|Central Lower Cross|
|Ethnicity||Annang, Efik, Ibibio|
|Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria|
Efik-Ibibio is the major dialect cluster of the Cross River branch of Benue–Congo. Efik proper has national status in Nigeria and is the literary standard of the Efik languages, though Ibibio proper has more native speakers.
Efik-Ibibio is a dialect cluster spoken by about 9.5 million people of Akwa Ibom State and Cross River States of Nigeria, making it the sixth largest language cluster in Nigeria after Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani and Kanuri.
The major Efik-Ibibio languages are:
- Anaang (4 million speakers, 2018 estimate)
- Ibibio (possibly 5 to 6 million speakers, 2018 estimate; claim since retracted by Ethnologue; also used as a trade language)
- Efik (2.5 million speakers, 2018 estimate. Efik also has about 2 million second-language speakers.)
Minor varieties, according to Williamson and Blench,[note 1] are:
- Ekit (200,000 speakers), with dialect Etebi
- Efai (7,000 speakers)
- Ibuoro (20,000 speakers), with dialects Ibuoro proper, Ito, Itu Mbon Uzo and Nkari
- Eki (5,000 speakers)
- Idere (5,000 speakers)
- Ukwa (100 speakers)
These arguably constitute a single language, though Ethnologue considers them to be separate.
- These are varieties of what Williamson and Blench (2000) calls "Central Lower Cross", which they list as "Efik, Ibibio, Anaang, Ibuoro, Ekit, Efai, etc."
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