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Masaba language information

Native toUganda
RegionEastern Uganda, south of the Kupsabiny, Bugisu Province
EthnicityMasaba, Luhya
Native speakers
2.7 million (2002 & 2009 censuses)[1]
Language family
  • Atlantic–Congo
    • Volta-Congo
      • Benue–Congo
        • Bantoid
          • Southern Bantoid
            • Bantu
              • Northeast Bantu
                • Great Lakes Bantu
                  • Masaba–Luhya (J.30)
                    • Masaba
  • Gisu
  • Kisu
  • Bukusu
  • Syan
  • Tachoni
  • Dadiri
  • Buya
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
myx – Masaba (Gisu, Kisu, Dadiri, Buya)
bxk – Bukusu (Tachoni)
lts – Tachoni
Glottologmasa1299  Masaaba
buku1249  Bukusu
tach1242  Tachoni
Guthrie code

Masaba (Lumasaaba), sometimes known as Gisu (Lugisu) after one of its dialects, is a Bantu language spoken by more than two million people in East Africa. The Gisu dialect in eastern Uganda is mutually intelligible with Bukusu, spoken by ethnic Luhya in western Kenya. Masaba is the local name of Mount Elgon and the name of the son of the ancestor of the Gisu tribe. Like other Bantu languages, Lumasaba nouns are divided into several sets of noun classes. These are similar to the genders in Germanic and Romance languages, except that instead of the usual two or three, there are around eighteen different noun classes. The language has a quite complex verb morphology.

  1. ^ Masaba (Gisu, Kisu, Dadiri, Buya) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Bukusu (Tachoni) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Tachoni at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online

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