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The Kainji languages are a group of sixty or so related languages spoken by about 900,000[year needed] people in Nigeria. They form part of the Central Nigerian (Platoid) branch of Benue–Congo. Four of the largest are Tsuvadi (150,000), Cishingini and Tsishingini (100,000 each)—all from the Kambari branch; and Clela (C'lela, Lela) (100,000), of the Northwest Kainji branch.

Kainji
Geographic
distribution
Kainji Lake, Nigeria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
Subdivisions
  • Reshe
  • core Kainji
Glottologkain1275[1]
Map of the Kainji languages.svg
The Kainji languages shown within Nigeria

Proto-Kainji is estimated by Blench (2012) to be 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Its broken distribution today is likely due to the expansion of Nupoid languages.[2]

ClassificationEdit

The most divergent of the Kainji languages are Reshe, Laru and Lopa, which may form a branch. Subclassification of the other branches is not yet clear. A division between East and West Kainji is no longer maintained.

Blench (2012)Edit

Blench's (2012) classification is:[2]

McGill (2012)Edit

A revised classification of the Kainji languages by McGill (2012) splits Kainji into the Lake and Central branches.[3]

Kainji

Names and locationsEdit

Below is a comprehensive list of Kainji language names, populations, and locations from Blench (2019).[4]

The East and West divisions are geographical rather than genealogical.

Group Primary locations
Distributions of Kainji groups[4]
East Kainji Kauru LGA, Kaduna State and Bassa LGA, Plateau State
West Kainji Rafi LGA, Niger State and Zuru and Yauri LGAs, Kebbi State (Kainji Lake area)

