Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

5 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Trond Engen says:

    I think we could replay the script from last week. Would it be fun to switch lines? I’ll open this time by stating that there are sequences I imagine might be loans from Portuguese and suggest something Amazonian.

  2. Roger says:

    Former Congo area perhaps Rwanda in which case my guess would be Kinyarwanda, I think I detected un petit peu in there.

  3. Chris Miller says:

    I’m pretty certain this is a West African language. It has the typical “downdrift” intonation of languages from that region, where the phonemic tones in successive words in the same phrase “drift” downward toward the end of a phrase; in other words, their absolute tonal pitch is lower the farther you get from the beginning of the phrase they are in.

    I hear the neutral central vowel [ə] all over the place, and a lot of consonant clusters that are not typical in most Niger-Congo languages, so I’m guessing this is either a Kordofanian language or a Nilo-Saharan language. In any case, it sounds like something from the southern Saharan belt, not like anything I can think of from further south.

  4. Simon says:

    The answer is Ntcham (Basari), a Niger-Congo language spoken in Togo and Ghana.

    The recording comes from the GRN.

  5. Trond Engen says:

    Far off target again. I wondered about changing my guess to a West-African Niger-Congo language based on nothing but interpolation between the two of you. Too bad I didn’t.

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