Kru languages

The Kru languages are spoken by the Kru people from the southeast of Liberia to the west of Ivory Coast.

Kru
Geographic
distribution
Ivory Coast, Liberia, Burkina Faso
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo?
  • Kru
Proto-languageProto-Kru
Subdivisions
ISO 639-2 / 5kro
Glottologkrua1234  (Kru)
siam1242  (Siamou)
Kru languages.png
Kru languages, labeled as above

ClassificationEdit

According to Güldemann (2018), Kru lacks sufficient lexical resemblances and noun class resemblances to conclude a relationship with Niger-Congo. Glottolog considers Kru an independent language family.

EtymologyEdit

The term "Kru" is of unknown origin. According to Westermann (1952) it was used by Europeans to denote a number of tribes speaking related dialects. Marchese (1989) notes the fact that many of these peoples were recruited as "crew" by European seafarers; "the homonymy with crew is obvious, and is at least one source of the confusion among Europeans that there was a Kru/crew tribe".[1]

HistoryEdit

Andrew Dalby noted the historical importance of the Kru languages for their position at the crossroads of African-European interaction. He wrote that "Kru and associated languages were among the first to be encountered by European voyagers on what was then known as the Pepper Coast, a centre of the production and export of Guinea and melegueta pepper; a once staple African seaborne trade".[2] The Kru languages are known for some of the most complex tone systems in Africa, rivaled perhaps only by the Omotic languages.

Current statusEdit

Recent documentation has noted "Kru societies can now be found along the coast of Monrovia, Liberia to Bandama River in Côte d'Ivoire".[3] "Villages maintain their ties based on presumed common descent, reinforced by ceremonial exchanges and gifts".[3] The Kru people and their languages, although now many speak English (in Liberia) or French (in Côte d'Ivoire) as a second language, are said to be "dominant in the southwest region where the forest zone reaches the coastal lagoons".[3] The Kru people rely on the forest for farming, supplemented by hunting for their livelihood.

Subgroups and associated languagesEdit

The Kru languages include many subgroups such as Kuwaa, Grebo, Bassa, Belle, Belleh, Kwaa and many others. According to Breitbonde, categorization of communities based on cultural distinctiveness, historical or ethnic identity, and socio-political autonomy "may have brought about the large number of distinct Kru dialects; "Although the natives were in many respects similar in type and tribe, every village was an independent state; there was also very little intercommunication".[4] Breitbonde notes the Kru people were categorized based on their cultural distinctiveness, separate historical or ethnic identities, and social and political autonomy. This is the possible reason for so many subgroups of the Kru language. As noted by Fisiak, there is very little documentation on the Kru and associated languages.[5]

Marchese's (1989) classification of Kru languages is as follows.[6] Many of these languages are dialect clusters and are sometimes considered more than a single language.

Kru  

Sɛmɛ (Siamou)

Aizi

Kuwaa

Kru  proper 
 Eastern  Kru
 Bakwe 

Bakwe

Wane

 Bété 

Kuya

Godié

Dida

Kodia (Kwadia)

 Western  Kru
 Bassa 

Bassa

Dewoin

Gbii

 Grebo 

Grebo (Jabo)

Krumen

Glio-Oubi

 Klao 

Klao

Tajuasohn

 Wee 
 Guere 

Daho-Doo

Glaro-Twabo

Sapo

Krahn

Nyabwa

Konobo

Wobe

Ethnologue adds Neyo, which may be closest to Dida or Godie.

GrammarEdit

Kru word order is primarily subject-verb-object (SVO), but can also often be subject-object-verb (SOV).[6]

Comparative vocabularyEdit

Sample basic vocabulary of 12 Kru languages from Marchese (1983):[7]

Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water eat name
Tepo jíê nω̂â mɪ̂jã́ ɲɛ́ mɛ̂ wũ̂t dâblώ klá tûgbɛ̀ nîjẽ́
Jrwe ɟró nω̃̂ã̂ mɪ̃̂ã̂ ɲɛ̃́ mɛ̃̂ wṹ klώω̂ klá túwɛ̀ nĩ́ẽ́ dîdɛ̂ ɲɔ̃́
Guere ɟrííē dōṹ mlâ ɲnɪ̃̂ɛ̄̃ mē̃õ̀ ŋɔ̄̃ ɲmɔ̄̃ kpâ dîɛ̄ ɲnɪ̃̂
Wobé ɟríɛ́ dōṹ mlã̂ ɲnə̃̂ mɛ̄̃õ̀ ŋʷɔ̄̃ nmɔ̄ kpâ nĩ́ ɲnẽ̂
Niaboua ɟîrî lòkû máná ɲéɲé méɛ̃̀ ŋʷɔ̄̃ ɲēmō kpá ɲéɲé
Bété (Daloa) ɟi jûkûlî mlə̂ gléí mɪ́ɔ́ ŋō drú kwâ ɲû ŋʉ̂nɪ̂
Bété (Guibéroua) jiri júkwɨ́lí mə́ɲə́ gʌ̂lʌ̂ mɪ̄ɔ̄ nûə̂ dûrû kwá ɲú ŋʉ́ɲɪ́
Néyo jɪ́ ɲúkwlí mlé glè mɪ̄ɔ̄ dòlū féē sūú ɲú jlɪ́
Godié jɨdí ɲūkúlú mə́ɲə́ gə̄lè mɪ̄ɔ̄ nə̄ drù féè ɲú ɗɨ̄ ŋʉ́nʉ́
Koyo jɪjē ɲúkiwí glà mɪ̄ɔ̄ nə́ dòlú féjē sūú ɲú lɨ̄ ŋɨ́nɨ́
Dida ɲúkwlí mné glā mɪ̄ɔ̄ nɪ̄ dólū kwíjè ɲú ŋlɪ́
Aïzi zre lωkɔ mωvɔ ɲɪ mrɔ mu ɲre kra ke nrɪ li

An additional sample basic vocabulary of 21 Kru languages from Marchese (1983):[7]

Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone water eat name
Aïzi zre lωkɔ mωvɔ ɲɪ mrɔ mu ɲre kra nrɪ li
Vata ɲêflú mênê glà meɔ̄ nɪ̄ dūlū ɲú
Dida ɲúkwlí mné glā mɪ̄ɔ̄ nɪ̄ dòlū kwíjè ɲú ŋlɪ́
Koyo jíjē ɲúkwlí ŋʉ́nʉ́ glà mɪ̄ɔ̄ nə́ dòlú féjē ɲú lɨ̄ ŋɨ́nɨ́
Godié ɲūkúlú mə́ňə́ gə̀lè mɪ̄ɔ̄ nə̄ dřù féè ɲú ɗɨ̄ ŋʉ́nʉ́
Néyo jɪ́ ɲúkwlí mlé glè mɪ̄ɔ̄ dòlū féē ɲú jlɪ́
Bété (Guibéroua) jiři júkwɨ́lí mə́ňə́ gʌ̂lâ mɪ̄ɔ̄ nûə̂ dûřû kwá ɲú nʉ́nɪ́
Bété (Daloa) ɟi jûkûlî mlə̂ gléí mɪ́ɔ́ ŋō dřú kwâ ɲú nʉ̀nɪ̂
Niaboua lòkû mə́ná ɲéné méɛ̃̀ ŋwɔ̃̄ ɲēmō kpá ɲéné
Wobé ɟríɛ́ dōṹ mlã̂ ɲnẽ̂ mɛ̄ɔ̃̀ ŋwɔ̃̄ nmɔ̄ kpâ nĩ́ ɲnẽ̂
Guéré ɟrííē dōṹ mlâ ɲnɪ̃̂ẽ̄ mẽ̄õ̀ ŋɔ̃̄ ɲmɔ̃̄ kpâ dìɛ̄ ɲnɪ̃̂
Konobo jidɔ nao mlã daluo kla ɲɛ di ɲi
Oubi jīrō nōā mēã̄ ŋu dòùlā kala ɲɛ́ dīdɛ̄ ɲírṍ
Bakwe ɲʉ́ ɲákúlú mňṍ glɛ̀ mɛ̄ mʌ́ tùřú kɔ̄ō ɟɨ nrɪ
Tépo jíê nω̂â mɪ̂jã́ ɲɛ́ mɛ́ dâblώ klá nîjẽ́
Grebo nóá méá mɛ̄ ŋwúnɔ̄ ɲénɔ́ klã́ nĩ́ ɲéné
Klao ɟí nɔ̄kũ̀ mnã́ mɛ̄ wɔ̃̄ ɲnɔ̄ kpã́ nĩ́ ɲnɛ̃́
Bassa ɟélé máná wɔ̃̄ nɔmɔ kpá dunu ɗi ɲɛnɛ
Dewoin gire málã́ mīlã̀ wɔ̃̄ĩ́ ɲimo gba ŋɛ́lɛ́
Kuwaa sĩ̌ nɔi ɲũ mɛ̀wũ wɔ̃̀ tòyò kwa nímí ɟì ɲɛlɛ̃
Sɛmɛ ɲa tasjẽ mar ɲen kpar di

NumeralsEdit

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[8]

