Ukue language

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Native to Nigeria
Region Ondo State
Native speakers
14,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 uku
Glottolog ukue1238[2]

Ukue (Epinmi) is an Edoid language of Ondo State, Nigeria. It is sometimes considered the same language as Ehuẹun.


Ukue has a rather reduced system, compared to proto-Edoid, of seven vowels; these form two harmonic sets, /i e a o u/ and /i ɛ a ɔ u/.[3]

The language arguably has no phonemic nasal stops; [m, n] alternate with [β, l], depending on whether the following vowel is oral or nasal. Unusually, it has fricatives but no sibilants. The inventory is:[4]

  Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Glottal
Plosive   b t̪  d̪ t  d k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b  
Fricative f  v   h
Approximant β [m] l [n] j   w  

(*See Edo for a likely interpretation of the two rhotics.)


  1. ^ Ukue at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ukue". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Archangeli & Pulleyblank, 1994. Grounded phonology, p 181ff
  4. ^ Jeff Mielke, 2008. The emergence of distinctive features, p 136ff;
    also found in Variation and gradience in phonetics and phonology, p 26ff