Biu–Mandara languages

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Biu–Mandara
Central Chadic
Geographic
distribution
Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon
Linguistic classificationAfro-Asiatic
Subdivisions
  • South
  • Hurza
  • North
Glottologbium1280[1]
Main Chadic-speaking peoples in Nigeria.

The Biu–Mandara or Central Chadic languages of the Afro-Asiatic family are spoken in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. The most widely spoken is Kamwe, with 300,000 speakers.

A reconstruction of Proto-Central Chadic has been proposed by Gravina (2014).[2]

Languages[edit]

Gravina (2014)[edit]

Gravina (2014) classifies Central Chadic as follows, as part of a reconstruction of the proto-language. Letters and numbers in parentheses correspond to branches in previous classifications. The greatest changes are breaking up and reassigning the languages of the old Mafa branch (A.5) and Mandage (Kotoko) branch (B.1).[3]

Jilbe was not classified, as no sources were available.

Blench (2006)[edit]

The branches of Biu–Mandara traditionally go by either names or letters and numbers in an outline format. Blench (2006) organizes them as follows:[5]

Newman (1977)[edit]

Central Chadic classification per Newman (1977):

Newman 1977

Names and locations (Nigeria)[edit]

Below is a list of language names, populations, and locations (in Nigeria only) from Blench (2019).[6]


Branch Code Primary locations
Distributions of Biu–Mandara branches in Nigeria[6]
Tera A1 Gombi LGA, Adamawa State and Biu LGA, Borno State
Bata A8 Mubi LGA, Adamawa State
Higi A3 Michika LGA, Adamawa State
Mandara A4 Gwoza LGA, Borno State and Michika LGA, Adamawa State


South[edit]

Language Branch Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s) Notes
Daba Daba Daba A single village, less than 1,000. Mostly in Cameroun Adamawa State, Mubi LGA. Between Mubi and Bahuli
Mafa Mafa Mafa (Mofa) in Nigeria. Cameroon dialects divided into West, Central and Eastern. Mofa Matakam (not recommended) 2,000 (1963), 136,000 in Cameroon (1982 SIL) Borno State, Gwoza LGA; mainly in Cameroon
Sakun Sukur Sakun, Gemasakun Gә̀mà Sákún Sugur Adikummu Sukur 5,000 (1952); 10,000 (1973 SIL). 7 villages Adamawa State, Madgali LGA
Ga’anda cluster Tera Ga’anda Tlәka’andata pl. Ka’andәca Kaɓәn Mokar [name of the place where the rolling pot stopped] 7,600 (1952); 10,000 (1973 SIL);␣4. Six villages Adamawa State, Gombi LGA
Kaɓәn Tera Ga’anda Gabin Tlәkaɓәnɗa pl. Kaɓәnca 12 villages
Fәrtata Tera Ga’anda Tlәfәrtata pl. Fәrtaca 5 villages
Boga Tera Boka 5 villages Adamawa State, Gombi LGA
Hwana Tera Hona, Hwona 6,604 (1952 W&B); 20,000 (1973 SIL), estimate more than 20,000 (Blench 1987) Adamawa State, Gombi LGA, Guyuk and 30 other villages
Jara Tera Jera 4,000 (SIL) Borno State, Biu LGA; Bauchi State, Ako LGA Also refers to the languages of the Jarawan Bantu group including: the Jarawa cluster, Mbárù, Gùra, Rúhû, Gubi, Dulbu, Láb􀬎̀r, Kulung, and Gwa
Tera cluster Tera Tera 46,000 (SIL); 50,000 (Newman 1970) Borno State, Biu LGA; Gombe State, Gombi LGA, Kwami district, Ako LGA, Yamaltu and Ako districts, Dukku LGA, Funakaye district
Nyimatli Tera Tera Wuyo-Ɓalɓiya-Waɗe; Deba-Zambuk-Hina-Kalshingi-Kwadon [orthography based on this cluster] Yamaltu, Nimalto, Nyemathi Gombe State, Ako, Gombe, Kwami, Funakai, Yamaltu LGAs; Borno State, Ɓayo LGA
Pidlimdi Tera Tera Hinna, Hina, Ghәna Borno State, Biu LGA
Bura Kokura Tera Tera Borno State, Biu LGA
Boga Tera, Eastern Boka Adamawa State, Gombi LGA
Bata cluster Bata Bata
Bwatye Bata Bata Mulyen (Mwulyin), Dong, Opalo, Wa-Duku Gboare, Bwatiye Kwaa–Ɓwaare Ɓwaare Bachama 11,250 (1952) 20,000 (1963) Adamawa State, Numan and Guyuk LGAs, Kaduna State, north east of Kaduna town. Bacama fishermen migrate long distances down the Benue River, with camps as far as the Benue/Niger confluence.
Bata Bata Bata Koboci, Kobotschi (Kobocĩ, Wadi, Zumu (Jimo), Malabu, Bata of Ribaw, Bata of Demsa, Bata of Garoua, Jirai Batta, Gbwata 26,400 (1952), est. 2,000 in Cameroon; 39,000 total (1971 Welmers) Adamawa State, Numan, Song, Fufore and Mubi LGAs; also in Cameroon
Fali cluster Bata Fali Fali of Mubi, Fali of Muchella Vimtim, Yimtim 4 principal villages. Estimate of more than 20,000 (1990) Adamawa State, Mubi LGA
Vin Bata Fali Uroovin Uvin Vimtim Vimtim town, north of Mubi
Huli Bata Fali Bahuli Urahuli Huli, Hul Bahuli town, northeast of Mubi
Madzarin Bata Fali Ura Madzarin Madzarin Muchella Muchella town, northeast of Mubi
Ɓween Bata Fali Uramɓween Cumɓween Bagira Bagira town, northeast of Mubi
Gudu Bata Gutu, Gudo 1,200 (LA 1971) Adamawa State, Song LGA, 120 km. west of Song. Approximately 5 villages.
Guɗe Bata Gude, Goudé Mubi Cheke, Tcheke, Mapuda, Shede, Tchade, Mapodi, Mudaye, Mocigin, Motchekin 28,000 (1952), est. 20,000 in Cameroon Adamawa State, Mubi LGA; Borno State, Askira–Uba LGA; and in Cameroon
Holma Bata Holma Da Holmaci Bali Holma 4 speakers (Blench, 1987). The language has almost vanished and has been replaced by Fulfulde. Adamawa State. Spoken north of Sorau on the Cameroon border
Ngwaba Bata Gombi, Goba Fewer than 1000 Adamawa State, Gombi LGA, at Fachi and Gudumiya
Nzanyi Bata Paka, Rogede (Rɨgudede), Nggwoli, Hoode, Maiha, Magara, Dede, Mutidi; and Lovi in Cameroon Njanyi, Njai, Njei, Zany, Nzangi, Zani, Njeny, Jeng, Njegn, Njeng, Nzangɨ sg., Nzanyi pl. Jenge, Jeng, Mzangyim, Kobochi, Kobotshi 1.B Wur Nzanyi 14,000 in Nigeria (1952), 9,000 in Cameroon. Nigeria: Adamawa State, Maiha LGA. Cameroon: West of Dourbeye near Nigerian border in Doumo region, Mayo-Oulo Subdivision, Mayo-Louti Division, North Province.
Zizilivәkan Bata Zilivә ÀmZírív Fali of Jilbu ‘a few hundred’ in Cameroon Adamawa State, Mubi LGA, Jilbu town; and in Cameroon

