Ahwai, also called the Ndunic languages (formerly Nandu-Tari), is a Plateau language cluster spoken to the southwest of Fadan Karshi in Sanga LGA, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Most villages are located at the foot of the Ahwai Mountains in Kaduna State.
There are three mutually intelligible dialects:
- Ndun (Nandu), spoken just to the southwest of the Ahwai Mountains.
- Nyeng (Ningon), spoken just to the northwest of the Ahwai Mountains. First documented in 2003.
- Shakara (Tari), spoken just to the southeast of the Ahwai Mountains.
Blench (2008) classified them as distinct Ndunic languages. However, that same year Ethnologue merged them as a single language.
Ahwai is a self-designated term used to refer to speakers of all three Ndunic languages.
Ndun is also known by the Hausa name Nandu. Ndun villages are Ànkpòŋ, Anfufalǐm, Ŋ̀bòk, Ànkàrà, Bányìn, and Ungwar Rimi.
Nyeng is spoken by about 2,000 speakers in Adu and other villages in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The Nyeng people used to live on the hill of ifyal anyeŋ. Today, their villages are:
|Nyeng name||Hausa name|
|Pok Kyɔ́||Ungwan Dakaci|
|Ungwan Rimi||Ningon Titi|
A word list of Nyeng was collected by Roger Blench and Barau Kato in 2003.
The main settlements of the Shakara are Jije Fyal, Nggwakum, Akayi, Apɔhɔt, Telehwe, Kobo, Koba, Nggwa Dauda, Nggwa Mangoro, Nggwa Igyan, Barib, and formerly Nggwa Yiri (now uninhabited).
Names and locations
Below is a list of Ndunic language names, populations, and locations from Blench (2019).
|Language||Cluster||Alternate spellings||Own name for language||Endonym(s)||Other names (location-based)||Other names for language||Speakers||Location(s)|
|Ndun-Nyeng-Shakara cluster||Ndun-Nyeng-Shakara||Ahwai [recently adopted name for the three languages]|
|Shakara||Ndun-Nyeng-Shakara||ìShákárá||sg. kùShákárá pl. úShákárá||Tari||Shakara 3000 (Blench est. 2003)||Kaduna State, a line of villages 7 km. due west of Mayir on the Fadan Karshe-Wamba road|
- Ahwai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ndunic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Roger Blench: Ndunic materials
- Blench, Roger M. 2018. Nominal affixes and number marking in the Plateau languages of Central Nigeria. In John R. Watters (ed.), East Benue-Congo: Nouns, pronouns, and verbs, 107–172. Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1314325
- Blench, Roger M. 2007. The Ndun language of Central Nigeria and its affinities.
- Blench, Roger M. 2012. Akpondu, Nigbo, Bəbər and Nisam: moribund or extinct languages of central Nigeria Babur.
- Blench, Roger M. 2006. The Nyeng language of Central Nigeria and its affinities.
- Blench, Roger. 2014. The Shakara (Tari) language of Central Nigeria and its affinities.
- Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.