Masaaba

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A language of Uganda

Alternate Names
Bagisu, Gisu, Kisu, Lugisu, Lumasaaba, Masaba
Population

1,650,000 (2014 census), increasing. Census based on tribal affiliation.

Location

Bududa, Bukedea, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Kween, Manafwa, Mbale, and Sironko districts; Mount Elgon area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Ludadiri (Dadiri), Lubuuya (Buuya, Buya), Luwalasi, Luyobo, Luteza, Lufumbo. Intelligibility of Dadiri and Buuya 83%. Central and Southern varieties of Buuya 93%. Lexical similarity: 62% with Saamia [lsm], 52% with Isukha [ida], 50% with Logooli [rag].

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Ganda [lug], Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Low. Orthography guide published but inadequate for dialectal variants. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. Texts. NT: 1977–2011. Agency: Lumasaaba Language Academy.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], used since 1977.

Other Comments

Ludadiri is the main Northern variety; Lubuuya is the main Central or Southern variety. Christian.

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