|Native to||Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon|
Bube, Bohobé or Bube–Benga (Bobe, Bubi), is a Bantu language spoken by the Bubi, a Bantu people native to, and once the primary inhabitants of, Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. The language was brought to Bioko from continental Africa more than three thousand years ago when the Bubi began arriving on the island.
It has around 50,000 speakers, with three variants: North, South and Central-East. It is noted for its tonal character and the divergence of words by gender. The language is also spoken by Bubi native to Gabon and Cameroon.
The Bube language is divided into six different dialects that vary in the northern and southern regions of Bioko Island. For example, in the North, people speak Rebola and its variations: Basile, Banapa and Basupa. However, in the North-East, Bakake is spoken.
The first works on the Bube language were those of the Baptist missionary John Clarke, published in 1846 and 1848. A later Bube-to-English primer was authored in 1875 by William Barleycorn, a colonial era Primitive Methodist missionary of Igbo and Fernandino descent, while he was serving in the Bubi village of Basupu. An official language dictionary and grammar guide was published by the ethnic Bubi scholar Justo Bolekia Boleká.
Other names and forms of the name include Bubé, eVoové, eBubée, Bhubhi, Bubi, Ibubi, Ibhubhi, Pove and Eviia.
Bube has 7 vowels that can be either short or long:
|Front (short/long)||Back (short/long)|
|Close||i iː (ĩ)||u uː (ũ)|
|Close-mid||e eː (ẽ)||o oː (õ)|
|Open-mid||ɛ ɛː (ɛ̃)||ɔ ɔː (ɔ̃)|
|Open||a aː (ã)|
Bube has 20 consonants. Some of them are prenasalized:
|Stop||p b mp mb||t d nt nd||c ɟ ɲc ɲɟ||k ɡ||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||s ns||h|
Number Northern Bube Northwestern Bube Southern Bube 1 buule buule muule 2 eppa eppa memba 3 betta betta metta 4 yeele yeele myeeme 5 betto betto metto 6 ra'a
metto na muule
7 ra'a la buule
ra'a la buule
metto na memba
8 yeele ketoppa
ra'a la eppa
metto na metta
9 yeele ketoppa la buule
baa buule ka yo
metto na myeene
10 yo yo myo
- Biddulph, Joseph, Fernandian (1988). The Bubi Bantu language of Bioco/Fernando Po. Pontypridd, Wales: Languages Information Centre, WorldCat no. 17838738.
- Clarke, John (1846). Sentences in the Fernandian Tongue. Dunfermline Press, Bimbia.
- Clarke, John (1848). Introduction To The Fernandian Tongue, Part 1. Berwick-on-Tweed.