Shubi language

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RegionKagera Region in Tanzania
EthnicityShubi people
Native speakers
(153,000 cited 1987)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3suj
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Shubi is a Bantu language spoken in by the Shubi people in north-western Tanzania. It may use labiodental plosives //, // (sometimes written ȹ, ȸ) as phonemes, rather than as allophones of /p, b/. Peter Ladefoged wrote:

We have heard labiodental stops made by a Shubi speaker whose teeth were sufficiently close together to allow him to make an airtight labiodental closure. For this speaker this sound was clearly in contrast with a bilabial stop; but we suspect that the majority of Shubi speakers make the contrast one of bilabial stop versus labial-labiodental affricate (i.e. bilabial stop closure followed by a labiodental fricative), rather than bilabial versus labiodental stop.[4]


  1. ^ Shubi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Shubi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ LINGUIST List 5.219: Labiodental nasals

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