989,000 (2009 census). 593,000 monolinguals.
Rift Valley Province, Turkana, Samburu, Trans-Nzoia, Laikipia, Isiolo districts, west and south of Lake Turkana; Turkwel and Kerio rivers.
Northern Turkana, Southern Turkana. Inherently intelligible of Toposa [toq] speakers, but hostile to them. Partially intelligible of Ng’aKarimojong [kdj], Jie [kdj], and Nyangatom [nnj], but all 5 are ethnically distinct. A few phonological, lexical, and discourse marker differences between them. Northern Turkana [tuv] and Eastern Toposa [toq] are reportedly more similar to Southern Turkana [tuv], but Western Toposa [toq] is further apart linguistically. The 4 varieties form a subgroup divided in the middle by the Kenya-Sudan border. Lexical similarity: 85% similarity with Ng’aKarimojong [kdj], 76% with Teso [teo].
VSO; highly inflectional; grammatical tone; vowel harmony; voiceless vowels.
Latin script [Latn].
A few Somali and Gikuyu have shops in the area. Semi-nomadic. Unfriendly to other nomadic tribes due to rivalry over livestock. Traditional religion, Christian.