Alagwa

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Alaagwa’isa, Alagwase, Alawa, Asi, Chasi, Hhagiree, Kialagwa, Kichase, Uassi, Waasi, Wasi
Autonym
Alagwaisa
Population

53,000 (Mradi wa Lugha za Tanzania 2009).

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. Some young people, all adults. Most children use Alagwa 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 L2: Many are literate in Swahili [swh]; some also in Arabic [arb]. Literature. Grammar. Bible portions: 2018.

Writing

Latin script [Latn], used since 2014.

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.

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