Kwa Languages
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Kwa Languages
Kwa
New Kwa
Geographic
distribution
Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo
Linguistic classificationNiger-Congo?
Subdivisions
Glottologkwav1236
Niger-Congo map.png
Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages. Green is the Kwa subfamily.

The Kwa languages, often specified as New Kwa, are a proposed but as-yet-undemonstrated family of languages spoken in the south-eastern part of Ivory Coast, across southern Ghana, and in central Togo. The name was introduced 1895 by Gottlob Krause and derives from the word for 'people' (Kwa) in many of these languages, as illustrated by Akan names.

Languages

See the box at right for a current classification.

The various clusters of languages included in Kwa are at best distantly related, and it has not been demonstrated that they are closer to each other than to neighboring Niger-Congo languages.[1]

Stewart[2] distinguished the following major branches, which historical-comparative analysis supports as valid groups:

The Lagoon languages of southern Ivory Coast are not particularly close to any of these, nor to each other, so they are left ungrouped:

An Esuma language, extinct ca. 1800, remains unclassified.

Since Stewart, Ega has been tentatively removed, the Gbe languages reassigned to Volta-Niger, and Apro added. Some of the Na-Togo and Ka-Togo languages have been placed into separate branches of Kwa.[3] See the infobox at right for the resulting branches.

Ethnologue divides the Kwa languages into two broad geographical groupings: Nyo and Left bank, but this is not a genealogical classification. The Nyo group collapses Stewart's Potou-Tano and Ga-Dangme branches and also includes the ungrouped languages of southern Ivory Coast, while the Ka/Na-Togo and Gbe languages are called Left bank because they are spoken to the east of the Volta River.

History of the proposal

The word 'Kwa' was introduced by Gottlob Krause in 1885 for the Akan (or perhaps Tano), Gã, and Gbe languages, which have kwa or kua as their word for 'human being'. Since then the proposal has been dramatically expanded, only to revert to something approaching its initial conception.

In 1952 Westermann and Bryan expanded Kwa to the various Lagoon languages of southern Ivory Coast and to what are now called the Volta-Niger languages of southern Nigeria. Greenberg (1963) added the Kru languages of Liberia, the Ghana-Togo Mountain languages which Westermann and Bryan had specifically excluded, and Ijaw of the Niger delta; West Kwa included the languages from Liberia to Dahomey (Republic of Benin), and East Kwa the languages of Nigeria. Bennett & Sterk (1977) proposed that the Yoruboid and Igboid languages belonged in Benue-Congo rather than in Kwa. Stewart (1989) removed Kru, Ijaw, and Volta-Niger (East Kwa), but kept the Ghana-Togo Mountain and Lagoon languages, as well as adding a few obscure, newly described languages. Stewart's classification is the basis of more recent conceptions. To disambiguate this from Greenberg's influential classification, the reduced family is sometimes called "New Kwa".

Comparative vocabulary

Sample basic vocabulary of Kwa and related languages from Dumestre (1971) and other sources:[4]