Classification Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Kuwaa Kuwaa (Belleh) dee sɔ̃r tãã̀ ɲìjɛ̀hɛ wàyɔ̀ɔ wɔ̀rfɔlɛ̀ (5 + 1) kɔrlɔrɔ̃r (5 + 2) kwatãã̀ (5 + 3) kɔ̃yĩ̀yɛ̀hɛ (5 + 4) kowaa
Seme Seme (Siamou) (1) byẽ́ẽ nĩ́ĩ̄ tyáār yūr kwɛ̃̄l kpã̄â kĩ̄î kprɛ̄n̂ kɛ̄l
Seme Seme (Siamou) (2) dyuɔ̃15 nĩ15 tyɛr15 yur3 kwɛ̃l3 k͡pa4a34 kyi4ĩ34 k͡prɛ4ɛ̃34 kal3 fu1
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé ɗôː sɔ̂ː tʌ̄ː mɾɔ̄ː ɡ͡bə̀ə̄ ŋǔːɗō (5 + 1) ŋǔːsɔ̄ (5 + 2) ŋǔːtʌ̄ (5 + 3) ŋǔːmɾɔ̄ (5 + 4) pʊ̀
Eastern, Bakwe Wané do³ / ɗo³ sɔ² ta³ ⁱhɪɛ̃⁴ ŋʷũ⁴² ŋʷũ⁴² kloː²⁴(5 + 1) ŋʷũ⁴² sɔ² (5 + 2) ŋʷũ⁴² ta³ (5 + 3) ŋʷũ⁴² ⁱhɪɛ̃⁴ (5 + 4) ŋʷũ⁴² bu⁴ or bu⁴
Eastern, Bete Daloa Bété ɓlʊ̄ sɔ̋ mʊ̄wana ŋ́ɡ͡bɨ́ ŋ́ɡ͡bʊplʊ (5 + 1) ŋ́ɡ͡bisɔ́ (5 + 2) ɡ͡bʊ̀wata (5 + 3) ŋ́ɡ͡bimʊwana (5 + 4) kʊ́ɡ͡ba
Eastern, Bete Guiberoua Bété ɓlʊ̄ sɔ̋ mʊ̄wana ŋ́ɡ͡bɨ́ ŋ́ɡ͡bʊplʊ (5 + 1) ŋ́ɡ͡bisɔ́ (5 + 2) ɡ͡bʊ̀wata (5 + 3) ŋ́ɡ͡bimʊwana (5 + 4) kʊ́ɡ͡ba
Eastern, Bete Godié ɓlōō sɔ́ɔ́ tāā ŋ̀mɔ̀ɔ̀nā ŋ̀ɡ͡bɨ́ ŋ̀ɡ͡bóplóo (5 + 1) ŋ̀ɡ͡bɔ̀ɔ́sɔ́ (5 + 2) ŋ̀ɡ͡bàátā (5 + 3) ŋ̀vɔ̀ɔ̀nā kʊ́ɡ͡bá
Eastern, Bete, Eastern Gagnoa Bété ɓɵ̯̀ɺō sɔ̋ tɑ̄ mɔ̀ɔ̀nɔ̄ ŋ͡m̩̄.ɡ͡bú ɡ͡bé.pó̯ɺó (5 + 1) ɡ͡bɔ́ɔ́.sɔ̋ (5 + 2) ɡ͡bɔ̋ɔ́.tā (5 + 3) fɛ̀ɛ̀.nɔ̄ kō.ɡ͡bɔ́
Eastern, Bete, Eastern Guébie Bété ɡ͡bɔlɔ².³ so⁴ ta³¹ mɔna¹.³¹ mŋɡ͡be² mŋɡ͡beɡ͡bɔlɔ².².³ (5 + 1) mŋɡ͡boso³.⁴ (5 + 2) mŋɡ͡bata³.³¹ (5 + 3) mŋɡ͡bɔfɛna³.¹.³¹ (5 + 4) kɔɡ͡ba².³
Eastern, Bete, Eastern Kouya ɓlò sɔ́ mnʊ̀à ɡ͡bu ɡ͡beliɓlò (5 + 1) ɡ͡besɔ́ (5 + 2) ɡ͡betā (5 + 3) ɡ͡bomnʊ̀à (5 + 4) kuɡ͡bua
Eastern, Dida Yocoboué Dida bóló mwɔsɔ́ mwɔtá mwɔná ɛŋɡ͡bɪ́ ɛŋɡ͡bʊ́frɔ (5 + 1) ɛmɓɔ́sɔ́ (5 + 2) ɛmɓáta (5 + 3) ɛmvwaná kóɡ͡ba
Eastern, Dida Neyo ɓɔ̄ló sɔ́ tāā mɔ̀nā ɡ͡bɪ́ ɡ͡bɪ́flɔ́ (5 + 1) ɡ͡básɔ́ (5 + 2) ɡ͡bátā (5 + 3) fɛ̄nā (5 + 4) kʊ́ɡ͡bá
Eastern, Kwadia Kodia ɡ͡bɤlɤ³² / ɓɤlɤ³² sɔː² taː² mɔna⁴³ ⁿɡ͡bɤ³ ⁿɡ͡bɤwlɤ³³³ (5 + 1) ⁿɡ͡bɔː⁴³sɔ³ (5 + 2) ⁿɡ͡baː⁴³ta³ (5 + 3) ⁿɡ͡bɤmɔna³⁴³ (5 + 4) kʊɡ͡ba³³
Western, Bassa Bassa ɖò, dyúáɖò sɔ̃́ hĩinyɛ hm̀m̌ mɛ̀nɛ̌ìn-ɖò (5 + 1) mɛ̀nɛ̌ìn-sɔ̃́ (5 + 2) mɛ̀nɛ̌ìn-tã (5 + 3) mɛ̀nɛ̌ìn-hĩinyɛ (5 + 4) ɓaɖa-bùè
Western, Bassa Dewoin (Dewoi) ɡ͡bǒ sɔ̃́ ta hĩinyɛ hm̀m̌ meɖe-ɡ͡bǒ (5 + 1) meɖe-sɔ̃́ (5 + 2) meɖe-ta (5 + 3) meɖe-hĩinyɛ (5 + 4)
Western, Bassa Gbasei (Gbii) (1) dɔ̀ː / ɗɔ̀káⁱ sɔ̃́ ɲ̀yɛ̃ m̀ḿ m̀mɽědɔ̀ (5 + 1) m̀mɽěsɔ̃́ (5 + 2) m̀mɽětã́ (5 + 3) m̀mɽěɲ̀yɛ̃ (5 + 4) báɽápʰùwe
Western, Bassa Gbii (Gbi-Dowlu) (2) dòò, dyúáɖò sɔ̃́ hĩ̀nyɛ hm̀m̀ mɛ̀nɛ̀ɛ̄n-ɖò (5 + 1) mɛ̀nɛ̀ɛ̄n-sɔ̃́ (5 + 2) mɛ̀nɛ̀ɛ̄n-tə̃ (5 + 3) mɛ̀nɛ̀ɛ̄n-hĩ̀nyɛ (5 + 4) ɓaɖabùè
Western, Grebo, Glio-Oubi Glio-Oubi hwə̃ tã́ hə̃ ɡ͡bə̀ hṹdò (5 + 1) hũ̀sɔ́ (5 + 2) mɛra (5 + 3) mɛ́ɲɛ̀ (5 + 4) pue
Western, Grebo, Ivorian Pye (Piè) Krumen hʋɛ̃́ hɛ̃̀ hũ̌ hũ̀jārō [hũ̀jāɾō] ('five plus one') hũ̀jāhʋɛ̃́ ('five plus two') hũ̀jātā ('five plus three') hũ̀jāhɛ̃̀ ('five plus four')
Western, Grebo, Ivorian Tepo Krumen (1) hɔ̃́ hɛ̃̀ hũ̌ huõ̀nɔ̀ (5 + 1) nɪ́pātā (litː 'not/be/three') nɪ́pāhɔ̃́, yèhɛ̃̀yèhɛ̃̀ (2 x 4) sēlédò (litː 'remains /there/one')
Western, Grebo, Ivorian Tepo Krumen (2) ɔ̄ɛ́n hɛ̀n ùm ùmnɔ̄dô (5 + 1) ùmnɔ̄ɔ̄ɛ́n (5 + 2) blɛ̄nbìɛ̀n ùmīyándō
Western, Grebo, Liberian Central Grebo (Barrobo) dòo ɔ̌n taan hɛ̃ɛn wùun wùnɔ̀dǒ (5 + 1) jetan (4 + 3) ? jiinhɛ̀n (4 + 4) ? sǒndò (litː 'remain one' before 10)
Western, Grebo, Liberian Northern Grebo do sɔ̃̌ hɛ̃̀ m̀m mmɔ̀do (5 + 1) nyiɛtã (4 + 3) nnyɛɛ (4 + 4) siědo (litː 'remain one' before 10)
Western, Klao Klao sɔ́n tan nyìɛ̀ mùnéɛ́do (5 + 1) mùnéɛ́sɔ́n (5 + 2) mùnéɛtan (5 + 3) sopádo (10 - 1) puè
Western, Klao Tajuasohn doe sunn nn = ? tan hin hoom ḿhon doe (5 + 1) ḿhon sunn (5 + 2) hinin (4 + 4) siɛrdoe (litː 'remains one') punn
Western, Wee, Guere-Krahn Western Krahn tòò sɔɔ̌n ta̓a̓n nyìɛ̓ m̀m̌ mɛ̀o̓ (5 + 1) mɛ̀sɔɔ̌n (5 + 2) mɛta̓a̓ǹ (5 + 3) mɛ̀nyìɛ̓ (5 + 4) pùèè
Western, Wee, Guere-Krahn Sapo duě / tòò sɔn tan nyìɛ m̀m̌ mɛ̀lǒ (5 + 1) mɛ̀sɔn (5 + 2) mɛ̌tan (5 + 3) mɛ̌nyiɛ (5 + 4) pùè
Western, Wee, Nyabwa Nyabwa (Nyaboa) do4 sɔ̃2 tã3 ɲiɛ33 mu4u1 mɛ4ɛ1lo4 (5 + 1) mɛ4ɛ1sɔ̃2 (5 + 2) mɛ4ɛ1tã3 (5 + 4) mɛ4ɛ1ɲiɛ33 (5 + 5) bue44
Western, Wee, Wobe Northern Wè (Wobe) too3 / due1 sɔɔn2 / sɔn2 taan3 nyiɛ43 mm41 mɛ41o3 (5 + 1) mɛ41sɔn2 (5 + 2) mɛ41na3 (5 + 3) mɛ41nyiɛ3 (5 + 4) puue3

