|Native to||Chad, Sudan|
|Native speakers||unknown (1,000 cited 1983)|
The Kujargé language is spoken in seven villages in Chad near Jebel Mirra ( ) and in Sudan in villages scattered along the lower Wadi Salih and Wadi Azum. It is estimated to have about 1000 speakers (as of 1983). The name is derived from Sudanese Arabic kujur "sorcerer", because of their reputation for witchcraft. The speakers mainly live by hunting and gathering.
Kujarge is unclassified. It is known only from a 200-word list. These include Chadic words, but low numerals and pronouns look very un-Chadic. Blench (2008) notes that much of the basic vocabulary looks Cushitic, and speculates that Kujarge could even be a conservative language transitional between Chadic and Cushitic.
The language had been classified as a member of the Mubi subgroup of Chadic by Paul Newman; however, Lionel Bender argued that its classification remained uncertain. There may have been a mix-up with Birgit, a nearby Mubi language which is also called Kujarge; when Newman was shown the 200-word list in 2006, he would not commit to it being Chadic.
In addition, there appears to be a large amount of vocabulary that hasn't been identified as Afro-Asiatic; there is a possibility that it is a language isolate that has been largely relexified by Chadic and Cushitic.
Judging by the one available wordlist, the consonants appear to be:
|Plosives||b||t d||ɟ||k ɡ|
The numbers include:
- Paul Doornbos & M. Lionel Bender. 1983. "Languages of Wadai-Darfur", in ed. M. Lionel Bender, Nilo-Saharan Language Studies, African Studies Center, Michigan State University
- Kujargé reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Harald Hammarström, 2010, 'The status of the least documented language families in the world'. In Language Documentation & Conservation, v 4, p 183 
- Roger Blench, 2008. 'Links between Cushitic, Omotic, Chadic and the position of Kujarge'. (ms)
- Roger Blench and Mauro Tosco, 2010. 'Cushitic, Omotic, Chadic and the position of Kujarge', Workshop « Language Isolates in Africa », Lyons