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Goemai is an Afro-Asiatic (Chadic, West Chadic A) language spoken in the Plateau state of Central Nigeria by approximately 200,000 people.[1] Its speakers refer to themselves and their language as 'Goemai'; in older linguistic, historical and ethnographical literature the term 'Ankwe' has been used to refer to the people.

Native toNigeria
RegionPlateau State
Native speakers
200,000 (1995)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ank

Goemai dialects are Duut, East, Ankwe (Derteng), Dorok, and K’wo.[4]

Goemai is a predominantly isolating language with the subject–verb–object constituent order.


  • Hellwig, Birgit (2011) A Grammar of Goemai. 596 p., Mouton De Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-023828-4, ISBN 978-3-11-023828-0.
  • Hellwig, Birgit (2003) Fieldwork among the Goemai in Nigeria: discovering the grammar of property expressions. STUF[permanent dead link]
  • Hellwig, Birgit (2003) The grammatical coding of postural semantics in Goemai (a West Chadic language of Nigeria). MPI Series in Psycholinguistics [dissertation Nijmegen]. [the introduction contains info about the geography, demography, and sociolinguistics of Goemai; chapter 2 is a grammatical sketch of Goemai]
  • Hoffman, Carl (1970) 'Towards a comoparative phonology of the languages of the Angas–Goemai group.' Unpublished manuscript.
  • Kraft, Charles H. (1981) Chadic wordlists. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer (Marburger Studien zur Afrika- und Asienkunde, Serie A: Afrika, 23, 24, 25). [contains a phonological sketch of Goemai and also a Goemai word list]
  • Wolff, Hans (1959) 'Subsystem typologies and area linguistics.' Anthropological Linguistics, 1, 7, 1–88. [phonological inventory of Goemai (Duut dialect)]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Goemai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Blench, 2006. The Afro-Asiatic Languages: Classification and Reference List (ms)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Goemai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Blench, Roger. 2017. Current research on the A3 West Chadic languages.