East KainjiEdit

Language Branch Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s) Notes
Map Amic Amon, Among Timap Kumap pl. Amap Ba 3,550 (NAT 1950) Plateau State, Bassa LGA; Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Atsam A sg. Tsam, pl. Atsam Chawai, Chawe, Chawi 10,200 (1931 Gunn); 30,000 (1972 Barrett) Kaduna State, Kachia LGA
Bishi A Riban (Ngmgbang) was formerly listed as a dialect, but is clearly a distinct language Abisi, Bisi xx pl. Abishi Pitti 1,600 (NAT 1950); Live in at least 26 villages (Ajaegbu et al. 2013) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Ngmgbang A Formerly listed as a dialect of Bishi, but is clearly a distinct language Ribam Rigmgbang few villages (Ajaegbu et al. 2013) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Lere cluster (extinct) "Northern Jos" Lere (extinct) 765 (NAT 1949); 1,000 (1973 SIL); languages extinct Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Si "Northern Jos" Lere (extinct) Rishuwa Kauru Kuzamani
Gana[disambiguation needed] (extinct) "Northern Jos" Lere (extinct) Extinct
Takaya (extinct) "Northern Jos" Lere (extinct) Taura Extinct
Gamo–Ningi cluster Gamo-Ningi Gamo–Ningi 15,000 but most speak Hausa. Bauchi State, Ningi LGA
Gamo Gamo-Ningi Gamo–Ningi tì-Gamo dòò-Gamo pl. à-ndi-Gamo Butancii Buta, Butawa, Butu There are some 32 settlements of Gamo, but of these only Kurmi still spoke the language in 1974 (Shimizu 1982).
Ningi Gamo-Ningi Gamo–Ningi
Iguta C Anaguta Naraguta 2,580 (HDG); 3,000 (1973 SIL) Plateau State, Bassa LGA
Janji C Jenji Tìjánjí Ajanji Anafejanzi 360 (NAT 1950) Plateau State, Bassa LGA
Jere cluster C Jere Jera, Jeere 23,000 (1972 SIL) Plateau State, Bassa LGA; Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Boze C Jere Boze is divided into 3 dialects, εGorong, εKɔkɔŋ as well as a third rather divergent speech form, εFiru Anabeze eBoze unaBoze pl. anaBoze Buji εGorong (2500?), εKɔkɔŋ (3000) εFiru (1500?) (Blench est, 2003). Due to language loss, especially in road settlements, there are considerably more ethnic Boze. Ethnologue figures are total district populations, not speakers. Plateau State, Bassa LGA. Both sides of the Jos-Zaria road, directly north of Jos.
Gusu C Jere Gussum i–Sanga sg. o–Sanga, pl. a–Sanga Anibau, Anosangobari 2,350 (1936 HDG) Plateau State, Bassa LGA; Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Jere C Jere Ezelle Anazele, Azelle Jengre 4,500 (1936 HDG) Plateau State, Bassa LGA; Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Ibunu-Lɔrɔ C Jere Bunu Ìbunu; iLɔrɔ Ànarubùnu, (Anorubuna, Narabuna); ɔnɔLɔrɔ pl. AnoLɔrɔ Rebina, Ribina, Rubunu 2,000 (LA 1971); 1500 (Blench 2003) in four villages Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Panawa C Jere iPanawa unuPanawa pl. anaPanawa Bujiyel 1600 CAPRO (1995a). 3500 (Blench 2003) in five villages Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Tunzu C one person Tunzú, people àTunzû ìTunzû Dugusa, Duguza 2500 speakers (Blench 2003 est.), though there are likely 2000 more ethnic Tunzu who do not speak the language. Plateau State, Jos East Local Government (5 villages), main settlement at N10˚ 02, E 9˚ 06. Bauchi State, Toro LGA (2 villages)
Zuksun cluster C
Sheni-Ziriya-Kere cluster C Sheni-Ziriya-Kere
Sheni C Sheni-Ziriya-Kere Shani, Shaini tiSeni one person onoSeni, people anaSeni 6 fluent speakers remaining out of ethnic community of about 1500 (Blench 2003) Kaduna State, Lere LGA. Two settlements, Sheni (N10˚ 22.6, E 8˚ 45.9) and Gurjiya (N10˚ 21.5, E 8˚ 45.2)
Kere (extinct) C Sheni-Ziriya-Kere extinct (Blench 2003) Kaduna State, Lere LGA. Kere
Ziriya (extinct) C Sheni-Ziriya-Kere Jiriya extinct (ethnic community ca. 2000) Bauchi State: Toro LGA: Ziriya (N10˚ 22.6, E 8˚ 50)
Nu Kauru Tinu Binu pl. Anu Kinugu, Kinuka, Kinuku 460 (NAT 1949); 500 (1973 SIL); 3000 (est. 2016). About seven villages Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Tumi Kauru Tutumi Kitimi 635 (NAT 1949) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Bin Kauru Bina tìBin bìBin pl. áBin Bogana Binawa 220 (NAT 1949), 2,000 (1973 SIL). 4 villages (2016) ca. 3-4000 (est.) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA. About 15 km west of Mariri, along the Geshere road.
Gbiri–Niragu cluster Kauru Gbiri–Niragu 5,000 (1952 W&B) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Gbiri Kauru Gbiri–Niragu Igbiri, Agari, Agbiri Gura, Gure, Guri
Niragu Kauru Gbiri–Niragu Anirago, Aniragu Kafugu, Kagu, Kahugu, Kapugu
Kurama Kauru Tikurumi Akurumi Bagwama (also refers to Ruma) 11,300 (NAT 1949) Kaduna State, Saminaka and Ikara LGAs; Kano State, Tudun Wada LGA
Ruma Kauru Rurama Turuma Arumaruma Bagwama (also refers to Kurama) 2,200 (NAT 1948) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Shuwa–Zamani Kauru Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Vori Kauru TiVori PiVori pl. AVori Srubu, Skrubu, Surubu, Zurubu Fiti 1,950 (NAT 1948) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA
Dungu Kauru Dungi, Dingi, Dwingi, Dunjawa 310 (NAT 1949) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Kono Kauru Konu, Kwono 1,550 (NAT 1949) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Mala Kauru Tumala Amala Rumaya, Rumaiya 1,800 (NAT 1948) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Vono Kauru Kivɔnɔ Avɔnɔ Kibolo, Kiwollo, Kiballo 335 (NAT 1949); 500 (1973 SIL) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Kaivi Kauru Kaibi 650 (NAT 1949) Kaduna State, Saminaka LGA no data
Gyem Lame Gema 2000 (est. 2015) Bauchi State, Toro LGA, Lame district
Shau Lame Sho Lìsháù Almost extinct Bauchi State, Toro LGA, villages of Shau and Mana
Kudu–Camo cluster Ningi Kudu–Camo Basa said to be a sub–group Language moribund, perhaps extinct Bauchi State, Ningi LGA
Kudu Ningi Kudu–Camo Kuda Probably extinct
Camo Ningi Kudu–Camo Chamo Probably extinct
Lemoro North-Central Limorro Emoro Anemoro Anowuru 2,950 (1936 HDG) Plateau State, Bassa LGA; Bauchi State, Toro LGA
Sanga North-Central Aŋma Asanga Asanga 1,700 (NAT 1950); 5,000 (1973 SIL) Bauchi State, Toro LGA, Lame district
Zora North-Central iZora uZora pl. aZora Cikobu, Chokobo 425 (1936 HDG), 19 speakers (March 2016); 10 settlements close to N10˚ 21.7, E 8˚ 50.6. About 3-4000 ethnic Zora. Plateau State, Bassa LGA

