Ega, also known as Egwa and Diés, is a West African language spoken in south-central Ivory Coast. It is of uncertain affiliation and has variously been classified as Kwa or an independent branch of Niger-Congo.
|Native to||Ivory Coast|
|Region||near Gly or Gli, Sud-Bandama region|
The Ega people are increasing in number, though some are shifting to Dida through intermarriage.
Ega is possibly a divergent Western Kwa language within the Niger–Congo language family spoken in Ivory Coast. It does not appear to belong to any of the traditional branches of Niger–Congo. Though traditionally assumed to be one of the Kwa languages, Roger Blench (2004) conservatively classified it as a separate branch of the Atlantic–Congo family, pending a demonstration that it is actually related to the Kwa or Volta–Niger languages. However, Blench (2017) classified Ega as a fully Western Kwa language that has borrowed from Kru, Gur, and Mande.
Ega has twenty-seven consonants. Its stops have a three-way contrast between voiceless, voiced, and implosive.
There are nine vowels, with ATR contrast: /i̙/, /i̘/, /u̙/, /u̘/, /e̙/, /e̘/, /o̙/, /o̘/, and /a/.
There are three tones: high, mid, and low.
- Ega at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ega". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Bole-Richard, R. 1983a. Ega. In: Atlas des langues Kwa de Côte d’ivoire, Vol 1. ed. G. Herault. 359-401. Abidjan: ILA.
- Blench, Roger. 2017. The Ega language of Cote d'Ivoire: how can it be classified?
- Connell, Bruce and Ahoua, Firmin and Gibbon, Dafydd. 2002. Illustrations of the IPA: Ega. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 32. 99–104. Cambridge University Press.
- Blench, Roger. 2004. The Ega Language of Côte d'Ivoire: Etymologies and Implications for Classification.