Ngwe language

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Native toCameroon
Native speakers
73,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nwe

Ngwe (Ŋwɛh, Nweh) is a Grassfields language spoken predominately in Lebialem, Cameroon. As of 2001, Ngwe had 73,200 speakers, which was an increase from the numbers of previous censuses. It is part of the Bamileke dialect continuum, and its closest relatives are Yemba and Ngiemboon.



It has at least thirteen vowels, /i y e ɛ æ ɐ ɑ ɔ o u ɯ ɤ ʌ/.[3] /ɤ ʌ/ are centralised.[3] /y/ sounds somewhat like [ø] or [œ] and has a tongue position similar to that of /ɑ/, but with the jaw raised and the lips very close together.[3]


  1. ^ Ngwe at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ngwe". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c Ladefoged, Peter. A Phonetic Study of West African Languages: An Auditory-instrumental Survey. Cambridge University Press, 1968, pp. 33–36.

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