Àwọn èdè irú Yorùbá
|Togo, Benin and south-western Nigeria|
Yoruboid is a group of languages composed of Igala, a language spoken in central Nigeria, and the Edekiri group, the members of which are spoken in a band across Togo, Benin and southwestern Nigeria. The name Yoruboid derives from its most widely spoken member, Yoruba, which has more than 20 million speakers. Another well-known Yoruboid language is Itsekiri (Nigeria, 600,00-800,000 speakers). The Yoruboid group is a branch of Defoid, which itself is a branch of the Benue-Congo subfamily of the Niger-Congo language family.
Igala is a key Yoruboid language, spoken by 1.8 million people in the Niger-Benue confluence of central Nigeria, it is excised from the main body of Yoruboid languages to the west by Ebirra and the Edo languages. Igala is closely related to both Yoruba and Itsekiri languages.
All Yoruboid languages are tonal, with most of them having three level tones. Grammatically, they are isolating with a Subject Object Verb basic word order.
The Itsekiri's are a riverine Yoruboid people who live in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. They maintain a distinct identity separate from other Yoruboid people. Their neighbours are the Urhobos, The Ijaws, and the Mahin Ilaje, a Yoruba clan.