Kuria language

Kuria is spoken by the Kuria peoples of Northern Tanzania, with some speakers also residing in Kenya.

Native toKenya, Tanzania[1]
Native speakers
690,000 (2005–2009)[2]
  • Kuria proper
  • Simbiti
  • Hacha
  • Surwa
  • Sweta
Latin, Arabic
Language codes
ISO 639-3kuj

Maho (2009) treats the Simbiti, Hacha, Surwa, and Sweta varieties as distinct languages.

Kuria alphabet (Kenya)[4][5][6]
Uppercase A B Ch E Ë G H I K M N Nd Ny Ng' O Ö R Rr S T U W Y
Lowercase a b ch e ë g h i k m n nd ny ng' o ö r rr s t u w y
IPA Symbol a β t͡ʃ e ɛ ɣ h i k m n n͡d ɲ ŋ o ɔ ɾ r s t u w j


Kuria consonant phonemes[5]
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop t k
Fricative β s ɣ h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Trill r
Flap ɾ
Glide j
Prenasalized Stops m͡b n͡d ŋ͡g
Affricates t͡ʃ
Kuria vowels[5]
Advanced Tongue Root (+ATR) -ATR
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-Mid e o
Close-Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

All vowels contrast length, and can be either short or long.


  • Jelle Cammenga, Igikuria phonology and morphology : a Bantu language of South-West Kenya and North-West Tanzania, Köppe, Köln, 2004, 351 p. ISBN 3896450298 (revised text of a thesis)
  • S. M. Muniko, B. Muita oMagige and M. J. Ruel (ed.), Kuria-English dictionary, LIT, Hambourg, 1996, 137 p. ISBN 3825829510
  • W. H. Whiteley, The structure of the Kuria verbal and its position in the sentence, University of London, 1955, 161 p. (thesis)
  • Phebe Yoder, Tata na Baba = Father and Mother : a first Kuria reader, Musoma Press, Musoma, Tanganyika, 1949, 44 p.


  1. ^ Ethnologue entry for Kuria
  2. ^ Kuria at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Rhonda L. Hartell, ed. 1993. The Alphabets of Africa. Dakar: UNESCO and Summer Institute of Linguistics
  5. ^ a b c Nyauma, Shem (2014). "A Phonological Reconstruction Of Ekegusii And Egekuria Nouns: A Comparative Analysis" (PDF). Masters Thesis, University of Nairobi.
  6. ^ Hartell, Rhonda, ed. (1993). Alphabets of Africa. https://archive.org/details/rosettaproject_kuj_ortho-1: UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA). p. 186. ISBN 92-9091-020-3.CS1 maint: location (link) CS1 maint: ignored ISBN errors (link)