Comparison of numerals in Kru languages from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language one two three four five six seven eight nine ten twenty hundred
Siamou Seme nḭ tʸar yiro kʷḛ kpaa kʸii prɛ kal fu kar karkʷḛ
Aizi Aïzi mṵmɔ̰; yre iʃɪ ita yeɓi yugbo friʃi patɛ fi gu juyugbo
Kuwaa Kuwaa dee sɔ̰ɔ̰ ta̰à̰ ɲìyɛ̀ wààyò folɛ̀ kɔ̰lo̰ kʷata̰à̰ ko̰yḭ̀yɛ̰̀ kuwa kuma sɔ̰᷄ kɔ̀lɛwúlú
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré)
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) mblò mɔ̀sɔ́ mɔ̀tā mɔ̀ɔ̀nā ǹgbī ǹgbʊfɾʊ ǹgbɔ̀ɔ́sɔ́ ǹgbàátā ǹvɔ̀ɔ̀nā kʊ́gbā grʊ̄ gwlīǹgbī
Eastern, Dida Vata ɓlɔ̀ sɔ̍ mɔ̀ɔ̀nā gbe̍ gbòɔ́sɔ́ gbɔ̍fɔ́tā kógba̍ golō
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) ɓʊ̀lʊ̀ sɔ̍ mʊ̀nà ńgbɨ́ ńgbʊ́pʊ́lʊ́ ńgbísɔ̍ ńgbɔ̍tá ńgbɨ́mʊ̀nà kúgbɨ́á gʊ́lʊ́ gʊ́lúgbɨ́
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) ɓʊ̀lʊ̀ sɔ́ mʊ̀ʌ̀nā n̄gbɨ́ n̄gbʊ̍pʊ̍lʊ̍ n̄gbi̍só gbʊ̀ʌ́tā n̄gbɨ̍mʊ̀ʌ̀nā kʊ̄gbʌ̍ gʊ̍lʊ̍ gʷʉ̍lɪ̍n̄gbɨ̍
Eastern, Bete Godié ɓʉ̄lʉ̄ sɔ́ mʊ̀ʊ̀nʌ̄ ʌ̰̀gbʉ̄ ʌ̰̀gbʉ̄pʉ̄lʉ̄ ʌ̰̀gbɔ̀ɔ̄sɔ́ ʌ̰̀gbàāɨʌ̄ pɛɛ̀nʌ̄ kʊ́gbʌ̍ gɔ̀lɔ̀ gʷʌ̀lɪ̀gbʉ̄
Eastern, Bete Koyo ɓɔ̄lɔ̄ sɔ̄ mɔ̀nā ŋ̀gbɨ́ ŋ̀gbópló ŋ̀gbɔ́sɔ́ ŋ̀gbátā ǹvɔ̀nā kʊ́gbá gʊ̄lʊ̄ gʊ̀lɪ̀ɲ́gbɨ́
Eastern, Bete Néyo ɓʊ̄lʊ́ sɔ́ tāā mɔ̀nā gbɪ́ gbɪ́flɔ́ gbásɔ́ gbátā fɛ̄nā kʊ́gbá glʊ́ gʷlɪ̀gbɪ́
Western, Klao Klao dòò sʊ̰́ tā̰ā̰ ɲḭɛ̀ mùù ŋmìɛ̀dò ŋmìɛ̀sɔ̰́ ŋmìɛ̀tā̰ sɛpáádō pūɪ̄ wlʊ̄ wlʊ̄mù
Western, Bassa Bassa dɔ̀ò sɔ̄ ta̰ hḭiɲɛ hm̀m̀ hɔ̰́dɔ̀
Western, Bassa Déwoin gbò sɔ̰ tà̰ ɲìɛ̄ m̀m̄ mɛ̀legbō mɛ̀lēslɔ̰́ mɛ̀lēá̰ mɛ̀le̍ɲìɛ èvù
Western, Grebo Tépo do̍ hɔ̰́ ta̍ hɛ̰̀ hwɔ̰̀nɔ̀ nɪ́pa̍hɔ̰̍ nɪ́pa̍ta̍ se̍rédó pu̍ a̍ wlʊ̀ wlɪ̄ m̄
Western, Grebo Grébo sɔ̰́ tá̰ hɛ̰᷄ hm̀ú béhɛ̰᷄ sīe̍dō pūnɔ́dō wōdó húbū
Western, Grebo Oubi hʷə̰ tá̰ hə̰ gbə̀ hṵ́dò hṵ̀sɔ́ mɛra mɛ́ɲɛ̀ pue gōrō gòléhm̄
Western, Grebo Jrwe do̍ò hʊ̰́ɛ̰́ ta̍a̍ hɛ̰̍ɛ̰̀ hm̀m̍ hm̀m̍jɛ̍rʊ̍ hm̀m̍jɛ̍hʊ̰́ɛ̰́ hm̀m̍ja̍ta̍ hm̀m̍ja̍hɛ̰̀ pu̍ wlʊ̍ wɛ̀srɛ̍wɛ̍
Western, Wee Guéré dòò sɔ̰̍ɔ̰̍ tā̰ā̰ ɲḭ̀ɛ̰̄ ~ ɲīɛ̄; ɲīɛ̄ ~ ɲḭ̀ɛ̰̄ m̄ḿ mɛ̰̄ɛ̰́ō̰ mɛ̰̄sɔ̰̍ mɛ̰̄á̰ mɛ̰᷄ɲɛ̰̍ bùùè kwlāsɔ̰̍ km̄ɛ̰̍dūe̍
Western, Wee Nyabwa dʊ̀ sɔ̰́ tā̰ ɲìɛ̄ mùu̍ mɛ̄ɛ̍lʊ̀ mɛ̄ɛ̍sɔ̰̄ mɛ̄ɛ̍tā̰ mɛ̍ɲīē bùè glòlùé glàmùu̍
Western, Wee Wobé tòò sɔ̰̍ɔ̰̍ tā̰ā̰ ɲìɛ̄ m̄ḿ mɛ̄ɛ́ō mɛ̰̍́sɔ̰̍ mɛ᷄na̍ mɛ᷄ɲɛ̍ pùùè kwlāsɔ̰̍ km̄ɛ̍du̍e̍
Western, Wee Konobo buwɛ la̰a̰ ɲiɛ mm mɛɛɔ̰ mɛla buwɛ kʷalaso̰ kɛ̰ɛ̰

