Ukaan language

Ukaan (also Ikan, Anyaran, Auga, or Kakumo) is a poorly described Niger–Congo language or dialect cluster of uncertain affiliation.[2][3]Roger Blench suspects, based on wordlists, that it might be closest to the (East) Benue–Congo languages (or, equivalently, the most divergent of the Benue–Congo languages). Blench (2012) states that "noun-classes and concord make it look Benue-Congo, but evidence is weak."[4]

Native toNigeria
RegionOndo State, Ekiti State, Kogi State
Native speakers
(18,000 cited 1973)[1]
  • Ukaan proper
  • Igau
  • Ayegbe (Iisheu)
  • Iinno (Iyinno)
Language codes
ISO 639-3kcf

Speakers refer to their language as Ùkãã or Ìkã.[5]


The name Anyaran is from the town of Anyaran, where it is spoken. Ukaan has several divergent dialects: Ukaan proper, Igau, Ayegbe (Iisheu), Iinno (Iyinno), which only have one-way intelligibility in some cases.

Roger Blench (2005, 2019)[6] considers Ukaan to consist of at least 3 different languages, and notes that Ukaan varieties spoken in Ìshè,̣ Ẹkakumọ, and Auga all have different lexemes.[5]

Salffner (2009: 27)[7] lists the following four dialects of Ukaan.

  • Ikaan: spoken in Ikakumo and Ikakumo (Edo State)
  • Ayegbe: spoken in Ise
  • Iigau or Iigao: spoken in Auga
  • Iino: spoken in Ayanran


Ethnologue lists the following locations where Ukaan is spoken.

Blench (2019) lists Ondo State, Akoko North LGA, towns of Kakumo–Aworo (Kakumo–Kejĩ, Auga and Iṣe); Edo State, Akoko Edo LGA, towns of Kakumo–Akoko and Anyaran.


Proto-Ukaan has been reconstructed by Abiodun (1999).[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ukaan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition" (15th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 2009-04-03. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ "HRELP – Projects". Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  4. ^ Roger Blench, Niger-Congo: an alternative view
  5. ^ a b Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  6. ^ Blench, Roger. 2005. The Ukaan language: Bantu in south-western Nigeria?
  7. ^ Salffner, Sophie. 2009. Tone in the phonology, lexicon and grammar of Ikaan. Doctoral dissertation, University of London.
  8. ^ Abiodun, Michael Ajibola. 1999. A comparative phonology and morphology of Ukaan dialects of Old Akoko division. Doctoral dissertation. University of Ilorin.

External linksEdit