Wapan language

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Not to be confused with Jukun language.
Native to Nigeria
Region Taraba State, Plateau State, Nassarawa State
Native speakers
100,000 (1994)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 juk
Glottolog wapa1235[2]

Wapan or Jukun Wapan, also known as Wukari after the local town, is a major Jukunoid language of Nigeria.

Wapan and other Jukunoid languages are interesting in the development of asymmetrical patterns of nasal and oral consonants in West Africa.

One could posit that voiced oral stops become nasal before nasal vowels, sometimes at the expense of having more nasal than oral vowels, which is typologically odd, or that nasal stops denasalise before oral vowels, which is typologically odd as well.

Oral vowels are allowed only in syllables like ba, mba, nasal vowels in bã, mã.

Historically, however, the consonants nasalized: *mb became **mm before nasal vowels and then reduced to *m, leaving the current asymmetric distribution.[3]

allophonic Ṽ next to N   *mã *mãm *mba *mbãm *ba *bãm
*mb → *mm/_Ṽ *mã *mãm *mba *mmãm *ba *bãm
*mm → *m *mã *mãm *mba *mãm *ba *bãm
loss of final C mba ba


  1. ^ Wapan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wapan". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Larry Hyman, 1975. "Nasal states and nasal processes." In Nasalfest: Papers from a Symposium on Nasals and Nasalization, pp. 249–264