Nyingwom language

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Pronunciation[ɲĩ́ w̃ɔ̃̀m]
Regioneastern Nigeria
Native speakers
(5,000 cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3kdx
ɲĩ́ w̃ɔ̃̀m[3]
Countryàbìbì nyíŋɔ̀m

The Nyingwom (Nyimwom, Nyiwom, Yimwom) or Kam language is one of the Savanna languages spoken in eastern Nigeria. Blench (2019) lists speakers residing in the main villages of Mayo Kam and Kamijim in Bali LGA, Taraba State.[5] Lesage reports that Kam is spoken in 27 villages of Bali LGA. [3]

Nyingwom was labeled as branch "G8" in Joseph Greenberg's Adamawa language family proposal, and is now thought to be closest to the Waja languages.

Speakers refer to themselves and their language as ɲĩ́ w̃ɔ̃̀m. Kamajim (Kam: àngwōk nyī 'house of the people') was the traditional capital of the Kam at the western foothills of a mountain range situated to the north of the Kam River. The Kam have historically been in extensive contact with the Kororofa Jukun.[3]


Kam, Nyiŋɔm, Nyingwom, Nyingwum is spoken by approximately fewer than 5,000 speakers in the settlements of:[4]

  • Sarkin Dawa (70)
  • Mayo Kam (150)
  • Garin Hamza (700)
  • Din Kamaajin A, B, C, D (3,000)
  • Garin Laa (300)
  • Garin Bandari (300)

However, Jakob Lesage estimates 20,000-25,000 speakers in 27 villages in May 2017.[3]

Unlike many other Niger-Congo languages, Kam does not have a noun class system.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lesage, Jakob. 2019. Selected Kam documentation (with audio). Pangloss Collection: An archive for endangered languages.
  • Meek, Charles K. 1931. Tribal Studies in Northern Nigeria, Vol. 2. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.


  1. ^ Nyingwom at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kam". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d Lesage, Jakob. Kam. AdaGram.
  4. ^ a b Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 2015. Some notes on Nyiŋɔm (aka Nyingwom or Kam).
  5. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.

External links[edit]

  • Kam, by Jakob Lesage. AdaGram.