Ijoid languages

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Southern Nigeria

The Ijoid languages are spoken by the Ijaw (Izon, Ijo) and the Defaka (Afakani) of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, totalling about 1.7 million. They form a separate branch of the Niger-Congo languages and are noted for their Subject Object Verb basic word order, which is an unusual feature in the Niger-Congo family shared only by such distant branches as Mande and Dogon. The largest Ijoid language by number of speakers is Izon (1 million), followed at a distance by Kalabari with about 250,000 speakers. Ijoid is generally divided in two branches, Ijo and Defaka. The Ijo branch consists of the about nine Ijo languages. Defaka, a tiny endangered language of the Bonny area, forms a branch on its own. The following classification is based on Jenewari (1989) and Williamson & Blench (2000).

[edit] Bibliography

  • Jenewari, Charles E.W. (1983) 'Defaka, Ijo's Closest Linguistic Relative', in Dihoff, Ivan R. (ed.) Current Approaches to African Linguistics Vol 1, 85–111.
  • Jenewari, Charles E. W. (1989) 'Ijoid'. In Bendor-Samuel, John and Hartell, Rhonda L. (eds.), The Niger-Congo languages: A classification and description of Africa’s largest language family, 105-118. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger-Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages - An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 11—42.

[edit] External links

br:Yezhoù idjoek

de:Ijoid ko:이조어군

Ijoid languages

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