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Kejom (Babanki)


Kejom, the preferred autonym for the language more commonly known as Babanki, is a Central Ring Grassfields Bantu language (ISO 693-3: [bbk]) spoken in the Northwest Regionof Cameroon (Hyman, 1980; Simons and Fennig, 2017; Hammarstr¨om et al., 2017). The language is spoken mainly in two settlements, Kejom Ketinguh and Kejom Keku, also known as Babanki Tungoh and Big Babanki, respectively (Figure 1), but alsoto some extent in diaspora communities outside of Cameroon. Simons and Fennig (2017) state that the number of speakers is increasing; however, the figure of 39,000 speakers they provide likely overestimates the number of fluent speakers in diaspora communities. The two main settlements’ dialects exhibit slight phonetic, phonological, and lexical differences but are mutually intelligible. The variety of Kejom described here is the Kejom Ketinguh variant spoken by the second author.

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