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Igbo language

From Academic Kids

Igbo (Igbo)
Spoken in: Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, others
Region: Nigeria and other countries
Total speakers: 18 million
Ranking: 50
Genetic classification: Niger-Congo
 Atlantic-Congo
  Volta-Congo
   Benue-Congo
    Igboid
     Igbo
Official status
Official language of: Nigeria
Regulated by: ---
Language codes
ISO 639-1ig
ISO 639-2ibo
SILIGR
See also: LanguageList of languages

Igbo (also known, less commonly, as Ibo; Template:Unicode Ndi Igbo in Igbo) is a language spoken in Nigeria by about 18 million speakers (the Igbo), especially in the southeastern region once identified as Biafra. The language was used by John Goldsmith as an example to justify going away from the classical linear model of phonology as laid out in The Sound Pattern of English. It is written in the Roman script. Igbo words are spoken with varying tones and stresses, which are marked by accent marks.

Contents

Sounds

Igbo is a tonal language with two distinctive tones; high and low. In some cases a third, downstepped high tone is also recognized. The language features vowel harmony with two sets of vowels distinguished by pharyngeal cavity size and can also be described in terms of "advanced tongue root" (ATR).

In some dialects, such as Enu-Onitsha Igbo, the doubly articulated and are realized as a voiced/devoiced bilabial implosive. The approximant is realized as an alveolar tap between vowels as in r.

Vowel phonemes of Standard Igbo
Missing image
Igbo_vowel_chart.png
The vowel phonemes of Igbo

Consonant phonemes of Standard Igbo
Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Labialized
velar
Glottal Labial-
velar
Plosives p b t d k g kw gw k͡p g͡b
Nasals m n ŋ ŋw
Fricatives f s z ʃ ɣ ɦ
Affricates ʧ ʤ
Approximants ɹ j w
Lateral
approximant
l

Writing system

The most commonly-used orthography for Igbo is currently the Onwu (/oŋwu/) Alphabet. It is presented in the following table, with the International Phonetic Alphabet equivalents for the characters:

Igbo Alphabet
(Onwu)
IPA Igbo Alphabet
(Onwu)
IPA
a /a/ Template:Unicode
b /b/ p /p/
gb ~ kp ~
d /d/ r
e /e/ s /s/
f /f/ sh
g t /t/
gh u /u/
h /h/ Template:Unicode
i /i/ v /v/
Template:Unicode w /w/
j y /j/
k /k/ z /z/
l /l/ ch
m /m/ and gw
n /n/ and kw
Template:Unicode nw
o /o/ ny /nj/

The graphemes <gb> and <kp> are described both as implosives and as coarticulated +/b/ and /k/+/p/, thus both values are included in the table.

<m> and <n> each represent two phonemes: a consonant and a vocalic nasal.

Tones are sometimes indicated in writing, and sometimes not. When tone is indicated, low tones are shown with a grave accent over the vowel, for example <a> Template:Unicode <>, and high tones with an acute accent over the vowel, for example <a> Template:Unicode <>.

See also

External link

Template:InterWiki

References

  • Awde, Nicholas and Onyekachi Wambu. Igbo: Igbo-English/English-Igbo Dictionary and Phrasebook New York: Hippocrene Books, 1999.
  • International Phonetic Association (1999) Handbook of the International Phonetic Association ISBN 0-521-63751-1it:Lingua Igbo
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