Kuliak languages

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Distribution area of ​​the Kuliak languages

The Kuliak languages (sometimes also called Rub languages ) - Icetot , Soo and Nyang'i  - are or were spoken by small remnant peoples in the mountains of northeast Uganda . They are a branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages , probably in their East Sudanese branch , although linguists are still debating their place in this language family. The Kuliak was strongly influenced by the Cushitic languages and, more recently, by the Nilotic languages . This influence can be seen in vocabulary and phonology . FromBernd Heine and Christopher Ehret have tried to reconstruct a proto-Kuliak. Soo and Nyang'i form a subgroup West-Kuliak ( Ngangea-So ) compared to the Icetot, which can be assigned to the East-Kuliak. It is believed that Kuliak elements are also observable in the oropom , if it still exists.

Icetot is spoken of around 7,000 Ik today. The Soo is hardly spoken by the Soo people (approx. 4,000–10,000); their first language today is Karamojong . The Nyang'i is extinct (also replaced by Karamojong).

Alternative names of the languages:

  • Soo : So, Tepes, Tepeth
  • Nyang'i : Nuangeya, Nyuangia, Nyangiya, Nyangia, Ngangea, Gyangiya, Nyangeya, Ngiangeya, Nipori, Niporen, Poren, Ngapore, Upale
  • Icetot : Ik, Icietot, Teuso, Teuth, Ngulak


  • Bernd Heine: The Kuliak Languages ​​of Eastern Uganda ; Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1976
  • Bernd Heine: Tepes and Nyang'i - two remaining East African languages ; Afrika und Übersee 58.3 / 4 (1974/75), pp. 263-300
  • Christopher Ehret: The classification of Kuliak ; in: Thilo Schadeberg, Lionel Bender (eds.): Nilo-Saharan: Proceedings of the First Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium, Leiden, September 8-10, 1980 ; Dordrecht: Foris, 1981
  • CD Laughlin: Lexicostatistics and the mystery of So ethnolinguistic relations ; in: Anthropological Linguistics 17: 325-341, 1975
  • Harold C. Fleming: Kuliak external relations: step one ; in: Nilotic Studes (Proceedings of the international symposium on languages ​​and history of the Nilotic Peoples, Cologne, January 4-6, 1982) , Vol. 2, pp. 423-478; 1982

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