West KainjiEdit

Language Branch Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s)
Hɨpɨna Baushi Supana Tihɨpɨna Vihɨpɨna pl. Ahɨpɨna Niger State, Rafi LGA, Supana town
Mɨn Baushi Tiimɨn Vʷinyi Mɨn pl. Ayi Mɨn Bauchi Guda, Kukoki (name of largest town) Niger State, Rafi LGA, 27 villages in 8 chiefships
Ndәkә Baushi Shena may be a dialect Madaka Tundәkә Vundәkә pl. Andәka Niger State, Rafi LGA, Madaka town
Rubu Baushi Niger State, Rafi LGA, Rubu town
Wãyã Baushi Wayam Tũwãyã Vũwãyã pl. Ãwãyã Niger State, Rafi and Shiroro LGAs, Wayam town
Samburu Baushi Niger State, Rafi LGA, Samburu town no data
Gurmana Eastern estimated more than 3,000 (1989) Niger State, Shiroro LGA. Gurmana town and nearby hamlets
Cipu Kambari Kumbashi, Tikula, Ticihun, Tirisino, Tidipo, Tizoriyo, Tiddodimo Cicipu Tocipu Acipa, Achipa, Achipawa, Atsipawa Tәcәp Tochipo Tә–Sәgәmuk Bucepo sg., Ucɛpo pl. Bu–Sәgәmuk sg. 3,600 (1949 G&C) Kebbi State, Sakaba LGA; Niger State, Mariga and Rafi LGA, Kaduna State Birnin Gwari LGA
Damakawa (extinct) Kambari Damakawa Tidama’un (Cicipu name) 500-1000 ethnic population, but language now has only a few rememberers Kebbi State, Sakaba LGA, villages of Inguwar Kilo and Marandu The dubious reliability of some of the data and the possibility of Cipu loans makes the classification of Damakawa slightly uncertain.
Kambari I cluster Kambari Kambari I Kamberi with Kambari II: 67,000 (1952 W&B); 100,000 (1973 SIL) Niger State, Magama and Mariga LGAs; Kebbi State, Zuru and Yauri LGAs; Niger State, Borgu LGA
Agaɗi Kambari Kambari I Tsɨgaɗi Kakihum Niger State, Mariga LGA
Avaɗi Kambari Kambari I Abadi, Evadi Tsɨvaɗi Ibeto Niger State, Magama LGA
Baangi Kambari Kambari I Baangi ciBaangi sg. vuBaangi, pl. aBaangi Bangawa (Hausa) estimate more than 5,000 (1989) Niger State, Kontagora LGA, Ukata town and nearby villages; probably also into adjacent Kebbi State, Yauri LGA
Tsishingini Kambari Kambari I Cishingini, Tsishingini Mashingini pl. Ashingini Salka Niger State, Magama LGA
Yumu Kambari Kambari I Yumu, Osisi Niger State, Borgu LGA, at Yumu and Osisi
Kambari II cluster Kambari Kambari II Kamberi with Kambari I: 67,000 (1952 W&B); 100,000 (1973 SIL) Niger State, Magama LGA; Kebbi State, Zuru and Yauri LGAs; Kwara State, Borgu LGA
Agaushi Kambari Kambari II Cishingini Auna Niger State, Magama LGA; Kebbi State, Yauri LGA
Akimba Kambari Kambari II Tsɨkimba Akimba Auna, Wara Niger State, Rijau, Magama LGA; Kebbi State, Yauri LGA
Cishingini, Nwanci Kambari Kambari II Cishingini, Ngwәci Cishingini, Tsɨwәnci Mawunci sg. Ŋwәnci pl. Agwara Agara’iwa Niger State, Borgu, Magama LGA; Kebbi State, Yauri LGA
Zubazuba Kamuku Gamazuba Igwama, Mariga LGA, Niger State
Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki cluster Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Kamuku Niger State, Chanchagga, Rafi and Mariga LGAs
Cinda Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Oxford Primary Maths 1 (1988?) Jinda, Majinda Tucindә sg. Bucindә pl. Cindә Niger State, Mariga, Rafi, Kusheriki LGAs, Kaduna State, Birnin Gwari LGA
Regi Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Turegi sg. Buregi pl. Regi Niger State, Mariga, Rafi, Kusheriki LGAs, Kaduna State, Birnin Gwari LGA
Kuki Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Azana, Akubyar Tiyar [town name not a language] TuKuki BuKuki pl. Kuki Kamuku Niger State, Mariga, Rafi, Kusheriki LGAs, Kaduna State, Birnin Gwari LGA
