Alagwa

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Alagwaisa, Alagwase, Alawa, Asi, Chasi, Hhagiree, Kialagwa, Kichase, Uassi, Waasi, Wasi
Population

30,000 (Kiessling and Mous 2003).

Location

Dodoma region: Kondoa district.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

None known. Grammar is closer to Iraqw [irk] but not inherently intelligible. High degree of lexical similarity with Burunge [bds].

Typology

SVO; content questions with the q-word in situ; 3 genders; two tones, primarily grammatical.

Language Use

Vigorous in most villages. Home. All ages. Most children use as L1. In mixed villages children tend to speak Rangi [lag] among themselves. Positive attitudes. Also use Langi [lag], Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: Many are literate in Swahili [swh]; some also in Arabic [arb]. Grammar.
Writing

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Many villages have Islamic education and some children know Arabic and Swahili more fluently than Alagwa. Alagwa may be more readily recognized as Wasi. Muslim, traditional religion.