Ijoid languages

Ijoid languages

Infobox Language family
region=Southern Nigeria

The Ijoid languages are spoken by the Ịjọ (Ijaw) and Defaka (Afakani) peoples of the Niger Delta, who number about ten million. The most populous language by far is Izon, at four million, followed by Kalabari with about a quarter-million speakers. The family is generally divided in two branches, Ịjọ and Defaka. The Ijo branch consists of the about nine Ịjọ languages. Defaka, a tiny endangered language of the Bonny area, forms a branch on its own.

The Ijoid languages form a branch of the Niger-Congo family and are noted for their Subject Object Verb basic word order, which is otherwise an unusual feature in Niger-Congo, shared only by such distant branches as Mande and Dogon. Like Mande and Dogon, Ijoid lacks even traces of the noun class system considered characteristic of Niger-Congo, and so may have split early from that family.

Berbice Creole Dutch, a creole spoken in Guyana, has a lexicon based partly on an Ịjọ language, perhaps the ancestor of Kalabari (Kouwenberg 1994).

The following classification is based on Jenewari (1989) and Williamson & Blench (2000).
*Ijo languages
****Ibani (Bonny)
****Kirike (Okrika)
*** Ijo South-East (Nembe)
**West (or Cenntral)
***Izon (includes Gbanran, Ekpetiama and Kolokuma dialects)
***Inland Ijo
****Akita (Okordia)


*Freemann, R. A., and Kay Williamson. 1967. Ịjọ proverbs. Research Notes (Ibadan) 1:1-11.
*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.
*Kouwenberg, Silvia 1994. "A grammar of Berbice Dutch Creole". (Mouton Grammar Library 12). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
*Lee, J. D., and Kay Williamson. 1990. A lexicostatistic classification of Ịjọ dialects. Research in African Languages and Linguistics 1:1.1-10.
*Orupabo, G. J., and Kay Williamson. 1980. Okrika. In West African language data sheets, Volume II, edited by M.E. Kropp Dakubu. Leiden: West African Linguistic Society and African Studies Centre.
*Williamson, Kay. 1962. (Republished by Bobbs-Merrill Reprints 1971.). Changes in the marriage system of the Okrika Ịjọ. Africa 32.53-60.
*Williamson, Kay. 1963. The syntax of verbs of motion in Ịjọ. J. African Languages 2.150-154.
*Williamson, Kay. 1965 (2nd ed. 1969). A grammar of the Kolokuma dialect of Ịjọ. (West African Language Monographs, 2.) London: C.U.P.
*Williamson, Kay. 1966. Ịjọ dialects in the Polyglotta Africana. Sierra Leone Language Review 5. 122-133.
*Williamson, Kay. 1969. 'Igbo' and 'Ịjọ', chapters 7 and 8 in: Twelve Nigerian Languages, ed. by E. Dunstan. Longmans.
*Williamson, Kay. 1971. Animal names in Ịjọ. Afr. Notes 6, no. 2, 53-61.
*Williamson, Kay. 1971. The Benue-Congo languages and Ịjọ. In: Current Trends in Linguistics, Vol. 7, series ed. by T. A. Sebeok, 245-306.
*Williamson, Kay. 1971. The Benue-Congo languages and Ịjọ. In: Current Trends in Linguistics, Vol. 7, series ed. by T. A. Sebeok, 245-306.
*Williamson, Kay. 1973. Some reduced vowel harmony systems. Research Notes 6:1-3. 145-169.
*Williamson, Kay. 1975. Metre in Ịzọn funeral dirges. Òdùmá 2:2.21-33.
*Williamson, Kay. 1977. Multivalued features for consonants. Language 53.843-871.
*Williamson, Kay. 1978. From tone to pitch-accent: the case of Ịjọ. Kiabàrà 1:2.116-125.
*Williamson, Kay. 1979. Consonant distribution in Ịjọ. In: Linguistic and literary studies presented to Archibald Hill, ed. E.C. Polome and W. Winter, 3.341-353. Lisse, Netherlands: Peter de Ridder Press.
*Williamson, Kay. 1979. Medial consonants in Proto-Ịjọ. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 1.73-94.
*Williamson, Kay. 1987. Nasality in Ịjọ. In: Current trends in African linguistics, 4, ed. by David Odden, 397-415.
*Williamson, Kay. 1988. Linguistic evidence for the prehistory of the Niger Delta. In: The Prehistory of the Niger Delta, ed. by E.J. Alagoa and others. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
*Williamson, Kay. 1989. Tone and accent in Ịjọ. In Pitch accent systems, ed. by Harry v.d. Hulst and Norval Smith, 253-278. Foris Publications.
*Williamson, Kay. 1991. The tense system of Ịzọn. In The tense systems of Nigerian languages and English, edited by Okon E. Essien. Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere (AAP) 27.145-167.
*Williamson, Kay. 1998. Defaka revisited. The multi-disciplinary approach to African history, edited by Nkparom C. Ejituwu, Chapter 9, 151-183. Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.
*Williamson, Kay. 2004. The language situation in the Niger Delta. Chapter 2 in: The development of Ịzọn language, edited by Martha L. Akpana, 9-13.
*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.
*Williamson, Kay, and A. O. Timitimi (edd.). 1983. Short Ịzọn-English dictionary. (Delta Series No. 3.) Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.
*Williamson, Kay, and A. O. Timitimi. 1970. A note on number symbolism in Ịjọ. African Notes (Ibadan) 5:3. 9-16.
*Filatei, Akpodigha. 2006. The Ijaw Language Project. (Editor of www.ijawdictionary.com). www.ijawdictionary.com

External links

* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90846 The Ijoid branch] on the Ethnologue, 15th edition.

* http://www.rogerblench.info/Language%20data/Niger-Congo/Ijoid/Ijoid%20page.htm

* http://www.ijawdictionary.com

* http://www.ijawdictionaryonline.com

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