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Ibibio language: Wikis


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Spoken in Southern Nigeria
Region Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State
Total speakers 3½ million (1990–1998)
Language family Niger-Congo
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 bnt
ISO 639-3 variously:
anw – Anaang
efi – Efik
ibb – Ibibio proper
ukq – Ukwa

Ibibio or Ibibio-Efik is the major member of the Benue-Congo language family called Cross River. The Efik variety has official status.



Ibibio is a dialect cluster spoken by about 3½ million people of Akwa Ibom State and Cross River States of Nigeria, making it the fifth largest language cluster in Nigeria after Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, and Kanuri. Specifically, there are 1 million Anaang (as of 1990); 1½ to 2 million Ibibio (1998)—Ibibio is also used as a trade language; a hundred Ukwa (2004); and 400,000 Efik; Efik also has about 2 million second-language speakers. These arguably constitute a single language, though Ethnologue considers them separate languages.

Lower Cross languages hold personal names in common, with a common spelling. These include Essien, Ekanem, Akpanudo, Inyang, Ekpo, Ekpe, Akpabio, Uduak, Ekaette, Akpan, Nyong, Eyo, Ita, Effiong, Udo, Edet, Ima, Nta, Ndon, Okon, Okokon, Edem, Etiyin, Etim, Idiong, Umana (or Umanah), Obot, Ebong, Etuk, Bassey, Nkanga, Imoh, Uko, Oku, Ntuen, Udoma, Attah, Ibok, Ibokette, Ukpana, Etiebet, Eno, Ukeme, Ekpenyong, Ekponyong, Akan, Effiong, Otu, Ekong, Otuekong, Ebewo, Umo (Umoh), Aqua, Ikpoto, Afia, Ndem, Eto, Awak, Ibanga, Umoren, Etukudo, Ekpeto.

Speech technology

Until now, not many speech synthesis applications exist for African tone languages. Working on this subject are Gibbon et al. (2006) and Bachmann (2006,2007), see references and BOSS (Speech synthesis).

Also See


  • Amesiere - Good Morning
  • Asiere - Good night
  • Aba die - How are you
  • Aba ke mmo - Where are you
  • Abiong andong - I am hungry
  • Idem mfo - How are you
  • Idem asong - I'm fine
  • Idem insongo - I'm not well
  • Amedi - Welcome (literal - You have come)
  • Sosongo - Thankyou
  • Akere die - What's your name
  • Mmu ma fien - I love you
  • Ndiongo ke - I don't know
  • Nsido - What is wrong/what is it
  • Atweb aba - It's cold
  • Ayo ada - It's sunny
  • Ubak usen - Morning
  • Usen - Day
  • Uwem-eyo - Afternoon
  • Mmbubreyo/Ndubi - Evening
  • Akoneyo - Night
  • Ini - Time
  • Anie - Who
  • Nso - What
  • Idaha ake - When
  • Ntagha - Why
  • Die - How
  • Ufok Abasi - Church (House of God)
  • Ka dio' - Go come (Goodbye)
  • Ufok Nwed - School (House of Book)
  • Ufok Ibok - Hospital (House of Medicine)
  • Ka - Go
  • Di - Come
  • dia - Eat
  • Tie - Sit
  • Uwem edi imo - Life is Wealth (Uwem=Life, Edi=Is, Imo=Wealth)
  • Abasi- God
  • Mmekom abasi- I thank God
  • Abasi akeme-The Lord Is Able


  • O. E. Essien (1991): "The nature of tenses in African languages: a case study of the morphemes and their variants." In: Archiv Orientalni, Bd. 59, 1–11.
  • Dafydd Gibbon, Eno-Aasi E. Urua und Moses Ekpenyong (2006): "Problems and solutions in African tone language Text-To-Speech." In: ISCA Workshop on Multilingual Speech and Language Processing (MULTILING 2006), Stellenbosch, South Africa: Center for Language and Speech Technology, Stellenbosch University, paper 014.
  • Raymond G. Gordon, Hrsg. (2005): "Ethnologue: Languages of the World", Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X
  • Kaufman, Elaine Marlowe (1972) Ibibio dictionary. Leiden: African Studies Centre / Cross River State University / Ibibio Language Board. ISBN 90-70110-46-6
  • Arne Bachmann (2006): "Ein quantitatives Tonmodell für Ibibio. Entwicklung eines Prädiktionsmoduls für das BOSS-Sprachsynthesesystem." Magisterarbeit, University of Bonn.
  • Eno-Abasi E. Urua (2004): "Ibibio", Nr. 34/1 in Journal of the international phonetic association, International phonetic association, Kap. Ibibio. 105–109.

External links



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