Body parts (head)Edit

Parts of the head from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language head hair eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth
Siamou Seme gmel fleɲi ɲa tasyḛ mar ɲen ko̰
Aizi Aïzi drʊ lɪfɪ zre lʊkɔ mʊvɔ ɲɪ mrɔ mu
Kuwaa Kuwaa wúlú dùi sḭ̌ nɔi ɲṵ mɛ̀wṵ wɔ̰̀
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) wlí ɲwee ɲʉ́ ɲákúlú ml̰ó̰ glɛ̀ mɛ̄ mʌ́
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) wlú ɲɪ̄ ɲūklwí mné glā mɪ̄ɔ̄ nɪ̄
Eastern, Dida Vata ɲe̍ ɲe̍flú me̍ne̍ glà meɔ̄ nɪ̄
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) wu̍lu̍kpèlè ɲúkō ji yu̍ku̍li̍ mlə̍ gléí mɪ́ɔ́ ŋō
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) wúkpə̀lé ɲū-kʷə̄ yiɾi yúkʷɨ́lí mə́l̰ə́ gʌ̍la̍ mɪ̄ɔ̄ nu̍ə̍
Eastern, Bete Godié wúlú ɲɪ̄ yɨdí ɲūkúlú mə́l̰ə́ gə̄lè mɪɔ̄ nə̄
Eastern, Bete Koyo wúlú ɲɪ́ī yɪ́yē ɲūklwí ŋʉ́ŋʉ́ glà mɪ̄ɔ̄ nə́
Eastern, Bete Néyo ɲɪ́ yɪ́ ɲúkʷlí mlé glè mɪ̄ɔ̄
Western, Klao Klao dlo᷄ nūi᷄ ji nɔ̄kṵ̀ mna᷄ mɛ̄ wɔ̰̄
Western, Bassa Bassa jélé máná wɔ̰
Western, Bassa Déwoin dúlú gire málá̰ mīlà̰ wɔ̰̄ḭ́
Western, Grebo Tépo lú púpu̍ yíe̍ nʊ̍a̍ mɪ̍yá̰ ɲɛ́ mɛ̍ ~ mé; mé ~ mɛ̍ wṵ̍t
Western, Grebo Grébo lu᷄ ye̍ nóá méá mɛ̄ ŋwúnɔ̄
Western, Grebo Oubi mi yīrō nōā mēā̰ ŋu
Western, Grebo Jrwe lé ɲà̰ɛ̰̍ jró nʊ̰̍a̰̍ mɪ̰̍a̰̍ ɲɛ̰́ mɛ̰̍ wṵ́
Western, Wee Guéré drú míī jrííē dōṵ́ ɓʊ̄ djūlɛ̀ mɛ̰̄ò̰ ŋɔ̰̄
Western, Wee Nyabwa dru̍ nɪ́mə̀ǹè yíɾi̍ lòku̍ mə́ná ɲéné méɛ̰̀ ŋwɔ̰̄
Western, Wee Wobé jrú mḛ́ḛ̄ ~ me; me ~ mḛ́ḛ̄ jríɛ́ dōṵ́ mla̰̍ ɲnḛ̍ mɛ̰̍ɔ̰̀ ŋwɔ̰̄
Western, Wee Konobo drɔ mi yidɔ nao mla̰

