Ethnologue: Areas: Africa

Ghana

17,543,000 (1995). Republic of Ghana. Formerly Gold Coast, and British Togoland. Literacy rate 36% (1992 UNESCO); 41% (1977 C. M. Brann). Information mainly from GILLBT 1995, Vanderaa 1991. Data accuracy estimate: A2. Christian, traditional religion, Muslim. Blind population 60,418. Deaf institutions: 20. The number of languages listed for Ghana is 72.

ABRON (BRONG, BRON, DOMA) [ABR] 606,600 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 131,700 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993 SIL); 738,300 in all countries. Southwestern Ghana, northwest of Asante Twi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan. Most speak and understand Asante Twi well. Speakers of one dialect have less comprehension of Twi. 25% to 50% literate. Largely Muslim. Survey needed.

ADAMOROBE SIGN LANGUAGE [ADS] Adamorobe, a village in the Eastern Region. The district capital is Aburi. Deaf sign language. 15% deafness in the population; one of the highest percentages in the world, caused by genetic recessive autosome. The age range of the deaf is evenly distributed. They are considered full citizens. The village has been settled for 200 years. It is an indigenous deaf sign language, also used by many hearing people. Most users have no contact with Ghanaian Sign Language. Agriculturalists, firewood traders.

ADELE (GIDIRE, BIDIRE) [ADE] 9,000 in Ghana (1995); 12,000 in Togo (1995); 21,000 in all countries (1995 GILLBT). East central border with Togo. Upper Adele is in Togo, Lower Adele in Ghana. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Basila-Adele. Dialects: UPPER ADELE, LOWER ADELE. 85% to 90% inherent intelligibility between dialects, minor differences in tone and lexicon. Speakers' name for their language is 'Gidire', for themselves, 'Bidire'. 'Adele' in the name used by others. Different from Adere of Cameroon. 5% to 15% literate. Forest, savannah. River valley. Subsistence agriculturalists: crop diversity. Traditional religion, Christian. NT in press (1995). Bible portions 1992.

AHANTA [AHA] 100,000 (1993 SIL). Southwest coast. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern. Strong language community. Partial bilingualism in Fante and Nzema. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

AKAN [TWS] 7,000,000 (1995 WA); 44% of the population (1990 WA); 1,170,000 Asante Twi; 4,300,000 Fante; 230,000 Akuapem Twi (1993 UBS). The Asante are south central, Ashanti Province. The Akuapem are southeast, in areas north of Accra. The Fante are south central, between Winneba, Takoradi, and Obuasi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan. Dialects: FANTE (FANTI, MFANTSE), AKUAPEM (AKWAPEM TWI, AKUAPIM, AKWAPI), ASANTE (ASHANTE TWI, ASANTI, ACHANTI), AGONA, DANKYIRA, ASEN, AKYEM BOSOME, KWAWU, AHAFO. Dialects are largely inherently intelligible. The language of the Asante and Akuapem is called 'Twi'. An official literary language used for education through university, and in mother tongue authored literature. Roman alphabet. 30% to 60% literate. Typology: SVO. Braille code available. Bible 1871-1964. NT 1863-1981. Bible portions 1859-1957.

AKPAFU-LOLOBI (LOLOBI-AKPAFU, SIWU, SIWUSI) [AKP] 16,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southeast, north of Hohoé. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Lelemi-Akpafu. Dialects: AKPAFU, LOLOBI. Lolobi and Akpafu are inherently intelligible, but have been politically separate since the 1800's. Average 66% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. Community sponsored vernacular literacy materials are available. 25% to 50% literate. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

AKPOSO (KPOSO, IKPOSO, AKPOSSO) [KPO] 5,400 in Ghana (1991); 94,900 in Togo (1991); 100,300 in all countries (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southern. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Kposo-Ahlo-Bowili. Dialects: AMOU OBLOU, IKPONU, IWI (UWI), LITIME (BADOU), LOGBO, UMA. Speakers have a keen interest in their language. Community sponsored vernacular literacy materials are available. Somewhat bilingual in Ewe. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Work in progress.

ANIMERE (ANYIMERE, KUNDA) [ANF] 2,000 (1988 GILLBT). East central, Kecheibi and Kunda villages, remote location. None in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Kebu-Animere. Intelligibility with related varieties is not known. Twi may be the second language. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

ANUFO (CHOKOSI, CHAKOSI, KYOKOSI, TCHOKOSSI, TIOKOSSI) [CKO] 53,000 in Ghana (1995); 41,800 in Togo (1991); 10,000 in Benin (1991); 105,000 in all countries (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Northeast around Wawjayga. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern. Large migration across the border. 'Anufo' is the name the people use for themselves; 'Chokosi' is used by others. Below 5% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Bible portions 1993. Work in progress.