Classification Language eye ear tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water
Ghana-Togo Proto-Central Togo[5] *ki-nu-bí /bi- *ku-túe /a- *li-nía /a-; *li-lúma /a- *ki-níé-bí /bi- *ka-niána /ku-; *o- núí /i- *li-kúpá /a- *ku-wyéu /a- *n-tû
Ga-Dangme Ga[6] hi?m?i toi¹ nyany lil?i² daa? la? wu? tso³ nu?
Ga-Dangme Ga[7] hi-?m?i toí ?a lí?lí dá?á t?o nu
Ga-Dangme Dangme[7] hí-?m túê lú?ù líl ?âà t?ô
Potou-Tano Proto-Potou-Tano[8] *- *-t *-n *-ju
Potou-Tano Proto-Akanic[8] *- *-s *-n *-cu
Potou-Tano Akan[8] ?-n? a-s a-n n-su
Potou-Tano Proto-Guang[9] *k?-s? *k?-n *?-kal *o-yi *?-?u
Potou-Tano Baoulé[4] ?ima su ?e taama, tãflã nwã mo?a o?je wake n?z?e
Potou-Tano Ebrié[4] m?m?-?i n n?n? all? m?m? n?ka n?e?we aja n?du
Potou-Tano Krobou[4] -bi su n dandre n?n n?krã m?r? ?am? n?z?
Potou-Tano Aboure[4] ?w? n nãn? ?bl? n?nla ebo elibe n?t?w?
Potou-Tano Eotile[4] ?jima ?ho anna ann? ãto n?na n?t?wu edw? n?su
Potou-Tano Mbatto[4] õmuo õd?o ngõ ol? ?m? õgl õti ojoku õdu
Lagoon Adioukrou[4] ?ama l?ru n?n anm n mebl luw l-ik? mid?
Lagoon Abbey[4] am r?k? eji l?t? ejimbu m?pje sfje ti mid?i
Lagoon Attie[4] himb? te h n? m? vø? fe dzakw?
Lagoon Alladian[4] ?r? nuku ni ?w ?mwã n?kr? n?wi ?t? ni
Lagoon Avikam[4] e?wa?a ?zja azra?a en ?v ?wu eziba ?s
Lagoon Abidji[4] n?n?w? r?te i ine nimiti m?bwo luvu t?i mindi
Kru Aizi[4] zro lok? mr? mu ?re kra ke nr
Ega Ega[10] efí /e elowá /a- ?n?mà /a- eno /i- às ìkù ote /a- a?ú
Pere Pere[11] jísì-kéé n?(?) ?ò?òmù jè?gé yúgú ?ààmú kóó gbèè-tíí? túmú
Mpra Mpra[12] anisi ate nchuma nchumu eyia nkaw; nkwõ
Dompo Dompo[13] nyisi sepe nyì dandulo kanu nkla wuu yi nsu
Gbe Proto-Gbe[14] *-tó *a?ú *- *-; *-kpá *- *-ú *-t *-ts?

Numerals

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[15]

