Soga

Print

A language of Uganda

Alternate Names
Lusoga, Olusoga
Population

2,060,000 (2002 census), increasing. 185,000 Lulamogi, 169,000 Lusiki (Busoga Cultural Research Centre).

Location

East central, between lakes Victoria and Kyoga: Jinja, Kamuli, Luuka, Iganga, Buyende, Bugiri Mayuge, and Namayingo districts; Lulamogi dialect: Kaliro District; Lusiginyi and Lukono dialects: Namutumba District.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). De facto language of provincial identity in Iganga, 4 other districts.

Dialects

Diope (Ludiope), Gabula (Lugabula), Gweri (Lugweri), Kigulu (Lukigulu), Lamogi (Lamoogi, Lulamogi, Lulamoogi), Lukono, Luuka, Nholo (Lunholo), Siki (Lusiginyi, Lusiki, Siginyi), Tembé (Lutembe), Tenga (Lutenga). Lamogi (Lamoogi)and Siki (Siginyi) dialects are mutually intelligible of Gwere [gwr] and Kenye [lke]. Lexical similarity: Lutenga dialect; 82%–86% with Ganda [lug], 77%– 81% with Kenye [lke], 69%–78% with Lulamoogi [xog], 64% with Gwere [gwr], 58% with Saamia [luy]. Lulamoogi dialect; 89%–92% with Lusiginyi; 83%–88% with Kenye [lke], and 81%–82% with Gwere [gwr]. Lusiginyi dialect; 83%–84% with Kenye [lke], and 79%–82% with Gwere.

Typology

For Tenga dialect: SVO; 5 vowels, 23 consonants; highly agglutinating; lexical and grammatical tone.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Ganda [lug]. Used as L2 by Kenye [lke].

Language Development
Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1999.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], used since 1996.

Other Comments

Welmers (1973) and Ladefoged (1971) list Soga [xog], Gwere [gwr], and Kenyi (Kenye) [lke] separately. Kenye and Gwere may be dialects of Soga, Gwere being the most geographically distant. Only Tenga, the major and widely held standard dialect, has development in progress. Lamoogi and Siginyi dialects are largely undescribed and still unwritten. Speakers of Lamoogi and Siginyi consider themselves different ethnic groups, though loosely part of the wider Soga Kingdom. These varieties are all very similar and largely intelligible.