ANYIN (ANYI, AGNI) [ANY] 200,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL); 610,000 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993 SIL); 810,000 in all countries. Between Abron to the north, Nzema to the south, Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Twi to the east. The Aowin dialect is in Ghana. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern. Dialect: AOWIN (BRISSA, BROSA). Possible orthography adaptation is needed for materials from Côte d'Ivoire for Aowin. Closely related to Sehwi. Below 5% literate. Traditional religion. Bible portions 1927-1993. Work in progress.

AVATIME (AFATIME, SIDEME, SIA) [AVA] 11,600 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southeast, center at Amedzofe (Amajofe). Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo. Average 57% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types, but diminishing contact with Ewe. Closely related languages or dialects: Nyangbo, Tafi. Understood somewhat as a second language by speakers of nearby languages. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion.

AWUTU [AFU] 100,000 (1988 GILLBT). Coast, west of Accra. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang. Dialects: AWUTU, EFUTU, SENYA. A high proportion of the people have school education. 5% to 15% literate. Christian, Muslim, traditional religion, secular. Survey needed.

BIMOBA (MOAR, MOOR) [BIM] 73,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Northeast, Gambaga District, south of Kusaasi, north of Konkomba. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Gurma, Moba. Related to Moba of Togo, but not inherently intelligible with it. 15% to 25% literate. Grammar. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1986. Bible portions 1971-1973.

BIRIFOR, SOUTHERN (BIRIFO, GHANA BIRIFOR) [BIV] 100,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL); 4,308 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993 SIL); 104,000 in all countries. Northwest corner. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest, Dagaari-Birifor, Birifor. A separate language from Wali, Dagaari, and Malba-Birifor of Burkina Faso, and not inherently intelligible with them. Below 5% literate. Grammar. Traditional religion. Bible portions 1993.

BISSA (BISA) [BIB] 119,100 in Ghana (1991 Vanderaa); 400,000 in Burkina Faso (1991 SIL); 63,000 emigrants in Côte d'Ivoire (1993); 3,000 in Togo (1991 SIL); 585,000 in all countries. Northeast. Niger-Congo, Mande, Eastern, Southeastern, Eastern, Bissa. Dialects: LEBIR (WESTERN BISA), BARAKA (EASTERN BISA). It may include more than one distinct language, but it is not the same as Busa of Benin and Nigeria. The name of the people is 'Busansi'. Related to Samo. Some bilingualism in Moore. 7% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Work in progress.

BOWIRI (BOWILI, LIWULI, SIWURI, BAWULI, TUWILI) [BOV] 10,000 (1988 GILLBT). Volta Region, from Volta Lake eastward to Amanfro on the Hohoe-Jasikan road. Not found in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Kposo-Ahlo-Bowili. Diminishing contact with Ewe. 25% to 50% literate. Traditional religion.

BULI (BUILSA, BULISA, KANJAGA, GURESHA) [BWU] 100,000, including 80,000 in the Sandema District (1991 SIL). Sandema District. None in Burkina Faso. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Buli-Koma. 77% lexical similarity with Mampruli. The people call themselves 'Bulisa' or 'Builsa', and their language 'Buli'. 'Kanjaga' and 'Guresha' are names given by others. 5% to 15% literate. Dictionaries. Grammars. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1996. Bible portions 1962-1991.

CHAKALI [CLI] 5,000 (1995 GILLBT). East of Wa. Ducie is largest village. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Lexical similarity is 75% with Tampulma, 68% with Vagla. People are reported to be bilingual in Wali, but Chakali is used in the home. In Tuasa only the older people speak Chakali. Traditional religion.

CHALA (TSHALA, CALA) [CHA] 2,000 (1988 GILLBT). Villages of Nkwanta, Odomi, Ago. None in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Eastern. Different from Chala (Ron) of Nigeria. They are under the Gichode paramount chief. Some are bilingual in Gichode; proficiency is higher than in Twi. Twi is spoken to outsiders. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

CHUMBURUNG (NCHUMBURUNG, NCHIMBURU, NCHUMMURU, KYONGBORONG) [NCU] 40,000 (1992 GILLBT), including 2,000 Yeji. A triangular area with Volta Lake on the south, Daka River on the northwest, Yeji south of the lake. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Dialects: NORTHERN CHUMBURUNG (BANDA), SOUTHERN CHUMBURUNG (LONTO, GURUBI, CHINDERI, BEJAMSE, BORAE), YEJI (YEDJI). 83% lexical similarity with Yeji, 79% with Kplang, 78% with Krache, 69% with Dwang, 67% with Nawuri and Gichode, 60% with Gonja. Reported to be intelligible with Krache. Most people speak Twi as second language. Chumburung is the language, Nchumburung the people. Below 5% literate. Dictionary, grammar. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1988.