Classification Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo Avatime ólè à óné ótù ó?lò ?lóelè tólé lí?f?
Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo Nyangbo (1) olí ?b?a ?tá ?l ití holo ?ene ans? ?ita k?f?
Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo Nyangbo (2) olié ?b?a ?taé ?l? etié hol? neé ans? ?itaé k?f?
Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo Tafi (1) olí ?b?a ?tá ?l? ití hol? ?éné asu ?itá k?f
Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo Tafi (2) olí ?b?a ?tá ?l ití hol? ?éné as ?itá kíf
Left Bank, Gbe Éwé è?é èvè èt ènè àt àd adr è?í a?íeké èwó
Left Bank, Gbe Kotafon-Gbe ?ok?po àwè àt èn àt a?iz tsã?wè (lit: hand+ 2) tsã?t (lit: hand+ 3) ts?n (lit: hand+ 4) emewó
Left Bank, Gbe Saxwe-Gbe é / ?ók?pó òwê t n t? d t?ówê (5 + 2) t?ót (5 + 3) t?n (5 + 5) òw?
Left Bank, Gbe Waci-Gbe (Gen-Gbe) ?eka (e)ve (e)t?n (e)ne (a)tn (a)dén (á)dlén (e)nyí (e)asi?eka (10 -1) ? (e)wo
Left Bank, Gbe Western Xwla-Gbe lók?pó t n àt àtroók?pó (5 + 1) àcówè àtsít àtsí sí?sí (lit: hand hand)
Left Bank, Gbe Xwla-Gbe ò(lók?p?) ?wè ?t ?n àt ?trók?p? ?cíòwè àtt àcín ?wóé
Left Bank, Gbe, Aja Aja-Gbe (Aja) e?é / ?eka èvè / amve et / amt en / amn at / amãt ad / amãd ad / amãd e / am? ?í?e / a?i?ek? / amã?í?ek? (10 -1) ewó
Left Bank, Gbe, Aja Gun-Gbe ò?è / ?òk?pó àwe àt?n ?nn àtn tí?òk?pó (?+1) tiánwè (?+2) tíantn (?+3) tínnn (?+4) àwò
Left Bank, Gbe, Fon Fon-Gbe (Fon) we at?n ?n? at?n ayizn tnwe (5 + 2) tánt?n (5 + 3) tnn? (5 + 5) w?
Left Bank, Gbe, Fon Maxi-Gbe ?èé òwè t n àt ayiz twè (5 + 2) tã?t (5 + 3) t?n (5 + 5) òwó
Left Bank, Gbe, Mina Gen-Gbe (Gen) è èvè ?t ?n àt ?d ?dr í í?é (10 -1) ?wó
Left Bank, Kebu-Animere Akebu (1) ì t? nì? t? krã p?rìm?t? n fãtt t
Left Bank, Kebu-Animere Akebu (2) d?i yi ta: ni? tuw tura? primata n fantete? (10 - 1) ? t?
Left Bank, Kebu-Animere Animere bi din t?a a?e at?u? ak?u?u? ?ot?a ?o?a fe t?i
Left Bank, Kposo-Ahlo-Bowili Igo (Ahlon) ili ìwà ìtã àlã? ùt? u?o ùzòni ùmàlà úkàli
Left Bank, Kposo-Ahlo-Bowili Ikposo-uwi d? f?à la na t? wl? wl?d? (6 + 1) ? l? l?d? (8 + 1) ? ìdo
Left Bank, Kposo-Ahlo-Bowili Tuwuri (Bowiri) kédì k?yá kààl k?ná kùùló kév kkn k?l kàvèdí (10 - 1) ? kùwà
Nyo, Agneby Abé (Abbey) k?p í àl ?ní lh lhãí èp?è àkó ?n
Nyo, Agneby Abidji n á?n t ã?ã?l? é?n? náhã? n?b nówò n?br
Nyo, Agneby Adioukrou ?âm ?ó? ?âh? jâr jên nh? lb níw? líbárm? lw
Nyo, Attie Attié èk kmw khã? kd?í kb km n?s? mk ?ã? k?
Nyo, Attie Ga ékòmé é ét é?w énùm ék?pàa k?pàwo (6 + 1) ? k?pàa (6 + 2) ? nh? ?má
Nyo, Ga-Dangme Dangme kák? é? ét éyw / éwì én ék?pà k?pàà (6 + 1) ? k?pàa? (6 + 2) ? n mã? (plural form?m)
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Basila-Adele Adele ny?n àsì nàà tòn kòòròn krnkí (6 + 1) ? nìy ykí (10 - 1) ?
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Basila-Adele Anii d, d, d, d , b, b, ?r, ?r, ?r ?n, ?n, ?n ?n, ?n, ?n ?k?l, ?k?l, ?k?l k?l?m? ?ánááná tn? tb
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Lelemi-Akpafu Lelemi ùnwì í t ín l máát (4 + 3) ? máán (4 + 4) ? lyàlìnwì (10 - 1) ? lèèvù
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Lelemi-Akpafu Siwu (Akpafu) w í ìt ínâ írù íkù ìkdz (4 + 3) ? fàráfánà (4 + 4) ? káiw (10 - 1) ? ìwéó
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Likpe-Santrokofi Sekpele (1) n? (lw) ?tsy ?nà ?n ?kùá kùánsè yèní nàsé lèfòsì
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Likpe-Santrokofi Sekpele (2) ?tsy ?ná ?n ?kúa kúansè yèní nàsé lèfósì
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Likpe-Santrokofi Selee (Santrokofi) ònwíì òtì n? òkú kùns n nàás lèfósì
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Logba Logba (1) ik?p? iny? ita ina inú i?ló ?la?k?pe mlaminá kwa?u u?ú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Logba Logba (2) ik?p? i ita ina inú i?ló ?la?k?pe mlaminá kwa?u u?ú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan Bono Twi baakó? mienu miensá nain num nsiã ns? twie ?kr du
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan Akan (Akuapem Twi) (1) baakó~ bìé? bìèsá~ àná? nú? sìá~ s àwòté /tw/ àkró?
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan Akan (2) baakó? mmienú mme?nsã? (?)ná? (e)nú? (e)ns?ã? (?)nsó? nw?twé (?)nkró? (e)dú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern Anufo k? ?zã? ?ná ?nú ?zô mc bú?ú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern Anyin k (in counting)/ k (after a noun) ã ns nn nn? nsã? ns m?cu l búlú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern Baule (Baoulé) kùn ?n ?sàn ?nán ?nún ?sin ?sô ?mcu wlàn blú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern Sehwi k ?zã? ?ná ?nú ?ziã? ?z: mt?w lã? bl
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern Ahanta kn àn àsàn ànlà nlù i sú?wà àwtw àhnlà bùnlù
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern Nzema k (in counting)/ k (after a noun) (tone reversals after nouns) ?s ?n ?n? ?sã ?s mc ?l bulú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern Jwira-Pepesa ko ?wia ?sa ?na ?nu ?siã ?suw mtw? n?hoalá eburú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Chumburung k nú: ìsíyé ìsúnó: ìbùrùwá kpán: kúdú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Dwang (Bekye) k? a?ó asá aná anú asíé asn? atwé ak?pn? ídú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Foodo ?k /?k?lam ?sá ?náà? ?n / ?nú? ?séè ?sín? dùkwéè / dùkoi ?k?pán dúdu
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Ginyanga okou i?no issa ina inoun issi sono ?uikoe son?ou ?uidou
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Gonja à-kô à- à-sá à-ná à-nú à-?é à-?únù à-bùrùwá à-k?pánà kùdú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Kplang (Prang) k / ?knk á asa aná ?n esé ?sn ?kwé apn ídú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Krache (Kaakyi) k? a asá aná ?n ?sí asn kukwé ak?pn kúdú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Nawuri k:? a asá aná anû asíjé asún abuwá akpn ?údú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Nkonya -k (-k Northern Dialect) / -kl à- à-sà à-nà à-nù à-sìè à-sìèn -k?è -k?èbá -dú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang Awutu (Awutu-Efutu) kòmé ì èsã? èna:? ? ènú ìs: ? ìs it?wé pán ìdù
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang Cherepon àk ì ìsã? ìn ìnî ìsí ìsún ìtwî ìk?pún ìdû
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang Gua ákò ny sã? n n s? sùn twí k?pl ìdú
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang Larteh (1) k ?y n sún k?pn
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang Larteh (2) n n? s s?n cui k?pl du
Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Western Abouré (Abure) okuè a?ù n?à nnàn nnú nc ncn mk? puálhn óblún

