Ogoni languages

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EthnicityOgoni people
SE Nigeria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
  • East
  • West

The Ogoni languages, or Kegboid languages, are the five languages of the Ogoni people of Rivers State, Nigeria.

They fall into two clusters, East and West, with a limited degree of mutual intelligibility between members of each cluster. The Ogoni think of the cluster members as separate languages, however.

The classification of the Ogoni languages is as follows:

  • East: Khana and Tẹẹ, with around 500,000 speakers between them, and Gokana, with about 130,000.
  • West: Eleme, with about 70,000 speakers, and Baan, with around 17,500.

Names and locations[edit]

Below is a list of language names, populations, and locations from Blench (2019).[2]

Language Branch Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s)
Gokana Kegboid 54,000 (1973 SIL) Rivers State, Gokana–Tai–Eleme LGA
Khana Kegboid Yeghe, Norkhana, Ken–Khana, Boúe Khana Ogoni (ethnic and political term includes Gokana) 76,713 (1926 Talbot)[3]; 90,000 (SIL) Rivers State, Khana/Oyigbo and Gokana–Tai–Eleme LGAs
Eleme West 55,000 (1987 UBS) Rivers State, Gokana–Tai–Eleme LGA
Tẹẹ West Tai Tèẹ̀ ̣ Tèẹ̀ ̣ 313,000 (2006) Rivers State, Tèẹ̀ ̣Local Government Area (TALGA)
Baan Ka-Ban, Kesari Ban–Ogoi Goi, Ogoi Fewer than 5,000 (1990) Rivers State, Gokana–Tai–Eleme LGA, Ban–Ogoi plus villages

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ogonoid". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  3. ^ Talbot, P. Amaury 1926. The peoples of Southern Nigeria. A sketch of the history, ethnology and languages with an abstract of the 1923 census. 4 vols. London.