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Bambukic languages

eastern Nigeria
Linguistic classificationNiger–Congo
waja1258  (Waja–Jen)[1]

The Bambukic a.k.a. Yungur–Jen languages form a branch of the provisional Savanna languages, a reduced form of the Waja–Jen branch of the old Adamawa languages family (G7, G9, G10). They are spoken in eastern Nigeria.

The Waja languages were once thought to belong to this group, but are now placed with the Kam language. (See Adamawa languages.)

Idiatov & van de Velde (2019) classify the Bena-Mboi languages as Benue-Congo.[2]


Blench (2006) groups the Yungur (G7), Bikwin–Jen (G9), and Longuda (G10) languages together within part of a larger GurAdamawa language continuum.[3]

Kleinewillinghöfer (1996) notes the affinities of the Bikwin languages, which were unknown to Greenberg, with the Jen languages. Subclassification follows Blench (2004).[4]


In the Adamawa Languages Project website, Kleinewillinghöfer (2011) classifies the Ɓəna-Mboi or Yungur group as follows.[5]

Ɓəna-Mboi (Yungur)
  • ɓəna
    • ɓəna Yungur
    • ɓəna Lala
      • ɓəna Lala of Yang
      • ɓəna Lala of Bodwai (Bodɛ)
        • Robma
        • (Robma of) Dingai
  • Mboi (Gəna)
    • Mboi of Livo; Mboi of Gulungo
    • Mboi of Haanda; Mboi of Banga
  • Kaan (Libo)

Kleinewillinghöfer (2015) classifies the Bikwin-Jen group as follows in the Adamawa Languages Project website.[6]


In the Adamawa Languages Project website, Kleinewillinghöfer (2014) lists five dialects in the Longuda dialect cluster.[7]

Longuda (Nʋngʋra)
  • Longuda/Lunguda of Guyuk and Wala Lunguda
  • Nʋngʋra(ma) of Cerii, Banjiram
  • Longura(ma) of Thaarʋ (Koola)
  • Nʋngʋra(ma) of Gwaanda (Nyuwar)
  • Nʋngʋra(ma) of Deele (Jessu)

Names and locations

Below is a list of language names, populations, and locations from Blench (2019).[8]

Language Branch Cluster Dialects Alternate spellings Own name for language Endonym(s) Other names (location-based) Other names for language Exonym(s) Speakers Location(s)
Longuda Longuda Nya Guyuwa (Guyuk plains), Nya Ceriya (Banjiram=Cirimba/Gerembe hill), Nya Tariya (Kola=Taraba), Nya Dele (Jessu=Delebe), Nya Gwanda (Nyuar=Gwandaba) Languda, Nunguda, Nungura, Nunguraba nyà núngúrá Guyuk, Nungurama Nyuar Núngúráyábá Guyuk, Nùngùrábà Jessu, Lóngúrábá Kola 13,700 (1952: Numan Division); 32,000 (1973 SIL) Adamawa State, Guyuk LGA; Gombe State, Balanga LGA
Tha Bikwin-Jen Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA and Adamawa State, Numan LGA. Joole Manga Dìdí village
Dza Jen Dza, Ja nnwa’ Dzâ Èédzá, ídzà Jenjo, Janjo, Jen 6,100 (1952). Figures for Dza may include other Jen groups such as Joole and Tha (q.v.)
Joole Jen èèʒìì nwá èèʒìì Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA and Adamawa State, Numan LGA. Along the Benue River.
Mingang Doso Jen Munga ŋwai Mәngàn Mingang Doso Dosọ Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA. 15 km. East of Karim Lamido town. One village and associated hamlets.
Burak Bikwin yu Ɓuurak pl. yele Ɓuurak nyuwǎ Ɓúúrák ‘Yele Shongom [name of an LGA] 4,000 (1992 est.) Gombe State, Shongom LGA, Burak town. 25 villages. A highly distinctive form is spoken in Tadam village.
Kyak Bikwin Kyãk Kyãk Bambuka 10,000 (SIL) Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA, Bambuka
Leelạu Bikwin Lelo Munga One village and an associated hamlet Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA. 15 km. East of Karim Lamido town.
Loo Bikwin Shúŋ̣ ó ̣ Shúŋ̣ ó–̣ North, Shúŋ̣ ó–̣ South 8,000 (1992 est.) Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State, Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA. 30 km. North of Karim Lamido town. Lo village and associated hamlets.
Maghdi Bikwin Mághdì Mághdì sg., lee Mághdì pl. Widala also applies to Kholok Fewer than 2,000 (1992) Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA. A section of the Widala
Mak Bikwin Panya, Zo Mak LeeMak Panya, Panyam (From Poonya, the name of a founding hero) Zoo Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA. 15 km. north of Karim Lamido town.
Mɔɔ Bikwin ŋwaa Mɔ́ɔ̀ yáá Mɔ̀ɔ̀ Gwomo, Gwom, Gwomu, Gomu Taraba State, Karim Lamido LGA
Ɓena Yungur Ɓәna is divided into 17 clans each of which is said to have a distinct speech-form, but they are too closely related to actually be distinct dialects Ebina, Binna, Gbinna Ebәna Ɓәna Lala (not recommended), Purra (general term for northern Ɓәna) Yungur, Yangur Yungirba, Yungur 44,300 (1963) probably including Lala and Roba; fewer than 100,000 (1990 est.) Adamawa State, Song and Guyuk LGAs
Kaan Yungur Libo Adamawa State, Guyuk LGA
Lala cluster Yungur Lala Ɓәna 30,000 (SIL); 44,300 with Ɓәna (1963) Adamawa State, Guyuk, Song and Gombi LGAs
Yang Yungur Lala Yan Lalla
Roba Yungur Lala Gworam
Ebode Yungur Lala Ẹbode
Mboi cluster Yungur Mboi Mboire, Mboyi 3,200 (1973 SIL) Adamawa State, Song LGA
Gana Yungur Mboi Gәna Mboire, Mboyi 1,800 (LA 1971) Adamawa State, Song LGA, northwest of Song. Livo village and associated hamlets
Banga Yungur Mboi Adamawa State, Song LGA, west of Loko. Banga village and associated hamlets
Haanda Yungur Mboi Handa 1,370 (LA 1971) Adamawa State, Song LGA, west of Loko. Handa village and associated hamlets
Voro Yungur Vɔrɔ Ebәna, Ebina Ɓena Woro Yungur Adamawa State, Song and Guyuk LGAs, south of the Dumne road. Waltande and associated hamlets.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Waja–Jen". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Idiatov, Dmitry; van de Velde, Mark. 2019. Bena-Mboi is Benue-Congo. Adamawa Conference, Department of Anthropology & African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 9-11 September 2019.
  3. ^ Blench, Roger (2006). Archaeology, language, and the African past. Altamira Press. ISBN 9780759104655.
  4. ^ "The Adamawa Languages" (PDF). - Roger Blench
  5. ^ Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 2011. Ɓəna-Mboi (Yungur) group. Adamawa Languages Project.
  6. ^ Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 2015. Bikwin-Jen group. Adamawa Languages Project.
  7. ^ Kleinewillinghöfer, Ulrich. 2014. Longuda group. Adamawa Languages Project.
  8. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.

External links