Igboid languages

Igboid languages constitute a branch of the Volta–Niger language family. It includes Ekpeye, Ukwuani, and the Igbo languages:

South central Nigeria, lower reaches of the Niger River and east, south the Benue
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo

Williamson and Blench conclude that the Igbo languages (Igboid apart from Ekpeye) form a "language cluster" and that they are somewhat mutually intelligible.[1] However, mutual intelligibility is only marginal, even among the Izii–Ikwo–Ezaa–Mgbo languages.[2]

Names and locationsEdit

Below is a list of language names, populations, and locations from Blench (2019).[3]

Language Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s)
Ịka Agbor (standard form); southern and eastern varieties are more similar to Igbo Ìḳá Agbor Delta State, Ika and Orhionmwon LGAs
Ikwere Northern dialects: Elele, Apanị, Ọmerelu, Ubima, Isiokpo, Ọmagwna (Ọmuegwna), Ipo, Ọmudioga, Ọmuanwa, Igwuruta, Egbedna, Alụu, Ịbaa; Southern dialects: Akpọ–Mgbu–Tolu, Ọbio, Ọgbakiri, Rụmuji, Ndele, Emọhua Ikwerre Ìwhnuruò`hnà 54,600 (1950 F&J);[4] possibly 200,000 (SIL) Rivers State, Ikwerre, Port Harcourt and Obio–Akpor LGAs
Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo cluster Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo 593,000 (1973 SIL)
Izi Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo Ezzi, Izzi 84,000 (1950 F&J); 200,000 (1973 SIL) Anambra State, Abakaliki and Ishielu LGAs; Benue State, Okpokwu LGA
Ẹzaa Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo Eza 93,800 (1950 F&J); 180,000 (1973 SIL) Anambra State, Ezza and Ishielu LGAs; Abia State, Ohaozara LGA; Benue State, Okpokwu LGA
Ikwo Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo 38,500 (1950 F&J); 150,000 (1973 SIL) Anambra State, Ikwo and Abakaliki LGAs
Mgbo Izii–Ẹzaa–Ikwo–Mgbo Ngbo 19,600 (1950 F&J); 63,000 (1973 SIL) Anambra State, Ishielu LGA
Ogbah Egnih (East Ogbah), South Ogbah, West Ogbah Ogba 22,750 (1950 F&J) Rivers State, Ahoada LGA
Ẹkpẹyẹ According to clan names: Ako, Upata, Ubye, Igbuduya Ekpeye, Ekpabya (by Abua), Ekkpahia, Ekpaffia 20,000 (1953); 50,000 (1969 Clark)[5] Rivers State, Ahoada LGA
Ụkwuanị–Aboh–Ndọnị cluster Ụkwuanị–Aboh–Ndọnị 150,000 (SIL) Delta State, Ndokwa LGA; Rivers State, Ahoada LGA
Ụkwuanị Ụkwuanị–Aboh–Ndọnị Utaaba, Emu, Abbi, Obiaruku Ukwani, Ukwali, Kwale Delta State, Ndokwa LGA
Aboh Ụkwuanị–Aboh–Ndọnị Eboh Delta State, Ndokwa LGA
Ndọnị Ụkwuanị–Aboh–Ndọnị Rivers State, Ahoada LGA

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Williamson, Kay; Roger M. Blench (2000). African languages: an introduction. Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  4. ^ Forde, C.D. and G.I. Jones 1950. The Ibo and Ibibio speaking peoples of Southern Nigeria. Ethnographic Survey of Africa. Western Africa part III. International African Institute, London.
  5. ^ Clark, David J. 1969. A grammatical study of Ekpeye. University of London doctoral dissertation.

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