Abuja, Niger, Kogi
Segidi Sigidawa Bauchi
Shanga Shangawa Sokoto
Shangawa Shangau Plateau
Shan-Shan Plateau
Shira Shirawa Kano
Shomo Taraba
Shuwa Adamawa, Borno
Sikdi Plateau
Siri Sirawa Bauchi
Srubu Surubu Kaduna
Sukur Adamawa
Sura Plateau
Tangale Bauchi
Tarok Plateau, Taraba
Teme Adamawa
Tera Terawa Bauchi, Bomo
Teshena Teshenawa Kano
Tigon Adamawa
Tikar Taraba
Tiv 15,000,000 Benue, Plateau,adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa 2
Tula Bauchi
Tur Adamawa
Ufia Benue
Ukelle Kele, Kukelle Cross River
Ukwani Kwale,Aboh Delta
Uncinda Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto
Uneme Ineme Edo
Ura Ula Niger
Urhobo 1,000,000 Delta
Utonkong Benue
Uvwie 100,000 Delta
Uyanga Cross River
Vemgo Adamawa
Vommi Taraba
Wagga Adamawa
Waja Bauchi
Waka Taraba
Warja Jigawa
Warji Bauchi
Wula Adamawa
Wurkun Taraba
Yache Cross River
Yagba Kwara
Yakurr Yako Cross River
Yalla Benue
Yandang Taraba
Yergan Yergum Plateau
Yoruba 34,000,000 22,000,000 Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Kogi 2
Yott Taraba
Yumu Niger
Yungur Adamawa
Yuom 250,000 Plateau
Zabara Niger
Zaranda Bauchi
Zarma Dyerma, Dyarma, Dyabarma, Zabarma, Adzerma, Djerma, Zarbarma, Zerma, Zarmawa Kebbi
Zayam Zeam Bauchi
Zul Zulawa

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  2. ^ Blench, Roger (2014). An Atlas Of Nigerian Languages. Oxford: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  3. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  4. ^ Vigouroux, Cécile B.; Mufwene, Salikoko S. (2008-11-05). Globalization and Language Vitality: Perspectives from Africa. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4411-7073-6.
  5. ^ "Nigeria". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  6. ^ Adeleke, Dr Wale. "Languages of Nigeria - Regions". NaijaSky. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  7. ^ a b c Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  8. ^ "Niger-Congo languages « Sorosoro". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  9. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  10. ^ Blench, Roger (2014). An Atlas Of Nigerian Languages. Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  11. ^ Crozier, David Henry; Blench, Roger (1992). An Index of Nigerian languages. Dallas: Summer Inst of Linguistics. ISBN 9780883126110.
  12. ^ "Ethnologue 15 report for Nigeria". Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  13. ^ Project, Joshua. "Adara in Nigeria".
  14. ^ "A Summary of a Sociolinguistic Survey of the Adara of Kaduna and Niger States, Nigeria". SIL International. November 24, 2014.
  15. ^ Mbeke-Ekanem, Tom (May 19, 2000). Beyond the Execution: Understanding the Ethnic and Military Politics in Nigeria. Writer's Showcase. ISBN 9780595092802 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Kwache,IY (2016)Kamwe People of Northern Nigeria: Origin, History and Culture
  17. ^ Olson, James Stuart; Meur, Charles (May 19, 1996). The Peoples of Africa: An Ethnohistorical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313279188 – via Google Books.


  • Crozier, David & Blench, Roger (1992) An Index of Nigerian Languages (2nd edition). Dallas: SIL.mbembe language in cross river
  • Blench, Roger (1998) 'The Status of the Languages of Central Nigeria', in Brenzinger, M. (ed.) Endangered languages in Africa. Köln: Köppe Verlag, 187–206. online version
  • Blench, Roger (2002) Research on Minority Languages in Nigeria in 2001. Ogmios.
  • Blench, Roger (n.d.) Atlas of Nigerian Languages, ed. III (revised and amended edition of Crozier & Blench 1992)
  • Kwache, Iliya Yame (2016) Kamwe People of Northern Nigeria :Origin, History and Culture
  • Chigudu, Theophilus Tanko (2017); Indigenous peoples of North clCentral Nigeria Area: an endangered race.
  • Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  • Emenanjo, E. N. (2019). Four Decades in the Study of Nigerian Languages and Linguistics: A Festschrift for KayWilliamson.
  • Lamle, Elias Nankap, Coprreality and Dwelling spaces in Tarokland. NBTT Press. Jos Nigeria in "Ngappak" journal of the Tarok Nation 2005

External links[edit]