Gwari language

Nupoid languages Nigeria Glottolog
Native toNigeria.
RegionAbuja, Kaduna State, Niger State, and Nasarawa State.
EthnicityGbagyi people
Native speakers
(700,000 Gbagyi cited 1991)[1]
350,000 Gbari (2002)
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
gbr – Gbagyi
gby – Gbari

Gwari is a Nupoid language spoken by over a million people in Nigeria. There are two principal varieties, Gbari (West Gwari) and Gbagyi (East Gwari), which have some difficulty in communication; sociolinguistically they are distinct languages.


Gbagye is also known as Gwari-Matai or Gwarin Ngenge, which are recently adopted cover terms.[3]

There are two separate Gbagye groups living in:[3]

Gbagye is the only Nupoid language that has the bilabial implosive /ɓ/.[3]

Gbari (also known as Gwari) is a cover term for all the Gbari-speaking peoples, and includes many varieties.[3]

Gbari-Yama is a cover term used for all southern Gbari dialects. There are two closely related dialects, which are:[3]

Gbedegi is an extinct language (possibly a Nupe dialect) spoken near Mokwa (Nadel 1941).[3]


  1. ^ Gbagyi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Gbari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gbagyi–Gbari". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Blench, Roger. 2013. The Nupoid languages of west-central Nigeria: overview and comparative word list.