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The Nkwen Language Alphabet

The first edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet was established by PROPELCA (Operation Research Project for the Teaching of Cameroonian Languages) together with the then Nkwen Language Translation Committee of the Catholic Mission Futru Nkwen in their Summer Linguistic Courses in Aghiati Bafut in the mid 1990s. It was reviewed by S I L (Société International de Linguistique) and some members of the Nkwen Language Committee in a Summer Linguistics Serminar organized by S.I.L. in July 1999 at CBC Nkwen Bamenda. Thus, this second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet is made up of 31 sounds as follows:

Importance of Teaching/Learning from Nkwen Mother Tongue to the English Language

Nkwen Language is a Mother Tongue spoken by the Nkwen people of Cameroon in Africa. It is one of the many Cameroonian Languages at the verge of development. With many aspects already developed, further research is still recommended towards a full development and preservation of this language and the culture of the Nkwen people embedded in it.

Amongst the many aspects that have been worked on are:

  1. The Alphabet
  2. Tonality
  3. Reading and Writing
  4. Nouns/Noun classes
  5. Verbs
  6. Tenses
  7. Some grammatical aspects.
  8. Etc.

THE NKWEN LANGUAGE ALPHABET (Second Edition)

The first edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet was established by PROPELCA (Operation Research Project for the Teaching of Cameroonian Languages) together with the then Nkwen Language Translation Committee of the Catholic Mission Futru Nkwen in their Summer Linguistic Courses in Aghiati Bafut in the mid 1990s. It was reviewed by S I L (Société International de Linguistique) and some members of the Nkwen Language Committee in a Summer Linguistics Serminar organized by S.I.L. in July 1999 at CBC Nkwen Bamenda. Thus, this second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet is made up of 31 sounds as follows:

/a/ /b/ /c/ /d/ /dz/ /ɛ/ /ǝ/ /f/ /g/ /gh/ /i/ /j/ /k/ /kh/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /ny/ /ɔ/ /r/ /s/ /sh/ /t/ c /ts/ /u/ /’/ /w/ /y/ /z/ /zh/

THE SOUNDS IN THEIR UPPER AND LOWER CASES

/Aa/ /Bb/ /Cc/ /Dd/ /DZdz/ /Ɛɛ/ /Əǝ/ /Ff/ /Gg/ /GHgh/ /Ii/ /Jj/ /Kk/ /KHkh/ /Ll/ /Mm/ /Nn/ /Ŋŋ/ /NYny/ /Ɔɔ/ /Rr/ /Ss/ /SHsh/ /Tt/ /TSts/ /Uu/ /’/ /Ww/ /Yy/ /Zz/ /ZHzh/

The Nkwen Language Alphabet (Second Edition)

Analysis of the Second Edition of Nkwen Language Alphabet

This second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet is made up of 24 Consonants (M̀mi Mǝ Abɔ̀ŋnǝ̀), 6 Vowels (Nji-àbɔ̀ŋnǝ̀) and 1 glotal stop:

The Nkwen Language Consonants.

/b/ /c/ /d/ /dz/ /f/ /g/ /gh/ /j/ /k/ /kh/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /ny/ /r/ /s/ /sh/ /t/ /ts/ /w/ /y/ /z/ /zh/

The Nkwen Language Vowels:

/a/ /ɛ/ /ǝ/ /i/ /ɔ/ /u/

The Glotal stop:

/’/

This second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet has double consonant sounds and some strange sounds as compared to the English Language Alphabet.

The Double Consonant Sounds 

The double consonants in the Nkwen Language Alphabet are considered as single sounds but are made up of two letters each. When they come at the beginning of a sentence or in proper nouns the two letters are written in caps. They are seven of them as follows.