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ MEK Dakubu (2005). "Kwa Languages". In Keith Brown (ed.). Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4.:
    "except at the lower levels of classification such as the Tano, Potou-Tano, and Ewe-Fon (Gbe) groups, genetic relationships among these languages are quite distant. It has never been adequately demonstrated using the comparative method that Akan, Ga, Ewe, and the Togo Mountain languages are more closely related to one another than to any other languages."
  2. ^ 1989, slightly revised in Blench & Williamson 2000:29
  3. ^ Williamson & Blench 2000:29
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Dumestre, Gérard. 1971. Atlas linguistique de Côte-d'Ivoire: les langues de la région lagunaire. Abidjan: Institut de Linguistique Appliquée (ILA).
  5. ^ Heine, Bernd. 1968. Die Verbreitung und Gliedering der Togorestsprachen (Kölner Beiträge zur Afrikanistik vol. 1). Köln: Druckerei Wienand.
  6. ^ Kropp Dakubu, Mary Esther. 1999. Ga-English dictionary. Legon: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
  7. ^ a b Kropp, Mary Esther. 1966. Ga, Adangme and Ewe (Lomé) with English Gloss. (Comparative African Wordlists, 2.) Legon: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
  8. ^ a b c Stewart, John M. 2004. The Proto-Potou-Akanic-Bantu reconstrucions updated. Manuscript.
  9. ^ Snider, Keith L. 1990. The consonants of proto-Guang. Journal of West African languages 20(1), 3-26.
  10. ^ Blench, Roger. 2004. The Ega Language of Côte d'Ivoire: Etymologies and Implications for Classification.
  11. ^ Heath, Jeffrey. 2019. Pere lexicon [Data set]. Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3354193
  12. ^ Blench, Roger. 2007. Recovering data on Mpra [=Mpre] a possible language isolate in North-Central Ghana.
  13. ^ Blench, Roger. 2015. The Dompo language of Central Ghana and its affinities.
  14. ^ Capo, Hounkpati B.C. 1991. A Comparative Phonology of Gbe. Publications in African Languages and Linguistics, 14. Berlin/New York: Foris Publications & Garome, Bénin: Labo Gbe (Int).
  15. ^ Chan, Eugene (2019). "The Niger-Congo Language Phylum". Numeral Systems of the World's Languages.

Notations

  • Bennett, Patrick R. & Sterk, Jan P. (1977) 'South Central Niger-Congo: A reclassification'. Studies in African Linguistics, 8, 241–273.
  • Hintze, Ursula (1959) Bibliographie der Kwa-Sprachen und der Sprachen der Togo-Restvölker (mit 11 zweifarbigen Sprachenkarten). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  • Stewart, John M. (1989) 'Kwa'. In: Bendor-Samuel & Hartell (eds.) The Niger-Congo languages. Lanham, MD: The University Press of America.
  • Westermann, Diedrich Hermann (1952) Languages of West Africa (Handbook of African Languages Part II). London/New York/Toronto: Oxford University Press.
  • Williamson, Kay & Blench, Roger (2000) 'Niger-Congo', in Heine, Bernd and Nurse, Derek (eds) African Languages - An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 11-42.

External links


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