Body parts (lower)Edit

Other body parts from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language neck arm breast intestines navel leg bone blood skin
Siamou Seme kʷa̰ nʷḛ ɲēfū kpar to̰
Aizi Aïzi vu drɪ mʊkʊ kra ɲre kʊkɔ
Kuwaa Kuwaa fɛ̀lɛ ɲàlì sḭyà̰ bɔ̰̀ kʷa to̍yò kṵ᷆
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) pli dáɾó ɲɪ̄tɪ̄ mʊ̰̄kʷɛ̄ ɓɔō kɔ̄ō tùɾú
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) brɪ̀ ~ bɾɪ̀; bɾɪ̀ ~ brɪ̀ sɔ̄ ɲētī mɪ̄ mʊ́kʊ̄díè ɓō kwíyè dòlū kpʊ̄kpā
Eastern, Dida Vata sɔ̄ me̍ mókɔ̍lɛ̍ ɓɔ̄gʊ̀ fa̍ dūlū fu̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) blʊ̀ sɔ́ ɲɪ́tɪ́ wɪ̍ dàī ɓʊ́ kwa̍ dɾú
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) bʊ̀lʊ́ sɔ̍ ɲɪ̄tɪ̄ mɪ́ dàyī ɓʊ̍ kʷá du̍ɾu̍ ku̍
Eastern, Bete Godié bʌlɛ̄ sɔ̄ ɲītì mɪ́ dèè ɓʉ̄ féè dɾù kpʊ̄kpʌ
Eastern, Bete Koyo blɛ̀ sɔ̄ɔ̄ ɲītīyē mɪ́ mákɔ̄lʊ́gbā ɓɔ̄ɔ́ féyē dòlú
Eastern, Bete Néyo blɛ̄ sɔ̄ɔ́ mɔ́gbàlɪ̄ ɲúkōlíé ɓɔ̄ɔ́ féē dòlū kpʊ̄kpā
Western, Klao Klao pnu᷄ sʊ̰̄ ɲītī mɔ̄ɛ᷄ pùtù bʊ̄ kpa᷄ ɲnɔ̄
Western, Bassa Bassa bùnù nɛɛ̀ mɛ̄ zìì ɓo kpá nɔmɔ ku
Western, Bassa Déwoin būnū nḛ ɓō gba ɲimo
Western, Grebo Tépo plʊ̀ da̍bʊ́ nɛ̍yɛ̍ ~ ɲɛ̍yɛ̍; ɲɛ̍yɛ̍ ~ nɛ̍yɛ̍ ŋmí nɛ́ɛ́ ~ nɛ́; nɛ́ ~ nɛ́ɛ́ bʊ̍ klá da̍blʊ́ kɔ̀ ~ kɔ̍; kɔ̍ ~ kɔ̀
Western, Grebo Grébo plo᷄ só̰ ɲínē kúdíde̍ no̍na᷄ kla᷄ ɲénɔ́ fe᷄
Western, Grebo Oubi pòlò ho̰ muə̄gli nə̰ bo kala dòùlā
Western, Grebo Jrwe plʊ̀ hʊ̰̍ ɲɛ̰̍sɛ̍ nɛ̰́ɛ̰̍ bʊ̍ klá klʊ́ʊ̍ kɔ̀
Western, Wee Guéré blṵ̄ sō̰ ɲḛ̄ɛ̰̀ mḛ̍ ɓóà bʊ̍ kpa̍ ɲmɔ̰̄
Western, Wee Nyabwa būlū sʊ̄ ɲētìɛ̀ zànɛ̍ɛ̍ ɓʊ̄ kpá ɲēmō
Western, Wee Wobé plṵ̀ sō̰ ɲḛ̄ɛ̰̀ mḛ̍ sɛ̰̀ ɲɛ̀ bʊ̄ kpa̍ nmɔ̄
Western, Wee Konobo ɲiniɛ gbolo bo kla daluo ku

Other nounsEdit

Miscellaneous nouns from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language snake egg horn tail rope father mother woman child name
Siamou Seme jàl kʸḛ ɲan mel ɓisyā y̰i
Aizi Aïzi srɪ ji gbeli gɛtɛ zuzo keke lapɛ
Kuwaa Kuwaa gbɛ̰̀ɛ̰̀ kɛ̀ɛ̀mɛ̀ kṵ̌bé ɲídewúlé dòyò nu ɲinɔ̀ ɲɛlɛ̰
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) tɾɔ̄ sàpɨ́gē yuo ŋʷɔ́l̰ɔ́ yəyie ɲrɪ
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) trɛ̄ jīè gwɪ́ gūò ɓlū to̍ nɔ́ ŋwnɔ́ cíle̍ ŋlɪ́
Eastern, Dida Vata tlɛ̄ gì ~ jì vɔ́ɛ̍ co̍ nɔ́ ŋɔnɔ́ lo̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) tɪ́mɛ́ gʉyī gɔ̍ li̍kpə́ tɓà ŋɔ́nɔ̍ gu̍ ŋʉ̍nɪ̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) ti̍mɛ̍ gʉ̄ gʊ́ gʷə̀yi̍ díkpə̍ dɪ̄bà ŋɔ́ɾɔ́ ŋʉ́l̰ɪ́
Eastern, Bete Godié trɛ̄ gɪ̀ vɪ̄ gə̀ ɓɨlɨ́kpə̄ tʉ́ ŋʷɔ́l̰ɔ́ yɪ́ ŋʉ́nʉ́
Eastern, Bete Koyo miɛ̄bòlú gɪ̀yē ɓlíyē nɔ́ ŋɔ́nɔ́ ŋɨ́nɨ́
Eastern, Bete Néyo tlɛ̄ vʊ́ ɓlú tʊ́ nɛ́ ŋʷló̰ yʊ́ ylɪ́
Western, Klao Klao slɛ̄ ɲɛ᷆ ŋmo̰᷆ wʊ̰᷆ dlu᷄ ~ dbu᷄ mi᷄ ɲnɔ᷄ jēgbé ɲnɛ᷄
Western, Bassa Bassa gɛ̰ gmɛ̀ vɔ̰ lúlú ɓà le màa ɲɛnɛ
Western, Bassa Déwoin sɛ̄wɛ̄ ge ɓùlū ɓa̍ ma᷅ ɲiro; ŋɔ́nɔ́ ɲɛ́lɛ́
Western, Grebo Tépo hre̍ ŋɔ̀ ŋmʊ̄ pátà bu̍ díí ~ dí; dí ~ díí ɲnɔ̍gbá dʊ́
Western, Grebo Grébo sídé ŋēyē lúdu̍ bu̍o̍ de᷄ ɲénɛ́ hḛ̍a̰̍ ɲéné
Western, Grebo Oubi here hawɛŋɨ̰nɛ ŋʷɛ̰ ba wūlū bui di ɲīrō̰ yu ɲíró̰
Western, Grebo Jrwe hre̍ ɲɔ̰́lò do̍e̍ lúrū nɔ̰̍wá ɲl̰ɔ̰́
Western, Wee Guéré sɛ̰̄ sō̰a̰̍ gɛ̄ ŋm̄ɔ̰̍ gō̰ dbú do̍ū jú zá̰à̰ ɓāò ɲnɪ̰̍
Western, Wee Nyabwa sɛ̰̄ sò̰o̰̍ gḛ̄ɛ̰̄ gbó̰ gō̰ ɓlu̍kū tèta lótō ɲə́nɔ́ yu̍ ɲéné
Western, Wee Wobé sɛ̰̄ so̰᷄kɛ̰̀ɛ̰̀ ŋmɛ̀ ko̰᷅ dbū ~ dbú; dbú ~ dbū ɲnɔ̍ kpāo̍ jú sǎ̰ā̰ ɲnḛ̍
Western, Wee Konobo sɛrɛ ɲie gbo gʷo dru ba de ɲɪnɪ jowe ɲi

