Kiga language


Kiga language
Kiga
Rukiga
Spoken in Uganda, Rwanda
Ethnicity Kiga, Twa
Native speakers 4,500,000  (date missing)
Language family
Niger–Congo
  • Atlantic–Congo
    • Benue–Congo
      • Bantoid
        • Bantu
          • Northeast Bantu
            • Great Lakes Bantu
              • Nyoro–Ganda
                • Kiga
Standard forms
Kitara
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cgg

Kiga (also called Rukiga, Ruchiga, or Chiga) is the native language of the people of Kiga people (Bakiga). Kiga is a very similar language to the Nkore language. It was first written in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Kiga is so similar to Nkore (84%–94% lexical similarity[1]) that some argue they are dialects of the same language, Although Rukiga is a more agressive tone, a language called Nkore-Kiga by Charles Taylor.[2]

In common with other Bantu languages, Kiga has a noun class system in which prefixes on nouns mark membership of one of the noun genders. Pronouns, adjectives, and verbs reflect the noun gender of the nominal they refer to. Some examples of noun classes:

  • mu – person (singular), e.g. omukiga = inhabitant of Kigezi land
  • ru – language, e.g. Rukiga = language of the Kiga
  • ba – people, e.g. Bakiga = The Kiga people
  • ki – customs or traditions, e.g. kikiga, (sometimes spelled Kichiga), describes religious tradition common to the Kiga people. Sometimes the people are called 'Chiga' by people not understanding the linguistic rules in relation to the prefixes.

The sound [l] is not distinctive in Rukiga. The letter "r" is used instead.

See also

References

  1. ^ Lewis, Paul M. (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue Report for Language Code: nyn". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, TX: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=nyn. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Poletto, Robert E. (1998). Topics in Runyankore Phonology. Linguistics Graduate Program, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. ftp://ftp.ling.ohio-state.edu/pub/odden/Polettodissertation.pdf. Retrieved Dec. 8, 2009. 



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