Kuria language

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Native toKenya, Tanzania[1]
Native speakers
690,000 (2005–2009)[2]
  • Kuria proper
  • Simbiti
  • Hacha
  • Surwa
  • Sweta
Latin, Arabic
Language codes
ISO 639-3kuj

Kuria is spoken by the Kuria peoples of Northern Tanzania, with some speakers also residing in Kenya.

Maho (2009) treats the Simbiti, Hacha, Surwa, and Sweta varieties as distinct languages.

Kuria alphabet (Kenya)[5][6][7]
Uppercase A B Ch E Ë G H I K M N Nd Ny Ng' O Ö R Rr S T U W Y
Lowercase a b ch e ë g h i k m n nd ny ng' o ö r rr s t u w y
IPA Symbol a β t͡ʃ e ɛ ɣ h i k m n n͡d ɲ ŋ o ɔ ɾ r s t u w j


Kuria consonant phonemes[6]
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop t k
Fricative β s ɣ h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Trill r
Flap ɾ
Glide j
Prenasalized Stops m͡b n͡d ŋ͡g
Affricates t͡ʃ
Kuria vowels[6]
Advanced Tongue Root (+ATR) -ATR
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-Mid e o
Close-Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

All vowels contrast length, and can be either short or long.


  • Jelle Cammenga, Igikuria phonology and morphology : a Bantu language of South-West Kenya and North-West Tanzania, Köppe, Köln, 2004, 351 p. ISBN 3896450298 (revised text of a thesis)
  • S. M. Muniko, B. Muita oMagige and M. J. Ruel (ed.), Kuria-English dictionary, LIT, Hambourg, 1996, 137 p. ISBN 3825829510
  • W. H. Whiteley, The structure of the Kuria verbal and its position in the sentence, University of London, 1955, 161 p. (thesis)
  • Phebe Yoder, Tata na Baba = Father and Mother : a first Kuria reader, Musoma Press, Musoma, Tanganyika, 1949, 44 p.


  1. ^ Ethnologue entry for Kuria
  2. ^ Kuria at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kuria". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  5. ^ Rhonda L. Hartell, ed. 1993. The Alphabets of Africa. Dakar: UNESCO and Summer Institute of Linguistics
  6. ^ a b c Nyauma, Shem (2014). "A Phonological Reconstruction Of Ekegusii And Egekuria Nouns: A Comparative Analysis" (PDF). Masters Thesis, University of Nairobi.
  7. ^ Hartell, Rhonda, ed. (1993). Alphabets of Africa. https://archive.org/details/rosettaproject_kuj_ortho-1: UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA). p. 186. ISBN 92-9091-020-3 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help).CS1 maint: location (link)