Bikya language

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Native toCameroon
RegionNorthwest Region, Menchum department, Furu-Awa Subdivision, Furubana village
Native speakers
probably extinct[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3byb

Bikya (also known as Furu) is a potentially extinct Southern Bantoid language spoken in Cameroon. It is one of the three, or four, Furu languages. In 1986 four surviving speakers were identified, although only one (a man in his seventies) spoke the language fluently.

Bikya is probably best known for the work of English linguist Dr. David Dalby who filmed an 87-year-old African woman who spoke Bikya as her native tongue. It was thought that she was the last speaker, but Kiessling (2007) reports that Bikya has the largest number of remaining speakers of the Furu languages.

It, and presumably all of Furu, is perhaps a Beboid language (Blench 2011).


  • Breton, Roland (1995) 'Les Furu et leur voisins', Cahier Sciences Humaines, 31, 1, 17–48.
  • Breton, Roland (1993) "Is there a Furu Language Group? An investigation on the Cameroon-Nigeria Border", The Journal of West African Languages, 23, 2, 97–98.
  • Blench, Roger (2011) 'The membership and internal structure of Bantoid and the border with Bantu'. Bantu IV, Humboldt University, Berlin.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bikya". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.