The Isoko language is spoken by the Isoko people in the Niger Delta of Southern Nigeria; specifically in regions of Delta and Bayelsa States. The Isoko and Urhobo languages are essentially dialects of the same language. However, the source dialect is a matter of dispute. Nevertheless, both dialects are derivatives of the Edoid language group.

Native speakers
420,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3iso

Michael A. Marioghae, working with Peter Ladefoged in 1962, made one of a few audio recordings of sample Isoko words that are made available at the UCLA phonetics archive.[3]


The Isoko vowel system is hardly reduced from that reconstructed for proto-Edoid. There are nine vowels in two harmonic sets, /i e a o u/ and /ɪ ɛ a ɔ ʊ/.[4]


  1. ^ Isoko at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Isoko". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Isoko audio word-list
  4. ^ Archangeli & Pulleyblank, 1994. Grounded phonology, p 181ff

External linksEdit