Nyamwezi language

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Nyamwezi
RegionTanzania
EthnicityNyamwezi
Native speakers
(1.5 million cited 1987–2016)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2nym
ISO 639-3Either:
nym – Nyamwezi
kcz – Konongo
Glottolognyam1276  Nyamwezi[2]
kono1265  Konongo[3]
F.22[4]

Nyamwezi is a major Bantu language of central Tanzania. It forms a dialect continuum with Sukuma, but is more distinct from other neighboring languages.

Nyamwezi proper and Konongo are often considered distinct languages. Ruwila may be a third.[5]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive plain p b t d ɟ k ɡ
prenasal ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ
Affricate plain c͡ʃ
prenasal ᶮc͡ʃ
Fricative plain β f v s z ʃ h
prenasal ᶬf ᶬv ⁿs ⁿz ᶮʃ
Nasal m̥ m n̥ n ɲ̊ ɲ ŋ̊ ŋ
Approximant l j w
  • Prenasalized voiceless stops [ᵐp ⁿt] may also frequently occur, as a result of loan words.
  • Nasal sounds /m ŋ/ may also occur as labialized [mʷ ŋʷ].

Vowels[edit]

Front Central Back
High i iː u uː
ɪ ɪː ʊ ʊː
Mid ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː
Low a aː

Tones[edit]

Tones present in Nyamwezi are high /v́/, low /v̀/, and rising /v̌/.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nyamwezi at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019)
    Konongo at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nyamwezi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Konongo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Maganga, Clement; Schadeberg, Thilo C. (1992). Kinyamwezi: Grammar, Texts, Vocabulary. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe. pp. 15–53.