|Region||Western Kenya, Gusii district|
|2.2 million (2009 census)|
The Gusii language (also known as Kisii or Ekegusii) is a Bantu language spoken in the Kisii district in western Kenya, whose headquarters is Kisii town, (between the Kavirondo Gulf of Lake Victoria and the border with Tanzania). It is spoken by the Gusii people, numbering about 2.0 million (SIL/Ethnologue 1994). A few Gusii people are bilingual in Luo. It is part of the Niger-Congo language family.
Gusii has seven vowels. Vowel length is contrastive, i.e. the words 'bór' to miss and 'bóór' to say are distinguished by vowel length only.
In the table below, orthographic symbols are included between brackets if they differ from the IPA symbols. Note especially the use of ‘y’ for IPA /j/, common in African orthographies. When symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant.
|plosive||p b||t||c (c)||k ɡ|
|nasal||m||n||ɲ (ny)||ŋ (ng')|
The following morphophonological alternations occur:
Mreta, Abel Y.
Whiteley, Wilfred H.
The gusii language has the consonant ' b' not realized as the bilabial stop as in 'bat' but as bilabial fricative as in words like baba, baminto, abana.