Doubled consonants and
consonant digraphs

Doubled consonants

When a consonant is doubled in Zarma, both of them are distinctly pronounced, the first with the preceding syllable, the second to begin the following one. When two "r" occur, this makes a distinctly "trilled" r, like the Scotch "burr"


hirri, lelle, lakkal

Consonant digraphs

Consonant digraphs are rare in Zarma, that is, two consonants to be pronounced together at the beginning or end of a syllable and a different one to begin the next one. Most "closed" syllables (those ending in a consonant), use either "nasal" or "liquid" consonants, i.e. m, n, ŋ, or l, r, though there are a few rare exceptions to this.

There is, however, one class of nouns which begins with an "n" plus some other consonant, where the "n" represents a barely audible hum preceding the first syllable.


ndurka, ntanda, nkura

Last updated: 29 januari 2006