Safwa

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Cisafwa, Ishisafwa, Kisafwa, Shisafwa
Population

158,000 (1987), increasing.

Location

Mbeya Region, Mbeya urban, Mbeya rural, Chunya, and Mbozi districts, Mbeya and Poroto mountain ranges; border area, Iringa Region, north of Lake Malawi.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Central Safwa, Guruka (Shisafwa), Mbwila (Uleenje, Ulenje), Poroto (Polooto), Songwe (Soongwe).

Typology

SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; noun classes; verbal affixation for subject, object, tense, aspect, mood and derivation; 36 consonant phonemes; 14 vowel phonemes; tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home. All ages. Also use Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. SIL has transition literacy work (Swahili to Safwa). Bible portions: 2011–2013.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.