Guruntum language

Guruntum language

Guruntum is a Chadic language spoken by about 15,000 people in Nigeria.


Guruntum is a West Chadic language of the B subgroup.

Major dialects include Kuuku, Gayar, Mbaaru, Dooka, Gar and Karakara.



Guruntum contrasts long and short forms for all vowels except for /ɨ/. In addition, two nasalized vowel phonemes exist: {{IPA|/ũː/ /ãː/.

Front Central Back
short long short long short long
Close i ɨ u uː ũː
Mid e o
Open a aː ãː
There are two diphthongs, /ai/ and /au/.


Labial Alveolar Postalveolar
or palatal
Plain Palatalized Labialized Plain Palatalized Labialized
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop prenasalized mb nd ɲ ŋɡ ŋɡʲ ŋɡʷ
voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ ɡʲ ɡʷ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ
voiced v z ʒ
Trill r
Approximant l j w
/r/ is realized as a flap intervocalically before back vowels; elsewhere it is a trill.


Guruntum has four tones: high, low, rising (low-high) and falling (high-low).


  • Jaggar, Philip J. (1998). "Guruntum (gùrdùŋ) (West Chadic-B): Linguistics notes and wordlist". African Languages and Cultures 1 (2): 169–189.

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