Gciriku language

RegionOkavango River
EthnicityVagciriku, Vamanyo, Vashambyu
Native speakers
(undated figure of 36,000)[1]
  • Gciriku
  • Shambyu
  • Mbogedu (extinct)
Language codes
ISO 639-3diu
K.331,334 (K.332)[3]
Diriku taalkaartje NL.png
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Gciriku or Dciriku (Diriku) or Dirico (in Angola), also known as Manyo or Rumanyo, is a Bantu language spoken by 305,000 people along the Okavango River in Namibia, Botswana and Angola. 24,000 people speak Gciriku in Angola, according to Ethnologue.[4] It was first known in the west via the Vagciriku, who had migrated from the main Vamanyo area and spoke Rugciriku, a dialect of Rumanyo. The name Gciriku (Dciriku, Diriku) remains common in the literature, but within Namibia the name Rumanyo has been revived.[5] The Mbogedu dialect is extinct; Maho (2009) lists it as a distinct language, and notes that the names 'Manyo' and 'Rumanyo' are inappropriate for it.

It is one of several Bantu languages of the Okavango which have click consonants, as in [ǀɛ́ǀˀà] ('bed'), IPA: [mùǀûkò] ('flower'), and IPA: [kàǀûrù] ('tortoise'). These clicks, of which there are half a dozen (c, gc, ch, and prenasalized nc and nch), are generally all pronounced with a dental articulation, but there is broad variation between speakers. They are especially common in place names and in words for features of the landscape, reflecting their source in an as yet unidentified Khoisan language. Many of the click words in Gciriku, including those in native Bantu vocabulary, are shared with Kwangali, Mbukushu, and Fwe.


  1. ^ Gciriku at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Diriku". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ "Angola". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  5. ^ Nordic journal of African studies, Volume 12, 2003

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