NatureEdit

Nature-related words from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language day sun moon water fire fog sea dust salt
Siamou Seme yefʸɛ ye fʷǒ nṵ niɛ
Aizi Aïzi zi ze cu nrɪ lede jru magri ɓʊɓʊ trʊ
Kuwaa Kuwaa kùlù kàlà kewu nímí ka̰᷆ koo jiwo lowo kìyɔ̀
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) srè jró sɨple kāpū bru tánīē mɔ̰l̰ɔ̰
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) cɾɪ̄ ylʊ́ cʊ́ ɲú kòsū jlū jḭ̄yē pipi glī
Eastern, Dida Vata cʊ̍ ɲú kōsū jɛ̰́vie̍ ŋúŋu̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) yɪ̍ɾɪ̍ yʊ̍ɾʊ̍zàrʊ́ na̍pɛ́ ɲu̍ kòsū gbi̍ɾu̍ gɨ-ɲɛ̄ ɓu̍kú gʉ́ɓɨ́
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) yɪ́ɾɪ́ yʊ́ɾʊ́ cʊ́ ɲú kòsū ju̍ɾu̍ jīē ɓūù-kʷə̍ gɨ̍ɓɨ̍
Eastern, Bete Godié yʊ̀ɾʊ̀ yʊɾʊ́ cʊ̄ ɲú kòsū jùɾù jīyē ɓàɓùū gɨ̀ɗɨ̀
Eastern, Bete Koyo yʊ́rʊ́ yʊ́rʊ́ cʊ́ʊ̄ ɲú kòsū jùrù jīyē ɓūɓú gʉ̀lʉ̀
Eastern, Bete Néyo zlì ylʊ́ cʊ́ ɲú kōsū jlù gɨ̄ē mʊ̍mʷɪ̄ɪ́ gūu̍
Western, Klao Klao ylʊ᷄ cʊ̄ ni᷄ jlu᷄ jlō pūpūí to̰᷄
Western, Bassa Bassa jóló dɛ̀nɛ̀ dunu dunu jóó pūpū tó̰
Western, Bassa Déwoin nàì tó̰
Western, Grebo Tépo ɲnɔ̀wo̍ yrʊ́ hɔ̀pɔ̍ ni̍yḛ́ na̍ jrù yrú púpu̍
Western, Grebo Grébo ŋwɛ́ hɔ̀bō ni᷄ jūdú yúdá púíbi̍ ta᷄
Western, Grebo Oubi ɲìrò̰ jīrō hɔ̰liɛ ɲɛ́ nàní jùrù tápɛ̀ múlɔ̰̀
Western, Grebo Jrwe ɲl̰ɔ̰̀wò jrʊ́ hóóò nḭ́ḛ́ na̰̍ jrù ti̍e̍ púwò
Western, Wee Guéré wɪ̍ jru̍ cʊ̍ nɛ̰̄ wɛ̍ì to̰̍nī djɛ̄ɛ̀ tɔ̰̍
Western, Wee Nyabwa wɪ́ yóró cʊ́ ni̍ nɛ̄ jurū gɨ̄ɨ̄ pīpèlè tɔ̰̄
Western, Wee Wobé wɪ̍ jru̍ cʊ̍ nḭ́ nɛ̰̄ cnṵ̄ to̰̍nī pu̍ē tɔ̰̍
Western, Wee Konobo wɔ̰ jɨdo co ɲɛ nani jlu yoo mulo ta

Verbs (1)Edit

Some basic verbs from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language eat drink bite vomit die kill walk come
Siamou Seme di namu nuo̰ ko(klo) ko(kɔrɔ) koel bɛ(bla)
Aizi Aïzi li ma gʷra yra na yi
Kuwaa Kuwaa gbɛ ɲìmì kɔ̀jɛ̀ fa̰la̰ java namu
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) ml̰áà ml̰u wɔsɔ ɓlá ɲɛ́
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) ti̍ mlá mni̍ gɔ̍zɛ̄ ɓlá námʊ̍ ci̍
Eastern, Dida Vata li̍ nia̍ nlɪ̍ ɓeɔ̀ nánɪ́ yi̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) nɪ̍ma̍ nɨ́mɨ́ mə́tī tɾɪ lɪ̍ɓa̍ námʉ́
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) nɪ́mʌ́ nīmɨ̄ mə́tī lɪ́bʌ́ nɛ̍mʉ̍
Eastern, Bete Godié ɗɨ̄ mʌ́nʌ́ mɨ̄l̰ɨ̄ gʷʌ̄sɛ̀ ɓʌ́lʌ́ nʌ́ʌ̄
Eastern, Bete Koyo lɨ̄ ḿlá miɨ̄ gɔ̄sɛ̀ ɓlá ná̰à̰
Eastern, Bete Néyo mlá miī gɔ̄zɪ̀ɔ̀ ɓla̍ nāà
Western, Klao Klao na᷄ nmī wlà mɛ᷄ dla᷄ ~ dba᷄ na᷆
Western, Bassa Bassa ɗi numu hwala mɛ́ láɓá na̍ ji
Western, Bassa Déwoin ku ta̰; láwá yi
Western, Grebo Tépo di̍ ne̍ wlà kʊ́ lá ~ la̍; la̍ ~ lá di̍ré
Western, Grebo Grébo na᷄ mlí wōdá kō(ɛ́)
Western, Grebo Oubi dīdɛ̄ wɔ̀là wɔlɔ na
Western, Grebo Jrwe di̍dɛ̍ ná̰ nɛ̰́ɛ̰̍ wlà la̍ na̰̍ di̍rè
Western, Wee Guéré djréè na̍ nmū gwlà ɗrē dbā na̰᷆
Western, Wee Nyabwa nūmū gəlāgəlá lə́ɓá
Western, Wee Wobé na̍ nmū kẁlā mɛ̍ dba̍ na᷆
Western, Wee Konobo di na wlaawɔ gula dra na jlo

