Okpe language (Southwestern Edo)

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Native toNigeria
RegionDelta State
Native speakers
25,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3oke – inclusive code
Individual code:
ids – Idesa

Okpe is an Edoid language of Nigeria spoken by the Urhobo people.


The sound system is rather conservative, and nearly the same as that of Urhobo. The vowels system is the same, and somewhat reduced compared to proto-Edoid: there are seven vowels, /i e ɛ a ɔ o u/.[3] Of the consonants, only significant differences are the addition of /ɣʷ/ and of the distinction between l vs n and y vs ny: these alternate, depending on whether the following vowel is oral or nasal. /ɾ, ʋ, w/ also have nasal allophones before nasal vowels.

  Labial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Glottal
Nasal m l [n] j [ɲ]      
Plosive p  b t  d c  ɟ k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b  
Fricative ɸ   f  v s  z ɕ  ʑ   ɣ   ɣʷ h
Trill   r        
Flap   ɾ        
Approximant   ʋ l [n] j [ɲ]   w  


  1. ^ Okpe at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Idesa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Okpe (Southwestern Edo)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Archangeli & Pulleyblank, 1994. Grounded phonology, p 181ff