North[edit]

Language Branch Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s) Notes
Huba Bura Luwa Hәba Huba Huba Chobba Kilba 32,000 (1952); 100,000 (1980 UBS) Adamawa State, Hong, Maiha, Mubi and Gombi LGAs
Margi Bura Central: Margi babal = ‘Margi of the Plain’ around Lasa, Margi Dzәrŋu = ‘Margi near the Hill öu’ around Gulak; Gwàrà; Mə̀lgwí (Mulgwe, Molgheu); Wúrgà (Urga); South Margi is counted as a separate language and is more closely related to Huba Marghi, Margyi Màrgí Màrgí For Margi, Margi South and Putai: 135,000 (1955); 200,000 (1987 UBS) Borno State, Askira–Uba and Damboa LGAs; Adamawa State, Madagali, Mubi and Michika LGAs
Nggwahyi Bura Ngwaxi, Ngwohi One village Borno State, Askira–Uba LGA
Putai Bura Margi West Margi Putai = ‘West Margi’, Margi of Minthla Language dying out, but ethnic population large Borno State, Damboa LGA
Margi South Bura Wamdiu, Hildi Margi ti ntәm For Margi, Margi South and Putai: 135,000 (1955) Borno State, Askira–Uba LGA; Adamawa State, Mubi and Michika LGAs Hoffmann (1963) relates the language of Margi South to Huba rather than to Margi.
Bura–Pabir Bura Bura Pela (Hill Bura), Bura Hyil Hawul (Plains Bura) Bourrah, Burra, Babir, Babur Mya Bura Two peoples with one language: the Bura and the Pabir Kwojeffa, Huve, Huviya 72,200 (1952 W&B), 250,000 (1987 UBS) Borno State, Biu and Askira–Uba LGAs
Cibak Bura Chibak, Chibuk, Chibbuk, Chibbak, Kyibaku, Kibaku Cíbɔ̀k, Kikuk 20,000 (1973 SIL) Borno State, Damboa LGA, south of Damboa town
Kamwe Higi Nkafa, Dakwa (Bazza), Sәna, Wula, Futu, Tili Pte, Kapsiki (Ptsәkɛ) in Cameroon Vәcәmwe Higi, Hiji, Kapsiki 64,000 (1952); 180,000 (1973 SIL) est. 23,000 in Cameroon Adamawa State, Michika LGA and into Cameroon
Mukta Kamwe Mukta Mukta village Adamawa State
Kirya-Konzәl Higi Kirya-Konzәl Fali Adamawa State, Michika LGA.
Kirya Higi Kirya-Konzәl myá Kákíryà ndá Kákìryà pl. Kákìryà Fali of Kiriya 7,000 est. 2007. Kirya: 13 villages
Konzәl Higi Kirya-Konzәl myá Kónzә̀l ndá Kónzә̀l pl. Kónzә̀l Fali of Mijilu 9000 est. 2007. Konzәl: 15 villages
Cinene Mandara Cinene Cinene 3200 (Kim 2001) Borno State, Gwoza LGA, east of Gwoza town in the mountains. 5 villages.
Dghweɗe Mandara Dghwede, Hude, Johode, Dehoxde, Tghuade, Toghwede, Traude Dghwéɗè Azaghvana, Wa’a, Zaghvana 19,000 (1963), 7,900 (TR 1970), 30,000 (1980 UBS) Borno State, Gwoza LGA
Guduf–Cikide cluster Mandara Guduf–Cikide Afkabiye (Lamang) 21,300 (1963) Borno State, Gwoza LGA, east of Gwoza town in the mountains. Six main villages.
Guduf Mandara Guduf–Cikide Guduf, Cikide (Chikide) Kәdupaxa Ɓuxe, Gbuwhe, Latәghwa (Lamang), Lipedeke (Lamang). Also applied to Dghwede.
Gava Mandara Guduf–Cikide Gawa Kәdupaxa Linggava, Ney Laxaya, Yaghwatadaxa, Yawotataxa, Yawotatacha, Yaxmare, Wakura
Cikide Mandara Guduf–Cikide Cikide Cikide
