Kalenjin
Geographic
distribution
western Kenya, eastern Uganda, northern Tanzania
Linguistic classificationNilo-Saharan?
Subdivisions
ISO 639-3kln
Glottologkale1246

The Kalenjin languages are a family of a dozen Southern Nilotic languages spoken in Kenya, eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. The term Kalenjin comes from an expression meaning 'I say (to you)' or 'I have told you' (present participle tense). Kalenjin in this broad linguistic sense should not be confused with Kalenjin as a term for the common identity the Nandi-speaking peoples of Kenya assumed halfway through the twentieth century; see Kalenjin people and Kalenjin language.

Branches

The Kalenjin languages are generally distinguished into four branches. There is less certainty regarding internal relationships within these.

Comparative vocabulary

Sample basic vocabulary of Kalenjin languages from van Otterloo (1979),[1] and Proto-Southern Nilotic from Rottland (1982):[2]

Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water to eat name
Proto-Southern Nilotic *kɔːŋ, *kɔŋ *iːt *ser *keːL-ɑt *ŋɛLyɛp *kʊːt *kaːw *kɛːt *peR *kɑːRɪn
Nandi ko̱ːnda̱ iːtit seruːt ke̱ːlde̱t ŋe̱lye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱t korotiːk kaːweːt keːtit beːk keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
Kipsigis ko̱ːnda̱ iːtit seruːt ke̱ːlde̱t ŋe̱lye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱t korotiːk kaːweːt keːtit beːk keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
Terik ko̱ːŋda̱ iːtit seruːt ke̱ːnde̱t ŋe̱nye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱t korotiːk kaːweːt keːtit beːk keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
Keiyo ko̱ːnda̱ iːtit seruːt ke̱ːlde̱t ŋe̱lye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱t korotiːk kaːweːt keːtit beːk keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
South Tugen ko̱ːŋda̱ iːtit seruː(t) ke̱ːlde̱(t) ŋe̱lye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱ korotiːk kaːweː keːt(it) beːk keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
North Tugen ko̱ːŋ iːt ser̃ ke̱ːla̱t ŋe̱lye̱p ku̱ːt koroti kaːwe keːt beːy keam ka̱ːyne̱
Kony-Sabaot ko̱ːŋda̱ iːtit serwut ke̱ːlde̱t ŋe̱lye̱pta̱ ku̱ːti̱t korotiːk kaːweːt keːtit peːgo keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt
Cherang'any ko̱ːnda̱/ko̱ːŋ iːtit seruːt ke̱ːla̱t ŋe̱lye̱p ku̱ːt(i̱t) korotiːk kaːwe keːt beːy keam ka̱ːyne̱
Talai ko̱ːŋ iːt ser̃ ke̱ːla̱t ŋa̱lya̱p ku̱ːt koroti kaːwa keːt pʰeːy keam ka̱ːyne̱
Endo ko̱ːŋ iːt ser̃ ke̱ːla̱t ŋa̱lya̱p ku̱ːt koroti/kisun kaːwa keːt bu̱r̃ keam ka̱r̃e̱n
East Pokot koːŋ yiːt sa̱r̃ ke̱ːla̱t ŋa̱lya̱p ku̱ːt kisʉn kaːwaʔ keːt pʉːɣ keam ka̱ːyne̱ːt

Footnotes

  1. ^ van Otterloo, Roger. 1979. A Kalenjin dialect study. (Language Data Africa Series, 18.) Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  2. ^ Rottland, Franz. 1982. Die Südnilotischen Sprachen: Beschreibung, Vergleichung und Rekonstruktion (Kölner Beiträge zur Afrikanistik vol. 7). Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.

References