Beboid languages

  (Redirected from Western Beboid languages)

The Beboid languages are any of several groups of languages spoken principally in southwest Cameroon, although two languages (Bukwen and Mashi) are spoken over the border in Nigeria. They are probably not most closely related to each other. The Eastern Beboid languages may be most closely related to the Tivoid and Momo groups, though some of the geographical Western Beboid grouping may be closer to Ekoid and Bantu.

Southwest Cameroon, southeast Nigeria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo?
  • Eastern Beboid
  • Fang
  • Koshin
  • Mundabli–Buu
  • Mungbam–Missong
  • Ajumbu
  • ?Furu
east2730  (Eastern Beboid)
Map of the Beboid languages.svg
The Beboid languages shown in western Cameroon and eastern Nigeria

Previous research includes a study of noun classes in Beboid languages by Jean-Marie Hombert (1980), Larry Hyman (1980, 1981), a dissertation by Richards (1991) concerning the phonology of three eastern Beboid languages (Noni, Ncane and Nsari), Lux (2003) a Noni lexicon and Cox (2005) a phonology of Kemezung.


SIL International survey reports have provided more detail on Eastern and Western Beboid (Brye & Brye 2002, 2004; Hamm et al. 2002) and Hamm (2002) is a brief overview of the group as a whole.

Eastern Beboid is clearly valid; speakers recognise the relationship between their languages, their distribution is the result of recent population movements and linguistically they are similar, and they are close to the Bantu languages. The term "Beboid" sometimes refers specifically to this group. Western Beboid, on the other hand, is a geographic rather than genetic group: some appear to be closer to the Grassfields languages, and there does not appear to be much to link them together, though this may be partly due to lack of data (Good 2009, Di Carlo & Good 2012). They are also called "Yemne-Kimbi" when the eastern group is called just "Beboid" (Di Carlo & Good 2012).

Eastern Beboid (Beboid)
Cung, BebeKemezung, Naki, SaariNoni (Ncane-Mungong-Noone), Fio, Mbuk
Western Beboid (Yemne-Kimbi) — geographic
Mundabli and Buu
Mungbam and Missong
Mbu’ (Ajumbu) and Lung

Also spoken in the area is Bikya (Furu), one of the Furu languages, and Kung, one of the Ring languages.

Names and locations (Nigeria)Edit

Below is a list of language names, populations, and locations (in Nigeria only) from Blench (2019).[1]

Language Speakers Location(s)
Naki one village (Belogo = Tosso 2) in Nigeria; 3000 in Cameroon (1976) Taraba State, ca. 6°57N, 10°13E, Furu-Awa and other subdivisions in Cameroon
Bukwen Taraba State, near Takum
Mashi one village Taraba State, near Takum

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.

  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 3.0 license.