Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Gciriku language

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Region  Okavango River
ISO 639-3  diu
Gciriku language
Ethnicity  Vagciriku, Vamanyo, Vashambyu
Native speakers  (undated figure of 36,000)
Language family  Niger–Congo Atlantic–Congo Benue–Congo Southern Bantoid Bantu Kavango–Southwest Kavango Gciriku
Dialects  Gciriku Shambyu Mbogedu (extinct)

Gciriku or Dciriku (Diriku) or Dirico (in Angola), also known as Manyo or Rumanyo, is a Bantu language spoken by 305,000 people along the Okavango River in Namibia, where it is a national language, in Botswana, and in Angola. It was first known in the west via the Vagciriku, who had migrated from the main Vamanyo area and spoke Rugciriku, a dialect of Rumanyo. The name Gciriku (Dciriku, Diriku) remains common in the literature, but within Namibia the name Rumanyo has been revived. The Mbogedu dialect is extinct; Maho (2009) lists it as a distinct language, and notes that the names 'Manyo' and 'Rumanyo' are inappropriate for it.

It is one of several Bantu languages of the Okavango which have click consonants, as in [ ǀɛ́ǀˀà] "bed", [mùǀûkò] "flower", and [kàǀûrù] "tortoise". These clicks, of which there are half a dozen (c, gc, ch, and prenasalized nc and nch), are generally all pronounced with a dental articulation, but there is broad variation between speakers. They are especially common in place names and in words for features of the landscape, reflecting their source in an as-yet unidentified Khoisan language. Many of the click words in Gciriku, including those in native Bantu vocabulary, are shared with Kwangali, Mbukushu, and Fwe.


Gciriku language Wikipedia

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