Bamum Language
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Bamum Language
Bamum
Shüpamom
RegionCameroon, Nigeria
EthnicityBamum people
Native speakers
420,000 (2005)[1]
Latin script, Bamum syllabary (being revived)
Language codes
bax
Glottologbamu1253[2]
Shumom-text.jpg
Page from a manuscript in the Bamum script

Bamum (Shü Pamom [pmm] "language of the Bamum", or Shümom "Mum language"), also spelled Bamun or in its French spelling Bamoun, is an Eastern Grassfields language of Cameroon, with approximately 420,000 speakers.[1] The language is well known for its original script developed by King Njoya and his palace circle around 1895. Cameroonian musician Claude Ndam is a native speaker of the language and uses it in his music.[3]

Phonology

Bamum has tone, vowel length, diphthongs and coda consonants.

Vowels

The simple vowels are:

Front Central Back
Unrounded Rounded Unrounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i y ? ? u
Mid e ?
Open-mid ? ?
Open a

Bamum vowels can be normal or half-long /?/.

Consonants

The consonants are:

Labial Alveolar Post-
alveolar/
Palatal
Velar Labialized
velar
Labial-
velar
Glottal
Plosive Plain Voiceless p t k k? k?p ?
Voiced b d ? g?b
Prenasalized Voiceless ?p ?t ?k ?k? k?p
Voiced ?b ?d g?b
Fricative Plain Voiceless f s ? x x?
Voiced v z ? ?
Prenasalized Voiceless ?f ?s
Voiced ?v ?z
Nasal m n ? ? m
Rhotic r
Approximant l w

Tones

Bamum has five tones[4]

Tone IPA
à low
á mid
? high
? rising
â falling

References

  1. ^ a b Bamum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bamun". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Cathy Kell (14 September 2005). "Cameroon: Claude Ndam : Committed To Culture". Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ https://www.unicode.org/L2/L2007/07023-bamum-report.pdf



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Music Scenes