Learn more about Ijoid languages
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).
- Ijo languages
- 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.
 External links
- The Ijoid branch on the Ethnologue, 15th edition.