Shona

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A language of Zimbabwe

Alternate Names
Chishona, “Swina” (pej.), Zezuru
Population

10,700,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000). 4,500,000 Karanga (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 1,700,000 Korekore (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 3,200,000 Zezuru (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 1,300,000 Shona. Population total all countries: 10,741,700. L2 users: 1,800,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne 2000).

Location

Mashonaland, central, and widespread.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language.

Dialects

Hwesa, Karanga (Chikaranga), Korekore (Goba, Gova, Northern Shona, Shangwe), Zezuru (Bazezuru, Bazuzura, Chizezuru, Harava, Hera, Mazizuru, Shawasha, Vazezuru, Wazezuru). Subdialects: Karanga: Duma, Jena, Mhari (Mari), Ngova, Nyubi, Govera; Korekore: Budya, Gova, Tande, Tavara, Nyongwe, Pfunde, Shan Gwe; Zezuru: Shawasha, Gova, Mbire, Tsunga, Kachikwakwa, Harava, Nohwe, Njanja, Nobvu, Kwazwimba (Zimba); Shona: Toko, Hwesa. Rozvi (Rozwi, Ruzwi, Chirozwi) speak Karanga dialect. Ndau [ndc] and Manyika [mxc] are partially intelligible of Shona.

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Dominant African language understood by a considerable number. Primarily a written language apparently based on Karanga and Zezuru with lexical items also from Manyika and Korekore. Urban populations tend to speak school or standard Shona. Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Kalanga [kck], Nambya [nmq].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 86% in English and Shona. Taught in primary schools. New media. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1949–1980.
Writing

Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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