Kinubi

Kinubi is an Arabic-based creole spoken today mainly in Uganda and in Kenya. It is spoken as a first language by the Nubi. According to some sources, it is also spoken as a lingua franca by non-Nubi in some towns of western Uganda. Most of the Nubi, especially the male population, also speak Swahili – which has influenced Kinubi at many levels – and English. Formerly, there were some Nubi communities in Tanzania and Somalia too, but it seems that Tanzanian Nubi do not speak the language anymore, while the Nubi of Somalia accompanied the British and settled down in Kenya in 1921. Apparently, some Nubi communities also live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly in the cities close to the Ugandan border.

Kinubi is closely related to Juba Arabic (and to Bongor Arabic, spoken today in Chad), but it also includes many words borrowed from Swahili and English. There are two main varieties of Kinubi: Ugandan Kinubi and Kenyan Kinubi, though both forms are very close to each other. Though it is mainly a spoken language, it is also written in Latin characters, mainly in correspondence. The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is roughly the speech of 20-70 years old male and female people living in Bombo, Kampala (Uganda), Kibera and Mombasa (Kenya).

No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

mbprenasalized voiced bilabial plosive - Exists only in loanwords
ʁvoiced uvular fricative - Exists only in loanwords
ħvoiceless pharyngeal fricative - Exists only as a minor allophone
mwprenasalized voiced labial-velar glide - Exists only in loanwords
mvprenasalized voiced labiodental fricative - Exists only in loanwords
ʕvoiced pharyngeal fricative - Exists only in loanwords

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source