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Encyclopedia > Ewe language
Ewe
Eʋegbe
Spoken in: Ghana, Togo 
Region: Southeast corner of Ghana, southern Togo
Total speakers: 2.5 million, 3 million including second language speakers
Language family: Niger-Congo
 Atlantic-Congo
  Volta-Congo
   Kwa
    Left Bank
     Gbe
      Ewe
Language codes
ISO 639-1: ee
ISO 639-2: ewe
ISO 639-3: ewe

Ewe (native name Eʋegbe, 'the Eʋe language') is a Kwa language spoken in Ghana and Togo by approximately three million people. Ewe is part of a cluster of related languages commonly called Gbe, stretching from eastern Ghana to Western Nigeria. Other Gbe languages include Fon and Aja. Like other Gbe languages, Ewe is a tonal language. Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the worlds major language families, and Africas largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... In the classification of African languages, Volta-Congo is the major branch (in terms of number of languages) of the Niger-Congo phylum. ... The Kwa languages are spoken in the south-eastern part of Côte dIvoire, in Ghana, Togo and Benin, and the south-Western corner of Nigeria. ... The Gbe languages (pronounced ) form a cluster of about 20 related languages stretching across the area between eastern Ghana and western Nigeria. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... Not to be confused with the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... This chart shows concisely the most common way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is applied to represent the English language. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Kwa languages are spoken in the south-eastern part of Côte dIvoire, in Ghana, Togo and Benin, and the south-Western corner of Nigeria. ... The Gbe languages (pronounced ) form a cluster of about 20 related languages stretching across the area between eastern Ghana and western Nigeria. ... Fon (native name FÉ”ngbe) is part of the Gbe language cluster and belongs to the Kwa sub-family of the Niger-Congo languages. ... Aja is a Nilo-Saharan language of the Central Sudanic subgroup, spoken in the southern Sudanese province of Bahr el Ghazal and along the Sudanese border in the Central African Republic. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Tone (linguistics). ...


The German Africanist Diedrich Hermann Westermann published many dictionaries and grammars of Ewe and several other Gbe languages. Other linguists that have worked on Ewe include Gilbert Ansre (tone, syntax), Hounkpati B. Capo (phonology, phonetics), Herbert Stahlke (morphology, tone), Roberto Pazzi (anthropology, lexicography), Felix K. Ameka (semantics, cognitive linguistics) and Alan Stewart Duthie (semantics, phonetics). Diedrich Hermann Westermann (June 24, 1875–May 31, 1956) was a German missionary, Africanist, and linguist. ...

Contents

Sounds

Consonants

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Labial-velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d ɖ k ɡ k͡p ɡ͡b
Affricate ʦ ʣ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Fricative ɸ β f v s z x ɣ h
Approximant l j w

In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Alveolars are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, the internal side of the upper gums (known as the alveoles of the upper teeth). ... Retroflex consonants are articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up and back so the bottom of the tip touches the roof of the mouth. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. ... The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the human larynx. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ...

Vowels

Front Back
Close i, ĩ u, ũ
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ, ɛ̃ ɔ, ɔ̃
Open a, ã

Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... A close-mid vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... The open-mid vowels make a class of vowel sounds used in some spoken languages. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ...

Writing system

Ewe is written in the African reference alphabet, the Latin alphabet, with some extra letters, some of which are derived from the International Phonetic Alphabet, added to represent certain sounds. The proposal of an African reference alphabet was the result of a conference at Niamey in 1978 organized by the UNESCO. The alphabet was revised in 1982. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... Not to be confused with the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

A a B b D d Ɖ ɖ Dz dz E e Ɛ ɛ F f Ƒ ƒ G g Gb gb Ɣ ɣ
/a/ /b/ /d/ /ɖ/ /ʣ/ /e/ /ɛ/ /f/ /ɸ/ /ɡ/ /ɡ͡b/ /ɣ/
H h I i K k Kp kp L l M m N n Ny ny Ŋ ŋ O o Ɔ ɔ P p
/h/ /i/ /k/ /k͡p/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/ /o/ /ɔ/ /p/
R r S s T t Ts ts U u V v Ʋ ʋ W w X x Y y Z z
/l/ /s/ /t/ /ʦ/ /u/ /v/ /β/ /w/ /x/ /j/ /z/

A tilde ( ˜ ) is placed over vowels to mark nasalization. Tone is generally unmarked, except in some common cases which require disambiguation, eg. the first person plural pronoun 'we' is marked high to distinguish it from the second person plural mi 'you', and the second person singular pronoun 'you' is marked low to distinguish it from the third person plural pronoun wo 'they/them' African D (Ɖ, É–) is a Latin letter representing the voiced retroflex plosive . ... Open e (majuscule: Ɛ, minuscule: É›) is a letter of the extended Latin alphabet. ... The letter (minuscule: Æ’) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, based on the italic form of F. It is used in writing the Ewe language to represent a voiceless bilabial fricative (IPA: ), as distinct from the letter F, which represents a voiceless labiodental fricative. ... The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The eng is a letter: ÅŠ (capital), Å‹ (small). ... Open o (majuscule: Ɔ, miniscule: É”) is a letter of the extended Latin alphabet. ... The labiodental approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... A tilde. ... In phonetics, nasalization is the production of a sound while the velum is lowered, so that air escapes partially or wholly through the nose during the production of the sound. ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ...

  • ekpɔ wò [ɛ́k͡pɔ̀ wɔ̀] — 'he saw you'
  • ekpɔ wo [ɛ́k͡pɔ̀ wɔ́] — 'he saw them'

Status

Ewe is a national language in Togo and Ghana. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


References

  • Ansre, Gilbert (1961) The Tonal Structure of Ewe. MA Thesis, Kennedy School of Missions of Hartford Seminary Foundation.
  • Ameka, Felix Kofi (2001) 'Ewe'. In Garry and Rubino (eds.), Fact About the World's Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages, Past and Present, 207-213. New York/Dublin: The H.W. Wilson Company.
  • Capo, Hounkpati B.C. (1991) A Comparative Phonology of Gbe, Publications in African Languages and Linguistics, 14. Berlin/New York: Foris Publications & Garome, Bénin: Labo Gbe (Int).
  • Pasch, Helma (1995) Kurzgrammatik des Ewe Köln: Köppe.
  • Westermann, Diedrich Hermann (1930) A Study of the Ewe Language London: Oxford University Press.

External links

Wikipedia
Ewe language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ethnologue report for language code:ewe (139 words)
Literacy rate in first language: 30% to 60%.
Literacy rate in second language: 75% to 100%.
Ewe as a second language: a sociolinguistic survey of Ghana’s central Volta region.
Ewe language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (376 words)
Ewe is part of a cluster of related languages commonly called Gbe, stretching from eastern Ghana to Western Nigeria.
Ewe is one of the better documented languages of Africa, partly due to the massive work of Diedrich Hermann Westermann, who published many dictionaries and grammars of Ewe and several other Gbe languages.
Ewe is written in the African reference alphabet, the Latin alphabet, with some extra letters, some of which are derived from the International Phonetic Alphabet, added to represent certain sounds.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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