Yasa language

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Iyasa
Bongwe
Native toCameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon
EthnicityYasa and Pygmies[1]
Native speakers
2,400 in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea (2000–2011)[1]
unknown number in Gabon[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3yko
Glottologyasa1242[2]
A.33a[3]

Iyasa (Yasa, Yassa) is a Bantu language of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea by Ndowe coastal fishing people. It is also spoken by Pygmies, perhaps Babongo, in Gabon.

Iyasa also goes by the names Bongwe, Lyaasa, and Maasa. Dialects are Bweko, Vendo, Bodele, Marry, One, Asonga, Bomui, Mogana, Mooma, Mapanga. It may in turn be a dialect of Kombe. Speakers report that Kombe and Iyasa are almost perfectly mutually intelligible.[4]

Classification[edit]

Dieu and Renaud (1993) classify Iyasa as a Sawabantu language (A.30 in Guthrie classification).[5]

Geographic Distribution[edit]

Iyasa is spoken along the coast of Cameroon south of Kribi, including in the city of Campo. It is also spoken across the Ntem River in Equatorial Guinea.[6] The northernmost Iyasa village is Lolabe, 31 km south of Kribi.[4]

Sounds/Phonology[edit]

Iyasa has a seven-vowel system:[4]

Monophthong phonemes
  Front Central Back
Close i   u
Near-close  
Close-mid e   o
Mid    
Open-mid ɛ   ɔ
Open a

It also has 22 phonemic consonants:[4]

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar(Palato-

alveolar)

Palatal Velar Labialized

Velar

Glottal
Plosive p t d ɟ k ɡ
Implosive ɓ ɗ
Affricate
Fricative v s h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Approximant j w
Lateral approximant l

Grammar[edit]

Noun classes[edit]

Iyasa has 12 noun classes, as outlined in the table below (adapted from Bôt 2011 and Bouh Ma Sitna 2004):[6][4]

Class number Prefix Allomorphs Example (IPA) Translation (French) Translation (English)
1 mù- mʷ- mù-tʃɛ́tʃɛ́

mw-ánà

le bébé

l'enfant

baby

child

2 wà- w- wà-dó les femmes women
3 mò- m-, mʷ-, ŋ- mò-ló

ŋ-kɔ́jɛ́

la fête

le pannier

party

basket

4 mè- m-, mʲ- mè-kɔ les panniers baskets
5 ɗì- ɗ-, i-, dʒ- ɗì-lɔ̂

ì-dàkà

l'oreille

la maladie

ear

illness

6 mà- m- mà-lɔ̂ les oreilles ears
7 è- èj- è-lɛ́mi la langue tongue
8 ɓè- ɓèj- ɓè-kòndà

ɓèj-ìmà

les souliers

les choses

shoes

things

9/10 N- m-, n-, ŋ-, ɲ-, ø m-bàdì

n-dómì

ø-sɔ̀kù

maison(s)

père(s)

éléphant(s)

house(s)

father(s)

elephant(s)

13 lì- l- lì-ɲɔ̀ní

l-éjì

les oiseaux

les soleils

birds

suns

14 ɓù- ɓʷ- ɓù-dù

bʷ-àló

l'âne

la pirogue

donkey

canoe

19 vi- v- vì-ɲɔ̀ní l'oiseau bird

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Iyasa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yasa". 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. ^ a b c d e Bouh Ma Sitna, Charles Lwanga (2004). Le Syntagme Nominal du Yasa. University of Yaoundé I: Master's thesis.
  5. ^ Dieu, Michel, and Patrick Renaud. 1993. Situation linguistique en Afrique centrale, inventaire pre@liminaire: Le Cameroun. In Atlas Linguistique du Cameroun. Yaounde@: ACCT-CERDOTOLA-DGRST.
  6. ^ a b Bôt, Dieudonné Martin Luther (2011). "Le Préfixe Nominale Yasa". Journal of West African Languages. 38 (1): 99–122.

External links[edit]