The Yamba Alphabet


There are 32 letters:

a b c d dz e ɛ ə f g gh h i j k l m n ŋ o p r s t ts u ʉ v w y z ’

The Yamba--English part of the dictionary is arranged alphabetically according to this order.


A a ta shoot
B b buk chimpanzee
C c cə̀k cloth
D d dak ladder
Dz dz dzok stool
E e fèk cutlass
Ɛ ɛ bushcow/buffalo
Ə ə ndzə goat
F f fuk fish
G g gòm banana
Gh gh ghas yawn
H h hum ten
I i lis eye
J j jok comb (of cock)
K k ku nightjar
L l lop hook
M m mis fire
N n no snake
Ŋ ŋ ŋwʉ moon
O o còp fox
P p pià pear
R r ram net
S s so hoe
T t tàm hat
Ts ts tse’mis the cooking stones (around the fire)
U u foot
Ʉ ʉ mbʉŋ rain
V v vép bone
W w wòk mushroom
Y y yuk hear
Z z eat
ntuʼ ear

The Yamba alphabet includes the following tone marks:

Low tone as in,  nàm – animal.  High and mid tones are unmarked as in, ndap – house (high tone), and ba – two (mid tone).  Rising tone is indicated by writing a double vowel, the first of which may be marked: low tone as in ŋwàak – books (cf. ŋwàk) book, or unmarked for mid tone as in ŋkɛɛŋ – monkeys (cf. ŋkɛŋ) monkey.

The following pairs of words are a few in the Yamba language where the difference in meaning is found only in the tone, hence the need to write tone to facilitate reading:

fek to ask fèk cutlass
tam trap tàm hat
ku nightjar foot
buk chimpanzee bùk thigh
lis eye lìs stone
ndum husband ndùm mole
bam slope bàm bag