Kwacika (extinct) Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Tukwacika sg. Bukwacika pl. Kwacika There was only one elderly speaker in the 1980s; hence, it is almost certainly extinct Kaduna State, Birnin Gwari LGA
Kwagere Kamuku Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki Niger State, Chanchagga, Rafi and Mariga LGAs
Basa-Gurara–Basa-Benue–Basa-Makurdi Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gurara–Basa-Benue–Basa-Makurdi
Basa-Gurara Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gurara–Basa-Benue–Basa-Makurdi Basa-Kwali Federal Capital Territory, Yaba and Kwali LGAs, along the Gurara river
Basa-Benue Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gurara–Basa-Benue–Basa-Makurdi Basa RuBasa TuBasa Abacha, Abatsa Basa-Komo, Basa-Kwomu (not recommended) 30,000 (1944-50 HDG); 100,000 (1973 SIL) Kogi State, Bassa, and Ankpa LGAs, Nasarawa State, Nasarawa LGA
Basa-Makurdi Kamuku–Basa Benue State, Makurdi LGA, several villages on the north bank of the Benue, northwest of Makurdi no data
Basa-Gumna–Basa-Kontagora cluster (extinct?) Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gumna–Basa-Kontagora (extinct?)
Basa-Gumna (extinct) Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gumna–Basa-Kontagora (extinct?) Gwadara-Basa, Basa Kuta, Basa-Kaduna Only 2 known semi-speakers in 1987. The population known as Basawa speaks only Hausa. Probably now extinct Niger State, Chanchaga LGA
Basa-Kontagora (extinct) Kamuku–Basa Basa-Gumna–Basa-Kontagora (extinct?) Fewer than 10 speakers in 1987. Probably now extinct Niger State, Mariga LGA, N.E. of Kontagora
Basa-Gurmana Kamuku–Basa Kɔrɔmba more than 2,000 speakers (1987) Niger State, border of Rafi and Chanchaga LGAs, Kafin Gurmana
Rogo Kamuku–Basa Cinda-Regi-Rogo-Kuki TɔRɔgɔ BɔRɔgɔ sg. Rɔgɔ pl. Ucanja Kamuku Niger State, Rafi and Kusheriki LGAs, around Ucanja town, 30 km northwest of Kagara.
Fungwa Kamuku–Basa Tufungwa Afungwa Ura, Ula 900 (1949 H.D. Gunn) Niger State, Rafi LGA, at Gulbe, Gabi Tukurbe, Urenciki, Renge and Utana
Hùngwә̀ryə̀ Kamuku–Basa Dialects: Bitbit (Kwabitu), Lәklәk (Karaku), Jinjin (Makangara), Wũswũs (Karaiya), Tәmbәrjә (Tambere) Cәhungwә̀ryə̀, Tʷə̀hungwә̀ryə̀ [ʨə̀hungwә̀ryə̀] Bùhùngwə̀ryə̀ sg., ə̀hùngwə̀ryə̀ pl. Ngwoi, Ngwe, Ungwe, Ingwe, Nkwoi, Ngwai, Ungwai, Hungworo 1000 (1949 HDG), 5000 (2007 est.) Niger State, Rafi, Kusheriki LGA, around Kagara and Maikujeri towns
Shama–Sambuga cluster Kamuku–Basa Shama–Sambuga Tushama sg. Bushama, pl. Ushama Kamuku Niger State, Rafi LGA
Shama Kamuku–Basa Shama–Sambuga Tushama Bushama sg. Ushama pl. Niger State, Rafi LGA, Ushama [=Kawo] town. 15 km northwest of Kagara
Sambuga (extinct) Kamuku–Basa Shama–Sambuga Possibly extinct (2008) Niger State, Rafi LGA, Sambuga town. 10 km northwest of Kagara
Shen Lake Laro, Laru Laruwa 1,000 (1992 est.) Niger State, Borgu LGA
Rop Lake Lupa, Lopa Kirikjir Djiri Lopawa 960 (NAT 1950); 5,000 (1992 est.) Niger State, Borgu LGA, Kebbi State, Yauri LGA. At least 6 villages on the east shore of Kainji Lake plus two others on the western shore.
Tsupamini Lake Lopa Lopanic Lopawa 960 (NAT 1950); 5,000 (1992 est.). Global estimate with Rop Niger State, Borgu LGA, Kebbi State, Yauri LGA. At least 6 villages on the east shore of Kainji Lake plus two others on the west shore.
Reshe Lake Birәmi (South), Bәmәmәdu (Northwest), Bәpalame (Northeast). Harris (1930:321) claims a ‘secret dialect’ called Tsudalupe which = Bәmәmәdu. Tsure Ja Tsureshe Bareshe Gunganci Gungawa, Yaurawa 15,000 (1931 G&C); 30,000 (1973 SIL) Kebbi State, Yauri LGA; Niger State, Borgu LGA
