Languages

Vengo

Fact corner

  • Language: Vengo
  • Alternate names: Babungo, Vengoo, Vengi, Pengo, Ngo, Nguu, Ngwa, Nge
  • SIL-code: Ethnologue:bav
  • Language family: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo,
    Bantoid, Southern, Wide Grassfields, Narrow Grassfields, Ring, North
  • Number of speakers: 13,500
  • Script: Latin script

Introduction

Babungo is the language of the Babungo people originating from a village also called "Babungo" located in the Cameroonian Grassfields. In their own language, the Babungo people call their village vengo [vəŋóo] and their language ghang vengo [gháŋ vəŋóo], which means "language of the vengo".

The language is closely related with Kenswei Nsei?, Bamunka, and Wushi?.

The alphabet

a b d e ə f g gh i ɨ j k l m n ny ŋ o ɔ s sh t u v w y z ʼ

The Verb

  • Babungo has got a very complex tone system: So for the vowels there are eight distinctive pitch types or pitch sequences: high, mid, low, high-mid, high-low, low-falling, low-high, low-high-mid. The complex aspect system of Babungo is marked generally with the tones.
  • Tenses are marked with prefixes.
  • Verbs are not inflected in person or number.
Imperfective aspectPerfective aspect
ŋwə́ ndéynə́ fáŋwə́ ndèynə́ fá
he look (imperfective) thinghe look (perfective) thing
he was looking at somethingHe looked at something

References

  • Schaub, Willi. Babungo. Croom Helm. Beckenham, Kent, UK . 1985.

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