Ibibio (proper) is the native language of the Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, belonging to the Ibibio-Efik dialect cluster of the Cross River languages. The name Ibibio is sometimes used for the entire dialect cluster. In pre-colonial times, it was written with Nsibidi ideograms, similar to Igbo, Efik, Anaang, and Ejagham. Ibibio has also had influences on Afro-American diasporic languages such as AAVE words like buckra, which comes from the Ibibio word mbakara, and in the Afro-Cuban tradition of abakua.
|Native to||Southern Nigeria|
|Region||Akwa Ibom State|
|1.5 to 2 million (1998)|
|Ibibio language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- /m, b/ are bilabial, whereas /f/ is labiodental.
- /n, d, s/ are alveolar [n, d, s], whereas /t/ is dental [t̪].
- Stem-initial /ŋ/ is realized as [ŋ͡w].
- /i, u/ are phonetically near-close [ɪ, ʊ].
- /e, ʌ, o/ are phonetically true-mid; /ʌ/ is also strongly centralized: [e̞, ʌ̝̈, o̞].
- /a, ɔ/ are phonetically near-open; /a/ is central rather than front: [ɐ, ɔ̞].
Between consonants, /i, u, o/ have allophones that are transcribed [ɪ, ʉ, ə], respectively. At least in case of [ɪ, ə], the realization is probably somewhat different (e.g. close-mid [e, ɘ]), because the default IPA values of the symbols [ɪ, ə] are very similar to the normal realizations of the Ibibio vowels /i, ʌ/. Similarly, [ʉ] may actually be near-close [ʉ̞], rather than close [ʉ].
In some dialects (e.g. Ibiono), /ɪ, ʉ, ə/ occur as phonemes distinct from /i, u, o/.
Ibibio has two tones: high and low. A word can be used to mean two or more different things based on the tone ascribed to it.
- Bachmann, Arne (2006): "Ein quantitatives Tonmodell für Ibibio. Entwicklung eines Prädiktionsmoduls für das BOSS-Sprachsynthesesystem." Magisterarbeit, University of Bonn.
- Kaufman, Elaine Marlowe (1972) Ibibio dictionary. Leiden: African Studies Centre / Cross River State University / Ibibio Language Board. ISBN 90-70110-46-6
- Uyo Ibibio Dictionary, 2004
- Ibibio kasahorow – language resources, including dictionary, books and proverbs.
- Bachmann's Master Thesis, Paper, Presentation
- BOSS-IBB documentation v0.1-r4
- ELAR Documentation of Dirge songs among the Urban people [Efik, Ibibio]
- ELAR Documentation of documenting drums and drum language in Ibibio traditional ceremonies