Moru–Madi languages

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CAR, Chad, South Sudan
Linguistic classification Nilo-Saharan?
  • Moru
  • Central Ma'di
  • Southern Ma'di
Glottolog moru1252[1]

The Moru–Madi languages of the Central Sudanic language family are a cluster of closely related languages spoken in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Moru is spoken by 100,000 people, and Ma'di by twice that number. The most populous languages are Aringa of Uganda, with close to a million speakers, and Lugbara, with 1.6 million.

The Language and the People[edit]

The languages in this cluster are found across three countries: Uganda (Ma'di, Lugbara); South Sudan (Lugbara, Ma'di, Lolu'bo, Avukaya, Kaliko, Moru and Logo); and Democratic Republic of Congo (Lugbara, Avukaya, Kaliko and Logo).

The name 'Madi'[edit]

The name Ma'di is used for various peoples in the region. There is tendency especially in the Acholi region of northern Uganda to refer to anyone from West Nile Region as a Ma'di, even the Kakwa. The only group in this region who are never called Ma'di are the Alur.

Joseph Pasquale Crazzolara,[2] for example, states that all Logbara [...] agree that they are of the Ma'di nation, that they are Ma'di. They are called Ma'di by the Alur of Okooro, their immediate neighbours, in Bunyoro and Buganda. Similarly, the linguist A. N. Tucker described the neighboring Keliko people who occupy the high plateau near the Logbara, as having the "real name Ma'di".[3] However, the Keliko regard themselves as Keliko rather than as Ma'di.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Moru–Madi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ A study of the Logbara (Ma'di) language: Grammar and vocabulary
  3. ^ The Eastern Sudanic Languages. By A. N. Tucker. vol. I. 434 pp. Oxford University Press, 1940