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; Iringa region border area, north of Lake Malawi.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Central Safwa, Guruka (Guluxa, Kiguluka), Mbwila (Uleenje, Ulenje), Poroto (Kiporoto, Polooto), Songwe (Kisongwe, 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: 2011–2014.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.