The Mushunguli - Chizigua language of Somalia
Mushunguli is the dialect of (originally Tanzanian) Chizigua (G.31) spoken by some
of the Somali Bantu, on the lower Juba River in approximately 30
villages between (upper) Bandar Jadiid of Jubbada Hoose
(0.326031°, 42.748339°) and Araara (0.030217°,
42.690139°). This description is based on the speech of Mohamed
Ramedhan from Mogambo
Bulo Dhimbulo (0.156147°, 42.72312°).
estimates put the number of speakers at around 25,000.
The language is not conventionally written, and as far as we are aware
there are no grammatical descriptions of this language. (There is
little material on Tanzanian Zigua for that matter: see Tanzania
Zigua references for primary sources on that
Conventions applied to the writing of
various East African Bantu languages can and have been applied in
presenting this material, with the goal of not omitting any important
information while also not burdening the writing with obscure symbols,
which we believe would be an impediment to expanding literacy in the
language. Marking of tone and syllabicity is scientifically necessary,
but may be dispensible for practical purposes – see
the section on orthography for discussion.
This page is the product of continuing research on Mushunguli-Chizigua
carried out at Ohio State University, and will change as the research
progresses. The intended audience for this work includes both linguists
(especially Bantuists), and people interested in learning about the
language. Recorded examples are included in various points so that
those interested in learning the language can gain some
experience in the language's pronunciation. There are 5 main sections
to this work. "Segments, Pronunciation, Orthography" lists the sounds
of the language, gives recorded examples, and also discusses a way of
spelling the language, which will generally be used here. "Phonology"
discusses sound changes that affect the buildiong of words, for example
the various pronunciations of the prefix ni- "it's a __".
The section "Word Formation" explains how words are constructed, for
example how singulars and plurals are formed and how adjectives agree
with nouns. "Sentence Structure" explains how words are put together
into sentences. Finally the section "Lexicon" lists some of the words
that we have collected.
Because this is an on-going project, we are not always certain of
certain intermediate results. This is especially so with lexical
identifications, particularly flora and fauna identifications. The most
current and reliable information will be contained in the
(non-recorded) wordlists in the lexicon section.
Segments, Pronunciation, Orthography
Lexicon including recorded samples.
for Tanzanian Zigua (excluding unpublished or unavailable
Kenstowicz, Michael. 1989. Tone and
accent in Kizigua - a Bantu language. in P.M. Bertinetto & M.
Loporcaro (eds). Certamem phonologicum: papers from the 1987
Cortona Phonology Meeting, pp. 177-188. Torino: Rosenberg and
Kenstowicz, Michael. &
Charles Kisseberth. 1990. Chizigula tonology: the word and beyond. In
S. Inkelas & D. Zec(eds) The phonology-syntax
connection, pp. 163-194. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago
Kisbey, Walter H. 1896. Zigula
exercises, compiled for the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa.
Soc. for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).
Kisbey, Walter H. 1906. Zigula-English dictionary,
Mission to Central Africa. London: Soc. for
Christian Knowledge (SPCK). [Online via Google Books]
Kisseberth, Charles. 1992. Metrical structure in Zigula tonology. in D.
Gowlett (ed.), African
contributions, pp. 227-259. Pretoria: Via Afrika.
Meinhof, Carl. 1906. Linguistische Studien in Ostafrika, 9: Zigula. Mitteilungen des Seminars
orientalische Sprachen, III. Abt., v. 9, p. 284-293.
Mochiwa, Zakaria S.M. 2008. Kizigula
lexicon. LoT (Languages of Tanzania) publ., #21. Dept. of
Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Univ. of Dar es Salaam.