Bravanese dialect

Bravanese, also called Chimwiini (ChiMwini, Mwiini, Mwini) or Chimbalazi[4] is a variety of Swahili spoken by the Bravanese people, who are the predominant inhabitants of Barawa, or Brava, in Somalia.[5] Maho (2009) considers it a distinct dialect. It is classified as a Northern Dialect of Swahili.[6]

Native toSomalia
Native speakers
183,000 (2015)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3(included in swh)

Due to the ongoing Somali Civil War, most speakers have left the region and are scattered throughout the world in ex-refugee immigrant communities in places such as Columbus and Atlanta in the United States, London and Manchester in the United Kingdom, and Mombasa, Kenya.[7] Ethnologue classifies its language status in Somalia as developing.[8]

Bravanese may have once served as a regional lingua franca due to the key coastal location of Barawa. One piece of linguistic evidence for this comes from morphological reduction. For example, it has a three-way tense system, which is simpler than that of neighboring Bantu dialects historically spoken in Somalia.[6]

See also


  1. "Swahili". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mwini". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. I. M. Lewis, Islam in tropical Africa, Volume 1964, (International African Institute in association with Indiana University Press: 1980), p.7.
  5. Abdullahi, p.11.
  6. Nurse, Derek; Hinnebusch, Thomas J.; Philipson, Gérard (1993). Swahili and Sabaki: A Linguistic History. Univ of California Press. ISBN 9780520097759.
  7. "Chimiini Language Project". Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  8. "Swahili". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-02-06.


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