Nyamwezi

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Kinyamwesi, Kinyamwezi, Namwezi, Nyamwesi
Population

980,000 (2006). 73% are in the traditional area.

Location

Northwest central, Tabora Region between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa; also in Rukwa and Kigoma regions.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Galaganza, Mweri (Kiya, Konongo, Sumbwa), Nyanyembe, Takama (Garaganza). Lexical similarity: 84% with Sukuma [suk], 61% with Sumbwa [suw], 56% with Nilamba [nim]. Dialect Continuum with Sukuma.

Language Use

Vigorous in some areas. Swahili [swh] used increasingly in other areas. All ages. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Kimbu [kiv].

Language Development
Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1909–1951.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Smaller groups (Konongo, Galla, Sumbwa) were part of Unyamwezi Kingdom and are still often considered part of the Nyamwezi people group by the Nyamwezi. Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.