Gvoko Mandara Gәvoko Ngoshe Ndaghang, Ngweshe Ndhang, Nggweshe Ngoshe Sama 2,500 (1963); 4,300 (1973 SIL); estimated more than 20,000 (1990) Borno State, Gwoza LGA; Adamawa State, Michika LGA
Lamang cluster Mandara Lamang Laamang Waha 15,000 (TR 1970), 40,000 (1963)
Zaladva Mandara Lamang Zaladeva (Alataghwa), Dzuuɓa (Dzuuba), Lәghva (Lughva), Gwózà Wakane (Gwozo) Zәlәdvә Lamang North Borno State, Gwoza LGA
Ghumbagha Mandara Lamang Hә̀ɗkàlà (Xәdkala, Hidkala, Hitkala), Waga (Wagga, Woga, Waha) Lamang Central Borno State, Gwoza LGA; Adamawa State, Michika LGA;
Glavda Mandara Ngoshe (Ngweshe) Galavda, Glanda, Gelebda, Gәlәvdә Wakura 20,000 (1963); 2,800 in Cameroon (1982 SIL) Borno State, Gwoza LGA; also in Cameroon
Hdi Mandara Hidé, Hide, Xide, Xedi Xәdi Gra, Tur, Turu, Tourou, Ftour Borno State, Gwoza LGA; Adamawa State, Michika LGA; and in Cameroon
Ghudavan Mandara Lamang Ghudeven, Ghudәvәn Lamang South Borno State, Gwoza LGA; Adamawa State, Michika LGA; and in Cameroon
Vemgo–Mabas Mandara Vemgo–Mabas
Vemgo Mandara Vemgo–Mabas Borno State, Gwoza LGA; Adamawa State, Michika LGA; and in Cameroon
Mabas Mandara Vemgo–Mabas A single village on the Nigeria/Cameroon frontier Adamawa State, Michika LGA. 10 km. S.E. of Madagali
Wandala cluster Mandara Wandala Mandara, Ndara 19,300 in Nigeria (1970); 23,500 in Cameroon (1982 SIL) Borno State. Bama, Gwoza LGAs.
Wandala Mandara Wandala Wandala Mandara Used as a vehicular language in this locality of Nigeria and Cameroon
Mura Mandara Wandala Mura Mora, Kirdi Mora An archaic form of Wandala spoken by non–Islamized populations Uncertain if Mura is spoken in Nigeria
Malgwa Mandara Wandala Gwanje Mәlgwa Malgo, Gamargu, Gamergu 10,000 (TR 1970) Borno State, Damboa, Gwoza and Konduga LGAs
Afaɗә Mandage Afade, Affade, Afadee Afaɗә Kotoko, Mogari Twelve villages in Nigeria, estimate Fewer than 20,000 (1990) Borno State, Ngala LGA; and in Cameroon
Jilbe Mandage Jilbe ? 100 speakers (Tourneux p.c. 1999) Borno State, a single village on the Nigeria Cameroon border, south of Dikwa
Yedina Yedina Yedina, Kuri (not in Nigeria) Yídә́nà Buduma 20,000 in Chad; 25,000 total (1987 SIL) Borno State, islands of Lake Chad and mostly in Chad

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Biu–Mandara". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Gravina, Richard. 2014. Proto-Central Chadic Lexicon. Webonary.
  3. ^ Gravina, R. (2014). The phonology of Proto-Central Chadic: the reconstruction of the phonology and lexicon of Proto-Central Chadic, and the linguistic history of the Central Chadic languages (Doctoral dissertation, LOT: Utrecht).
  4. ^ Languages are closer to each other than are those of the northern branch
  5. ^ Blench, 2006. The Afro-Asiatic Languages: Classification and Reference List (ms)
  6. ^ a b Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.

References[edit]