/dz/ /gh/ /kh/ /ny/ /sh/ /ts/ /zh/

The Strange Sounds are four in number;

/ɛ/ /ǝ/ /ŋ/ /ɔ/

Sounds in the English Language Alphabet that are not found in the second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet are:

/e/ /h/ /p/ /q/ /v/ /x/

The /ɛ/ and /ǝ/ are more suitable than the English /e/

The letter /h/ does not stand alone but is always supported by other sounds as in /gh/ /kh/ /sh/ and /zh/, in

Ghǝ̌ – to go

khǝ̌ – to run

shǝ̂ – to weed

zhǎ – to comb

The letter /p/ is replaced by /b/ mostly in borrowed words like:

bɔ̀bɔ̀ – pawpaw or papaya.

bàbà – papa or father

Bità – Peter

sounds closer to the /q/ are spelled with /k/ as in

kwatǝ – to repeat

Kwa’atǝ –  to knock

kwǎ  –  to open

Kwintà – Queenta

The /v/ and /x/ are not found at all.

THE NKWEN LANGUAGE ALPHABET

Aa 
 àbà’à (a door)
Bb
Bàtə (calabash)
Cc
cì’i  (to shake)
Dd
dədͻ’ͻ (a frog)
DZdz
ǹdzàà (an axe)
Єε
fεrə (a ring)
Əə
ə̀lwεnə̀ (a name)
Ff
Fͻrə (a rat)
Gg
gàŋə (to hold)
GHgh
Ghəghanə (butterfly)
Ii
àliliŋə (a bat)
Jj
Ǹjijì’ì (a fly)
Kk
kaa (a crab)
KHkh
ŋ̀kha (a fence)
Ll
lə̀ŋə (to stir)
Mm
mma (mother)
Nn
ǹnà (meat)
NYny
nyə (to drink)
Ŋŋ
Ŋͻrə (moon)
Ͻͻ
Ǹtͻ̀ (a pot)
Rr
ə̀làrə̀ (a bridge)
Ss
Sǔ (to wash)
Sh
shə̂ (to week)
Tt
tanə̀ (five)
TSts
tsà (a hall)
Uu
àkù (foot)

Àtɔ’ɔ̀ (a tin)
Ww
Wàrə̀ (a hawk)
Yy
Àyiyὲ
(a weaver bird)
Zz
Zə̀ŋsə̂ ( to bend)
ZH zh
Ǹzhà (a cumb)

The Nkwen Language Alphabet (Second Edition)

Recent Review on the Second Edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet.

It should be noted that the above second edition of the Nkwen Language Alphabet has been recently revised by CABTAL together with some members of the Nkwen Language Committee in a workshop which was aimed at developing the Nkwen Language in the lines of Literacy and Bible Translation . The few changes they have made this time , different from this second edition are:

The open /ɔ/ is now full /o/ eg . mɔɔ – moo (child)

The English /e/ has been added to the list of vowels making them seven in number; /a/ /ɛ/ /ǝ/ /e/ /o/ /u/

/c/ is now /ch/

Some of the double consonant sounds are now considered as sub-sounds except /gh/, /ts/, zh and /ch/ that are still double consonants .

The nasal /ŋ/ should not precede some consonants eg ŋ̀tarǝ̀ – ǹtarǝ̀ . This entails subsequent writings in Nkwen Language will bear these changes.

Nkwen Language Alphabet 2nd Edition https://youtu.be/OIxfvH9E-0w My Traditional Dish, Achu and Yellow Soup
The Nkwen Language Alphabet (Second Edition) https://youtu.be/OIxfvH9E-0w Story Telling; The Honest Princess
The Nkwen Language Alphabet (Second Edition) https://youtu.be/OIxfvH9E-0w Types of Food Crops in Nkwen
Nkwen Language Alphabet. Revised Edition 2019 https://youtu.be/OIxfvH9E-0w The quarantine is doing more good than harm. My home skills just got better
More lessons on Nkwen Language https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlwSpS0eLyc&list=PL_ihUsy6_PLKYRhQJ1B65SZ5XN1sLjNBk Pictures and names of Animals Pictures and names of Animals

14 replies on “The Nkwen Language Alphabet”

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