Luyana language

Native toZambia; immigrants in Namibia, Angola
RegionOkavango River
Native speakers
480 Luyana proper (2010 census)[1]
2,900 all Luyana (Kwandi, Kwangwa, and Luyana proper) (2010 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3lyn

Luyana (Luyaana), also known as Luyi (Louyi, Lui, Rouyi), is a Bantu language spoken in Zambia and perhaps in small numbers in neighboring countries. It appears to be an divergent lineage of Bantu.[3] It is spoken by the Luyana people, a subgroup of the Lozi people.

Ethnologue lists Kwandi, Mbowe, Mbume, and possibly Kwangwa ("Kwanga") as dialects. Maho (2009) classifies these as distinct languages; it is not clear if any of them are part of the divergent Luyana branch of Bantu, or if they are Kavango languages.[2]

The writing system of the Luyana language was developed in 2011[4] and uses the Latin script.[4]

The language is taught in primary schools and secondary schools.[4]



Luyana has five simple vowels: a, e, i, o, and u.[5] o is almost always open and is rarely closed.[5] Wherever there may be hesitation between o and u, u should be used.[5]

There are no diphthongs.[5] When two vowels meet, they contract, or one is omitted.[5]


The Luyana consonant system has approximately 25 phonemes. The consonant inventory of the language is shown below.[6]

Bilabial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive p  b    k  ɡ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Fricative s ʃ
Approximant j
Lateral approximant l


  1. ^ a b Luyana at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  2. ^ a b Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  3. ^ Bantu Classification Archived 2012-06-24 at the Wayback Machine, Ehret, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Luyana | Ethnologue
  5. ^ a b c d e Jacottet, E. 1896
  6. ^ "Luyana sound inventory (PH)". Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2018.

See also[]