The Kwasio language, also known as Ngumba / Mvumbo, Bujeba, and Gyele / Kola, is a language of Cameroon, spoken in the south along the coast and at the border with Equatorial Guinea by some 70 000 members of the Ngumba, Kwasio, Gyele and Mabi peoples. Many authors view Kwasio and the Gyele/Kola language as distinct. In the Ethnologue, the languages therefore receive different codes: Kwasio has the ISO 639-3 code nmg, while Gyele has the code gyi. The Kwasio, Ngumba, and Mabi are village farmers; the Gyele (also known as the Kola or Koya) are nomadic Pygmy hunter-gatherers living in the rain forest.
Dialects are Kwasio (also known as Kwassio, Bisio), Mvumbo (also known as Ngumba, Ngoumba, Mgoumba, Mekuk), and Mabi (Mabea). The Gyele speak the subdialects of Mvumbo, Gyele in the north and Kola also known as Koya in the south, variously spelled Giele, Gieli, Gyeli, Bagiele, Bagyele, Bajele, Bajeli, Bogyel, Bogyeli, Bondjiel and
Likoya, Bako, Bakola, Bakuele, also Bekoe. The local derogatory term for pygmies, Babinga, is also used. Glottolog adds Shiwa.
Kwasio is a tonal language. As a Bantu language, it has noun class system. The Kwasio noun class system is somewhat reduced, having retained only 6 genders (a gender being a pairing of a singular and a plural noun class).
Serge BAHUCHET, 2006. "Languages of the African Rainforest « Pygmy » Hunter-Gatherers: Language Shifts without Cultural Admixture." In Historical linguistics and hunter-gatherers populations in global perspective. Leipzig.
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