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Ijoid is a proposed but undemonstrated group of languages linking the Ijaw languages (Ịjọ) with the endangered Defaka language. The similarities, however, may be due to Ijaw influence on Defaka.[2]

The Ijoid, or perhaps just Ijaw, languages form a divergent branch of the Niger–Congo family and are noted for their subject–object–verb basic word order, which is otherwise an unusual feature in Niger–Congo, shared only by such distant branches as Mande and Dogon. Like Mande and Dogon, Ijoid lacks even traces of the noun class system considered characteristic of Niger–Congo, and so might have split early from that family. Linguist Gerrit Dimmendaal doubts its inclusion in Niger–Congo altogether and considers the Ijaw/Ijoid languages to be an independent family.[3] [4]

Comparative vocabulary

Sample basic vocabulary for Proto-Ijaw, Kalabari, and Defaka:

Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water eat name
Proto-Ijaw[5] *tɔrɪ³ *ɓeri¹ *nḭnḭ³ *aka² *ɪ̰ɓɛ̰lɛʊ² *ɓɪpɪ² *asɪ̰ɪ̰¹ *ṵgbəu² *tɛ̰ɪ̰² *ɓed̰i¹ *fɪɪ² *ɪrɛ²
Kalabari[6] tɔ́rʊ̄ ɓeri nínī áká ɓɛ́lɛ́ ɓɪ́ɓɪ́ ímgbe ɔmbɪ-yé, pulo sɪ́n minji fɪ́ ɛ́rɛ́
Defaka[6] ɔ́yɔ ɓasi níni nɪan mɛndʊɔ ɓɪ́ɪ́ ḿbua asi ibo tiin mbɪ́á éé ɪ́tá

Numerals

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[7]

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The Ijoid, or perhaps just Ijaw, languages form a divergent branch of the Niger–Congo family and are noted for their subject–object–verb basic word order, which is otherwise an unusual feature in Niger–Congo, shared only by such distant branches as Mande and Dogon. Like Mande and Dogon, Ijoid lacks even traces of the noun class system considered characteristic of Niger–Congo, and so might have split early from that family. Linguist Gerrit Dimmendaal doubts its inclusion in Niger–Congo altogether and considers the Ijaw/Ijoid languages to be an independent family.[3] [4]

Sample basic vocabulary for Proto-Ijaw, Kalabari, and Defaka:

Classification Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Defaka Defaka ɡbérí mààmà táátó nɛ́ì túúnɔ̀ màànɡò túààmà (5 + 2) ? túàtùà (5 + 3) ? túùnèì (5 + 4) ? wóì
Ijo, East, Northeastern Nkoroo ɡbɔ́rí màmì tárú nɛ̃́ĩ́ sɔ́nɔ́ sóníá sɔ́nɔ́mà nínì ísíéní ójí
Ijo, East, Northeastern, Eastern Ibani ŋ̀ɡɪ̀ɛ́ m̀mɛ̀ɛ́ tɛ́rɛ́ íní sɔ́nɔ́ sóníɛ́ sɔ́nɔ́mà ínínè éséníé àtìé / ójí
Ijo, East, Northeastern, Eastern Okrika (Kalabari) ŋ̀ɡèi màɪ̃ tɛrɛ ineĩ sɔnɔ sonio sɔnɔmɛ̀ ninè esenie oji, àtèi
Ijo, West Ijo Izon (Ijaw/Ijo) (1) kẹnị́ mamụ́ tǎrụ nóín sọ́nrọ́n =sɔ̃́rɔ̃́ ? sǒndie sọ́nọ́ma nínɡíni isé óí
Ijo, West Ijo Izon (Ijaw/Ijo) (2) kẹnị́ mamụ́ tǎrụ nóín sọ́nrọ́n =sɔ̃́rɔ̃́ ?
Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water eat name
Proto-Ijaw[5] *tɔrɪ³ *ɓeri¹ *nḭnḭ³ *aka² *ɪ̰ɓɛ̰lɛʊ² *ɓɪpɪ² *asɪ̰ɪ̰¹ *ṵgbəu² *tɛ̰ɪ̰² *ɓed̰i¹ *fɪɪ² *ɪrɛ²
Kalabari[6] tɔ́rʊ̄ ɓeri nínī áká ɓɛ́lɛ́ ɓɪ́ɓɪ́ ímgbe ɔmbɪ-yé, pulo sɪ́n minji fɪ́ ɛ́rɛ́
Defaka[6] ɔ́yɔ ɓasi níni nɪan mɛndʊɔ ɓɪ́ɪ́ ḿbua asi ibo tiin mbɪ́á éé ɪ́tá

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[7]

Classification Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Defaka Defaka ɡbérí mààmà táátó nɛ́ì túúnɔ̀ màànɡò túààmà (5 + 2) ? túàtùà (5 + 3) ? túùnèì (5 + 4) ? wóì
Ijo, East, Northeastern Nkoroo ɡbɔ́rí màmì tárú nɛ̃́ĩ́ sɔ́nɔ́ sóníá sɔ́nɔ́mà nínì ísíéní ójí
Ijo, East, Northeastern, Eastern Ibani ŋ̀ɡɪ̀ɛ́ m̀mɛ̀ɛ́ tɛ́rɛ́ íní sɔ́nɔ́ sóníɛ́ sɔ́nɔ́mà ínínè éséníé àtìé / ójí
Ijo, East, Northeastern, Eastern Okrika (Kalabari) ŋ̀ɡèi màɪ̃ tɛrɛ ineĩ sɔnɔ sonio sɔnɔmɛ̀ ninè esenie oji, àtèi
Ijo, West Ijo Izon (Ijaw/Ijo) (1) kẹnị́ mamụ́ tǎrụ nóín sọ́nrọ́n =sɔ̃́rɔ̃́&#