Bushi language

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Shibushi, Kibushi
Native toMayotte
Native speakers
47,900 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3buc
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Kibosy (Shibushi or Kibushi) is a dialect of Malagasy spoken in the French-ruled Comorian island of Mayotte. Malagasy dialects most closely related to Bushi are spoken in northwestern Madagascar in the area of Antsiranana (Diego-Suarez) and Mahajanga (Majunga), which is also the closest point in Madagascar to Mayotte. Kibosy and Majunga together are considered one of the Malagasy languages by Glottolog.

Geographical distribution[edit]

Bushi is known as Kibushi on Mayotte and is spoken by 40% of the islands' people (1980). It is spoken alongside the Maore dialect (Shimaore) of Comorian, a Bantu language. Historically, Kibushi and Shimaore have been spoken in certain villages but Shimaore tends to be the de facto indigenous lingua franca in everyday life, because of the larger Shimaore-speaking population. Only Shimaore is represented on the local television news program by Réseau Outre-Mer 1re. Dialects of Bushi in Mayotte (known as Shibushi in Shimaore) include Kiantalaotse and Kibushi-Kimaore (Shibushi-Shimaore in Shimaore).

Bushi is spoken along the west coast of the main island (Grande-Terre) including the villages of Bambo Est, M'Boueni, Passy-Kéli, Mronabeja, Kani-Kéli, Chirongui, Poroani, Ouangani, Chiconi, Sohoa, M'Tsangamouji, Acoua, Mtsangadoua, Handrema.


In Mayotte, Bushi was traditionally written with an informal French-based Latin orthography. On 22 February 2006, the Conseil de la Culture, de l'Éducation et de l'Environnement de Mayotte introduced an official alphabet that utilizes the basic Latin alphabet without c, j, q, and x and uses three extra letters: ɓ, ɗ, and n̈.[3] Here, the letters used in the orthography are bolded, their IPA counterparts in brackets.


Bushi has 5 vowels.

Front Back
Close i [i] u [u]
Close-mid e [e] o [o]
Open a [a]


Bushi has 20 consonants.

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
plain implosive plain implosive
Stop voiceless p [p] t [t] k [k]
voiced b [b] ɓ [ɓ] d [d] ɗ [ɗ] g [ɡ]
Fricative voiceless f [f] s [s] h [h]
voiced v [v] z [z]
Nasal m [m] n [n] [ŋ]
Approximant l [l] y [j] w [w]
Trill r [r]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bushi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kibosy Kiantalaotsy–Majunga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Alphabet du Kibushi Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in French)