Ega Language
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Ega Language
Native toIvory Coast
Regionnear Gly or Gli, Sud-Bandama region
Native speakers
2,500 (2001)[1]
Language codes

Ega, also known as Egwa and Diés, is a West African language spoken in south-central Ivory Coast. It is of uncertain affiliation and has variously been classified as Kwa or an independent branch of Niger-Congo.


Ega is spoken in 21 villages near Gly in Diés Canton, Gôh-Djiboua District, Ivory Coast (Bole-Richard 1983: 359).[2] Some villages are Broudougou, Gly, Dairo, Didizo, and Douzaroko.[3]

The Ega people are increasing in number, though some are shifting to Dida through intermarriage.


Ega is possibly a divergent Western Kwa language within the Niger-Congo language family spoken in Ivory Coast. It does not appear to belong to any of the traditional branches of Niger-Congo. Though traditionally assumed to be one of the Kwa languages, Roger Blench (2004) conservatively classified it as a separate branch of the Atlantic-Congo family, pending a demonstration that it is actually related to the Kwa or Volta-Niger languages. However, Blench (2017) classified Ega as a fully Western Kwa language that has borrowed from Kru, Gur, and Mande.[3]


Ega has twenty-seven consonants. Its stops have a three-way contrast between voiceless, voiced, and implosive.

There are nine vowels, with ATR contrast: /i?/, /i?/, /u?/, /u?/, /e?/, /e?/, /o?/, /o?/, and /a/.

There are three tones: high, mid, and low.


  1. ^ Ega at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Bole-Richard, R. 1983a. Ega. In: Atlas des langues Kwa de Côte d'ivoire, Vol 1. ed. G. Herault. 359-401. Abidjan: ILA.
  3. ^ a b Blench, Roger. 2017. The Ega language of Cote d'Ivoire: how can it be classified?
  4. ^ Connell, Bruce and Ahoua, Firmin and Gibbon, Dafydd. 2002. Illustrations of the IPA: Ega. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 32. 99-104. Cambridge University Press.

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