Kwa languages

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Kwa
Geographic
distribution:
Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and south-western Nigeria
Genetic
classification
:
Niger-Congo
 Atlantic-Congo
  Volta-Congo
   Kwa
Subdivisions:

The Kwa languages are spoken in the south-eastern part of Côte d'Ivoire, in Ghana, Togo and Benin, and the southwestern corner of Nigeria. The term was introduced 1885 by Krause and used by Westermann (1952) and Greenberg (1963). It is derived from the word for 'people' in many of these languages, which contains the root kwa. The Kwa group of languages is a branch of Volta-Congo and ultimately Niger-Congo.

Bennett & Sterk (1977) argued that Kwa in its original form was not a genetic unit, and proposed a reclassification in which the Yoruboid and Igboid languages are members of the Benue-Congo subfamily. The remaining languages are sometimes labeled New Kwa in order to avoid confusion with the old, larger Kwa family.

The Kwa languages are divided into two groups: Nyo and Left bank. The Nyo group comprises about 50 languages mainly spoken in Ghana and southern Côte d'Ivoire; it includes the Akan languages, Ga-Dangme, Anyi, Baule, and the numerous Potou-Tano languages (including the Guang languages and Logba) The remaining Kwa languages are called Left bank because they are spoken on the Eastern side of the Volta River in Ghana, Togo, Benin and southwestern Nigeria. Of this group of about 25 languages, the Gbe cluster is the largest with some five million speakers; other languages include Avatime, Nyangbo-Tafi and Animere.

[edit] See also

[edit] Sources

  • Bennett, Patrick R. & Sterk, Jan P. (1977) 'South Central Niger-Congo: A reclassification'. Studies in African Linguistics, 8, 241–273.
  • Hintze, Ursula (1959) Bibliographie der Kwa-Sprachen und der Sprachen der Togo-Restvölker (mit 11 zweifarbigen Sprachenkarten). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • Stewart, John M. (1989) 'Kwa'. In: Bendor-Samuel & Hartell (eds.) The Niger-Congo languages. Lanham, MD: The University Press of America.
  • Westermann, Diedrich Hermann (1952) Languages of West Africa (Handbook of African Languages Part II). London/New York/Toronto: Oxford University Press.


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de:Kwa-Sprachen es:Lenguas kwa fr:Langues Kwa ko:콰어 pl:Języki kwa

Kwa languages

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