Hun–Saare Northern Western (sSaare) (around Dukku), Eastern (tHun) (around Rijau), Tungan Bunu Ethun tHun, sSaare Hunnɛ Duka Dukanci 19,700 (1949 Gunn and Conant); 30,000 (1980 UBS) Kebbi State, Sakaba LGA; Niger State, Rijau LGA
Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun cluster Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun The name ut-Main has been adopted by various members of this cluster as a cover term for these languages, but whether it will be widely adopted remains to be seen. Fakanci, Fakkanci 12,300 (1949 G&C) Kebbi State, Zuru and Wasagu LGAs, west of Dabai
Kag Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun tKag sg. woo Kag, pl. Kagne Faka, Fakai (town name), Fakanci, Fakkanci Pәku–Nu (cLela name) Kebbi State, Zuru LGA, Mahuta and Fakai areas
Fer Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun tFer sg. wasFer, pl. asFer Kukum Wipsi–Ni (cLela name) Kebbi State, Zuru LGA, around Kukum town
Jiәr Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun tJiәr sg. wauJiәr, pl. aJiәr Gelanci Serim Gelawa, Geeri–ni Kebbi State, Zuru LGA, around Bajidda; Rijau LGA, Niger State
Kәr Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun tKәr sg. wauKәr, pl. Kәrne Kela, Adoma Kelanci Kilinci Keri–Ni Kelawa Kebbi State, Zuru and Wasagu LGAs, north of Mahuta but south of the Kag river
Koor Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun t–ma–Koor sg. wauKoor, pl. aKoor Kebbi State, Zuru LGA, around Bakara
Ror Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun Dialect used for language development ǝt–ma–Ror sg. wauRor, pl. aRor Tudawa d–Gwan Kebbi State, Zuru LGA around Birnin Tudu
Us Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun Us have no specific dialect but speak like the Ror tUs sg. wauUs, pl. aUs, asUs Kebbi State, Zuru LGA, west of Fakai
Zuksun Northern Kag–Fer–Jiir–Kar–Koor–Ror–[Us]–Zuksun tZuksun sg. wauZuksun, pl. aZuksun Zusu Wipsi–ni Kebbi State, Zuru LGA around Tungan Kuka, south of Fakai
Wuri-Gwamhyә–Mba Northern Gwamfi wa–Gwamhi sg. a–Gwamhi pl. and wa–Wuri sg. a–Wuri pl. Banganci Lyase–ne Dәknu Bangawa for Gwamhi Two peoples with one language Kebbi State, Wasagu LGA; Gwamhi around Danko town and Wuri around Maga town The term Wurkum is applied to the Kyak, Banda, Kulung, Kwonci, Maghdi, Kholok, Mingang, Pero, Piya, and Nyam group, several of which remain to be investigated.
cLela Northwestern Zuru, Ribah cLela (Clela, C–Lela), Lelna Kәlela sg., Lelna pl. Chilala Dakarci Lalawa, Dakarkari, Dakkarkari, Kalla–Kalla, Cala–Cala 47,000 (1949 G&C); 69,000 (1971 Welmers) Kebbi State, Zuru, Sakaba and Wasagu LGAs; Niger State, Rijau LGA. Around Zuru town
Rin Shiroro Awәgә is sometimes classified as a dialect of Rin, but it may in fact be a distinct but vanishing language spoken by one Rin clan. Tә̀rĩ́, Tarin sg. Bùrĩ,́ pl. Arĩ ́ Arringeu, Pongu, Pongo, Pangu 3,675 (1949 HDG); >20,000 (1988) Niger State, Rafi LGA, near Tegina Despite the indigenous name, forms of Pangu are preferred by the community for publications purposes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kainji". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b Blench, Roger (2012). "The Kainji languages of northwestern and central Nigeria" (PDF). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  3. ^ McGill, Stuart. 2012. The Kainji languages. Ms, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 30 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.