Verbs (2)Edit

Other basic verbs from Marchese (1983):[7]

Classification Language give dig sleep push shoot sing
Siamou Seme kḛ; kla̰ dɛ; la tutur gʸai ɲḛ
Aizi Aïzi ɲɛ ɓru mɔ namʊ tu gbi
Kuwaa Kuwaa bíí wa̰ni to᷆ kòì fa᷆doyo
Eastern, Bakwe Bakwé (Soubré) ɲe múmɔ̀ kʷɛ́ɛ̀
Eastern, Dida Dida (Lozoua) ɲɛ́ ɓlí ŋɔ̄mʊ̄ jri̍ ~ jɾi̍ ɓlɪ̄
Eastern, Dida Vata ɓlí ɲɔ́nɔ̍ súsue̍ ɓlɪ̍
Eastern, Bete Bété (Daloa) ɲɛ̍ wlù ŋɔ́mʉ́ súnʊ̄ tɪ̍tɾɪ́ blɪ̄
Eastern, Bete Bété (Guibéroua) ɲɛ́ ɓúlú ŋʌ̍mʉ̍ súnɪ̄ jiɾi ~ jīɾi ɓʉ̄lɪ̄
Eastern, Bete Godié ɲɛ́ ɓɨ́dɨ́ ŋʷɔ́ɔ̄ jri ɓʉ̄lɪ̄
Eastern, Bete Koyo ɲɛ́ ɓlʉ́lʉ́ ŋɔ́ɔ̀ zɛ́ jrɨ̄ ɓlɪ̄
Eastern, Bete Néyo ɲɛ́ wlúū ŋɔ̄ jri ~ jrī ɓlɪ̄
Western, Klao Klao ɲî blu᷄ tṵ᷄ jlì blē
Western, Bassa Bassa ɲí ɓúlú nɔ́ cṵ́ ɓele
Western, Bassa Déwoin gḭ́ ɓúlú nɔ́ sṵ́ gbī ɓēlē
Western, Grebo Tépo ɲè gblú ŋmò túe̍ bre̍
Western, Grebo Grébo hḭ᷄ búdú móɔ́ tṵ̄ blé
Western, Grebo Oubi ɲé búlúiro ŋmo̰ tūɛ̄ gìrɛ̀lɔ́ bəlɛ
Western, Grebo Jrwe ɲɛ̰̀ blú ŋmḛ̍ bre̍wlà
Western, Wee Guéré ɓlú mo̰̍ tṵ́ ble̍
Western, Wee Nyabwa ɲe̍m bulu̍ mó̰ tūù jīrī ɓlē
Western, Wee Wobé ɲḛ̍ blú mo̰̍ crḭḭa̍ ~ crīīa̍ ble̍
Western, Wee Konobo ye blo mo tui jidiɛ ble

ReconstructionEdit

Proto-Kru
Reconstruction ofKru languages

According to Marchese Zogbo (2012), Proto-Kru had:[9]

  • phonemic nasalized vowels
  • four level tones
  • *CVCV-(C)V and probably *CVV syllable structure. *CCV syllables, and possibly also *CVV syllables, are derived from *CVCV roots.
  • SVO word order, but with much OV typology
  • suffixing morphology
  • perfective and imperfective aspects

Proto-Kru consonants (Marchese Zogbo 2012):

p t k kp
b d g gb
ɓ
m n ŋ (?)
s
l w

Derived consonants:

  • /ɟ/ is likely derived via palatalization (*g > ɟ), e.g. *gie > ɟie.
  • *c, *ɲ, *kʷ, *gʷ, *ŋʷ are derived from alveolar or velar consonants preceding high back or high front vowels.
  • /ɗ/ is likely derived from *l.

Proto-Kru vowels (Marchese Zogbo 2012):

ɪ ʊ
e o
ɛ ɔ
a


There is a clear bipartite division between Western and Eastern Kru marked by phonological and lexical distinctions. Some isoglosses between Western Kru and Eastern Kru:

Gloss Proto-Western Kru Proto-Eastern Kru
tree *tu *su
dog *gbe *gwɪ
fire * *kosu
tooth *ɲnɪ *gle

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Breitbonde, L. B. (1991). "City, Countryside, and Kru Ethnicity". Africa. 61 (2): 186–201. doi:10.2307/1160614. JSTOR 1160614.
  2. ^ Dalby, Andrew (1998). Dictionary of Languages. New York: Columbia UP.
  3. ^ a b c Bahl, Taru; Syed, M. H., eds. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Muslim World. New Delhi: Ammol Publications. pp. 24–25. ISBN 9788126114191.
  4. ^ McEvoy, Frederick (1997). "Understanding Ethnic Realities among the Grebo and Kru People of West Africa". Africa. 47 (1): 62–80. doi:10.2307/1159195. JSTOR 1159195.
  5. ^ Fisiak, Jacek (1984). Historical Syntax. New York: Mouton.
  6. ^ a b Marchese, Lynell. 1989. Kru. In Bendor-Samuel, John (ed.), The Niger-Congo Languages: A Classification and Description of Africa's Largest Language Family, 119-139. Lanham MD, New York & London: Lanham: University Press of America.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Marchese, Lynell. 1983. Atlas linguistique Kru: nouvelle edition. Abidjan: Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT).
  8. ^ Chan, Eugene (2019). "The Niger-Congo Language Phylum". Numeral Systems of the World's Languages.
  9. ^ Marchese Zogbo, Lynell. 2012. Kru revisited, Kru revealed. Paper presented at the International Congress "Towards Proto-Niger-Congo: Comparison and Reconstruction," Paris, 18‒21 September. (Abstract)
  • Westerman, Diedrich Hermann (1952) Languages of West Africa (Part II). London/New York/Toronto: Oxford University Press.

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