Adamawa languages

The Adamawa languages ​​are a language group of 80 to 90 languages ​​that are spoken along the Adamawa Plateau in Central Africa, in eastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, in the northwest of the Central African Republic and South Chad total of two million people.

The languages ​​were classified together with the ubangischen languages ​​by Joseph Greenberg as a branch of the Adamawa - Ubangi language group of the Niger -Congo language family. Many of the Adamawa languages ​​are critically endangered because the governments of the winzelnen States have continued to retain the languages ​​of the former colonial powers as official and the language of instruction; by far the largest of the approximately one hundred small Adamawa languages ​​is Mumuye with 400,000 speakers. A group of isolated languages, including Laal and Jalaa are found along the borders of the Adamawa - area.


Greenberg postulated the group as part of the Adamawa - Ubangischen languages ​​(then called Adamawa -east), and divided them into 14 numbered groups. The group G3, Daka or Dakoide, are now known as a branch of the Benue - Congo languages ​​. Relations with other languages ​​underwent a substantial revision. Boyd (1989 ) added the language Day and classified them as follows:

  • Leko - Nimbari (or Chamba Mumuye ) Duru: G4
  • Leko: G2
  • Mumuye Yendang: G5
  • Nimbari: G12
  • Bua: G13
  • Kim: G14
  • Mbum: G6
  • Day
  • Bikwin -Jen (or Jen ): G9
  • Tula Wiyaa (or Waja ): G1
  • Bəna - Mboi (or Yungur ): G7
  • Baa (aka Kwa )
  • Longuda: G10

The Fali languages ​​( G11) were excluded. Small Willing Höfer ( 1996) modified Waja -Jen -Jen Bikwin by split into two branches and Baa classified as the primary branch of Adamawa. He has not taken the Einbeschließung of Fali.


The current division of the languages ​​is as follows:

Leko - Nimbari

  • Leko: Samba Leko (50 thousand), Mumbake (20 thousand), Wom (5 thousand), Kolbila ( 2.5 thousand ), Nyong (30 thousand)
  • Duru Dii: Duru (Dii ) (50 thousand), Duupa (5 thousand), Pape ( 7 thousand), Saa (4 thousand)
  • Duli †
  • Voko - Doyayo: cutin (20 thousand), Doyayo (20 thousand), Gimme (3 thousand), Gimnime (3 thousand); Vere (Mom Jango ) (90 thousand), coma (25 thousand); Voko ( 2.5 thousand)
  • Mumuye YanDang Mumuye: Mumuye (400 thousand), Teme (4 thousand), Waka (5 thousand)
  • YanDang: YanDang (65 thousand), Kpasam (15 thousand), Kugama (5 thousand), Bali (2 thousand)

Mbum - Day

  • Mbum Central: Kare (100 thousand), Pana (80 thousand), Karang (20 thousand), Nzambay (30 thousand); Kuo (15 thousand)
  • North: Tupuri (220 thousand), Mundang (200 thousand), Mambai ( 2.5 thousand ); Mono ( one thousand), Dama, Ndai (almost †)
  • South: Mbum (50 thousand)
  • Otherwise: Laka ( Godogodo ) (5 thousand), Dek, Pam; To ( ritual speech)

Waja -Jen

  • Waja -Chambertin Awak: Awak (6 thousand), Kamo (20 thousand)
  • Waja Tula: Waja (60 thousand), Tula (30 thousand), Bangwinji (6 thousand)
  • Cham - Mona: Dijim - Bwilim ( Cham - Mwana ) (25 thousand), Lotsu -piri (15 thousand)
  • Dadija: Dadija (30 thousand)


Rezenterweise Roger Blench has (2008) postulated that the Adamawa languages ​​are a geographic grouping and no language family, and its various branches has incorporated in its proposal the savannah language family. He kept the language groups Leko - Nimbari and Mbum - Day by Boyd and Small Willing Höfer, but gave them no special zueunander relationships. The Waja -Jen branch was reduced to G7, G9, G10 &; the Waja languages ​​were called together with the Kam as isolated. Fali was excluded from the savannah languages ​​altogether. The placement of the Baa is not clear.

Isolated Adamawa languages

The language Oblo of Cameroon is amicably known as a member of the Adamawa - group, but its position within the Adamawa remains unclear. It has been speculated that the unclassified language could be Laal Chad an Adamawa language; the Jalaa language of Nigeria is not likely Adamawa, but has strong influences on Adamawa.