Bikwin-Jen Group

(U. Kleinewillinghöfer 2011, updated 2015)

A. Bikwin

Burak-Loo Burak [ɓʋʋrak]
Loo [shʋŋɔ]
Mak-Tal Mak (LeeMak) a. Panya
b. Zoo
Maɣdi (Tala)
Bikwin (proper) Leelau (Munga Leelau)
Mɔɔ (Gomu)
Kya̰k (Bambuka)

B. Jen

Jen, Janjo Dza a. local variants
b. Joole,Jaule
Munga Doso [Məŋgaŋ Doso]
Tha

The Bikwin - Jen Group has two distinct subgroups: Bikwin and Jen. The Bikwin languages are spoken in settlements in the western part of the Muri Mountains and the adjacent plains to the north and south. The Jen languages are spoken along the Benue from Jen downstream to Kapawa. None of the languages overtly shows any trace of a former noun class system. Nominal plurals are rarely marked, and when, the plural markers are always prefixed.

Bikwin. The Bikwin (sub)group has three branches:
(i) Burak and Loo, two distinct ethnic groups, speak variants of one single language. They can converse without any problem.
(ii) Mak-Tala consists of two distinct languages: Maɣdi (Tala) and Mak spoken by the LeeMak of Zoo and Panya. The lects of Zoo and Panya appear to be intercomprehensible.
(iii) Bikwin proper, the third branch comprises of three closely related languages Leelau, Mɔɔ, Kya̰k which the people claim are intercomprehensible. The speakers nevertheless maintain to belong to three distinct ethnic groups.

Jen. The Jen subgroup consists of three distinct languages: Dza (Jen), Məngaŋ Doso, and Tha. Jen or Dza, as the people call it themselves, is in fact a dialect cluster. Each of the three wards of Jen, their large settlement on the northern bank of the Benue, speaks its own variant. Other variants are spoken by the Joole or Jaule, fishermen settling downstream from Jen. Tha [Ɵá] spoken by the westernmost Joole group appears to be a distinct language. The language of Munga Doso, is an early offshoot from Jen.

Pronouns and Numbers 1-10

Bikwin - Jen Comparative wordlist (100)

 

 References:

Adelberger, Jörg. & Ulrich. Kleinewillinghöfer. 1992.  The Muri Mountains of North-Eastern Nigeria. An outline of the ethnographic and linguistic situation. The Nigerian Field 57: 35-48.

Adelberger, Jörg. 1994. Bevölkerungsbewegungen und interethnische Beziehungen im Gebiet der Muri-Berge: eine vorläufige Darstellung. - in: Hermann Jungraithmayr & Gudrun Miehe (ed.) Mitteilungen des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268 (Burkina Faso und Nordostnigeria). Westafrikanische Studien, Bd. 1: 11-29. Köln: Köppe.

Adelberger, Jörg. 1995. Zum Verhältnis von Sprache, Ethnizität und Kultur in den Muri-Bergen Nordost-Nigerias. - in: Sprachkulturelle und historische Forschungen in Afrika. Köln: 13-27.

Adelberger, Jörg. 2009. Maxims and Mountaineers – The colonial subjugation of the peoples of the Muri Mountains and the adjacent regions in Northern Nigeria. in: Afrikanistik online (Cologne) (e-publication, URL: http://www.afrikanistik-online.de/archiv/2009/1910/)

Crozier, David H. & Roger M. Blench (eds). 1992. An Index of Nigerian Languages. Second edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Greenberg, Joseph H. 1963. The Languages of Africa. The Hague: Mouton.

Jungraithmayr, Hermann. 1968/69. Class Languages of Tangale-Waja District. Afrika und Übersee 52: 161-204.

Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 1994. Geographisches Vokabular der Waja, Tula, Awak, Burak und Tangale. Ein Vergleich. - in: Jungraithmayr, Hermann. & Gudrun Miehe (eds): Mitteilungen des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268 (Burkina Faso und Nordostnigeria). Westafrikanische Studien I: 125-142. Köln: R. Köppe.

Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 1996. Die Nordwestlichen Adamawa-Sprachen - Eine Übersicht. In: Seibert, Uwe. (ed.) Afrikanische Sprachen zwischen Gestern und Morgen. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter 8: 80-103.

Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. n.d.  A concise  vocabulary of Ɓʋʋrak. (Kaltungo, multicopied).

Lewis, M. Paul (ed). 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com/.

Meek, Charles K. 1931. Tribal Studies in Northern Nigeria. 2 vols. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.