DAGAARI, SOUTHERN (SOUTHERN DAGARI, DAGARI, DAGARA, DEGATI, DAGATI, DOGAARI, DAGAARE) [DGA] 501,000 (1993 UBS). Northwest corner. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest, Dagaari-Birifor, Dagaari. The people are called 'Dagaaba'. The language is spoken by all ages. Dagaari and Birifor are partially intelligible; Dagaari is more prominent politically and socially. It is an official literary language with Wali. It is distinct from Northern Dagaari in Burkina Faso. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim. Bible portions 1970. Work in progress.

DAGBANI (DAGBANE, DAGOMBA, DAGBAMBA) [DAG] 540,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL). Northeast around Tamale and as far as Yendi. Also in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast. Dialect: NANUNI (NANUMBA). The people are called 'Dagbamba' or 'Dagomba', the language 'Dagbani' by outsiders. 90% lexical similarity with Talni, 89% with Kusal. An official literary language. 3% literatein Dagbani. Typology: SVO. Muslim, traditional religion, Christian. NT 1974, in press (1995). Bible portions 1935-1955.

DEG (DEGHA, MO, MMFO, ACULO, JANELA, BURU) [MZW] 20,000 in Ghana (1993 UBS); 1,100 in Côte d'Ivoire (1991); 21,000 in all countries. West central, west of Volta Lake. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Dialects: LONGORO, MANGUM, BOE. 'Deg' is their name for themselves; 'Mo' is used by outsiders. 78% lexical similarity with Vagla. Twi is widely spoken. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1990.

DELO (NTRUBO, NTRIBU, NTRIBOU) [NTR] 10,000 in Ghana (1991); 5,000 in Togo (1991); 15,000 in all countries. East central border with Togo. The paramount chief is at Breniase, 20 miles south of Nkwanta. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Eastern. It has been reclassified from Kwa to Gur family. 'Delo' is the language name; 'Ntrubo' the people. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Work in progress.

DWANG (DWAN, NCHUMUNU) [NNU] 10,000 (1988 GILLBT). South of Volta Lake and the Chumburung, east of Atebubu. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Dialects: KWAME-DANSO, BASSA, EWOASE. A dialect continuum. Closest to Kplang. 75% comprehension of Chumburung. Krache is understood well because of contact. Most people are bilingual in Twi (Akan). The people were historically known as Bassa. Survey needed.

ENGLISH [ENG] Second language speakers: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin); 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. National language. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

ÉWÉ (EIBE, EBWE, EVE, EFE, EUE, VHE, GBE, KREPI, KREPE, POPO) [EWE] 1,615,700 in Ghana (1991); 13% of the population (1990 WA); 861,900 in Togo (1991); 2,477,600 in all countries (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 3,000,000 including second language users (1991 WA). Southeast corner. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Gbe. Dialects: ANGLO, AWUNA, HUDU, KOTAFOA. An official literary language used for primary and secondary education, mother tongue authored literature, textbooks, grammars. Roman script is used. 75% to 100% literate. Language of wider communication. Christian, traditional religion. Bible 1913-1931. NT 1877-1991. Bible portions 1858-1988.

FULFULDE, MAASINA (PEUL, FULBE, MACINA) [FUL] 7,300 in Ghana (1991); 610,000 in all countries. Northern, in small groups. Also in Mali (primarily), Côte d'Ivoire. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Fulani, West Central. Nomadic. Hausa is the second language. They are considered to be foreigners by Ghanaians. Pastoralists. Muslim. Bible portions 1934. Work in progress.

GA-ADANGME-KROBO (AMINA, GAIN, ACCRA, ACRA) [GAC] 1,125,900 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 8% of the population (1990 WA), including 300,000 Adangme, 300,000 Ga (1993 UNS). Southeast, coast around Accra and inland. Also in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Ga-Dangme. Dialects: GA, ADANGME (ADANGBE, DANGME, DANGBE), KROBO. Ga and Adangme are separate official literary languages. Ga is the major language of Accrá, the capital. 75% to 100% literate. Traditional religion. Bible 1866-1909. NT 1859-1994. Bible portions 1843-1966.

GHANAIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [GSE] Deaf sign language. Related to American and Nigerian sign languages. Brought in 1957 by missionary Andrew Foster. Differs from American Sign Language in lexicon. There are new and local signs, and some modified from ASL. 9 deaf schools. Other deaf people use home signs. Elementary schools for deaf children since 1957. Sign language interpreters are required for deaf people in court. Little research. Some sign language classes for hearing people. There is a manual alphabet for signing. Survey needed.

GIKYODE [ACD] 10,000 speakers, 9,000 in the traditional area (1995 SIL). East central, on the border with Togo. Remote. 9 villages. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Closest to Anyanga of Togo; 75% lexical similarity. Twi (Akan) is used for trade. Less than 1% fluent Gikyode literates, 5% fluent second language literates. The name of the people is 'Akyode' (Achode), the language is 'Gikyode' (correct spelling; 'Gichode' is the correct English pronunciation). 5% to 20% literate. Forest, savannah. Foothils, mountain slope. Subsistence agriculturalists: cassava, yam. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1986-1988. Work in progress.

GONJA (NGBANYITO) [DUM] 250,000 (1995 SIL). West central, around the Upper Volta River. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Dialects: GONJA, CHORUBA (CHOROBA), DUMPO (NDMPO). It is not intelligible with Chumburung. An official literary language. Below 5% literate. Muslim, Christian. NT 1984. Bible portions 1967-1974.

GUA (LARTEH-CHEREPON-ANUM-BOSO) [LAR] 156,200; 54,000 Cherepon; 36,000 Larteh; 30,000 Anum (1988 GILLBT). Anum: a pocket in Ewe area, Lete and Chiripon: a pocket between Ga and Twi areas. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, South Guang. Dialects: OKERE (CHIRIPONG, CHIRIPON, CHEREPON), LATE (LETE, LARTEH), ANU (ANUM), BOSO. Speakers of all dialects use Twi (Akan) as second language. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

GURENNE (FRAFRA, FAREFARE) [GUR] 526,300 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) including 400,000 in the Upper East Region, perhaps 100,000 in various towns and cities in other regions (1988 SIL); 25,100 in Burkina Faso (1991 Vanderaa); 551,400 in all countries. Northeast around Bolgatanga (Bolgatanga District) and Navrongo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast. Dialects: GUDENI (GUDENNE, GURENNE, GURUNE), NAANI (NANKANI, NANKANSE), BOONI, TALNI, NABT. They call themselves 'Gurunsi' and their language 'Farefare' or 'Frafra'. The dialects are named after towns or localities. They consider Mampruli, Kusaal, and Dagaati to be sister languages. Nabt and Talni may be considered dialects of Mampruli. 5 major dialects and many minor ones. Taught at the University of Ghana. Dictionary in progress. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1986, out of print. Bible portions 1962-1992.

HANGA (ANGA) [HAG] 5,000 including 3,000 in the traditional area, 2,000 elsewhere (1992 GILLBT). North central, southeast of the Mole game reserve, Damongo District. The biggest village is Murugu. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast. Dialects: MARA (KAMARA, KIMARA), DAMANGO, LANKATERE, MURUGU, YAZORI. Politically it is a subgroup of the Gonja. 84% lexical similarity with Dagara and Gurenne. Kimara may be a separate language. 10% to 30% literate. Savannah. Agriculturalists: maize, sorghum, millet, yams, cassava. NT 1983. Bible portions 1982.

HAUSA [HUA] 22,000,000 in all countries (1991); 38,000,000 first and second language speakers (1995 WA). Mainly in Nigeria. Also in Niger, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso. Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, West, A, A.1. The trade language of northern Ghana. Trade language. Muslim. Bible 1932-1980. NT 1880-1965. Bible portions 1857-1988.

JWIRA-PEPESA (PEPESA-JWIRA) [JWI] 14,500 (1995 SIL). Southwest corner. The Jwira live north of Axim from Bamiankaw to Humjibere along the Ankobra River (18 villages). The Pepesa live on Wasa land between Agona Junction and Tarkwa. Dompim is the main town. A mountain range separates the two groups. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern. Dialects: JWIRA, PEPESA. 60% intelligibility of Nzema. In the north, some Jwira speak Wasa; in the south some speak Nzema. The Pepesa use Wasa as second language. 50% to 75% literate. the Jwira are inaccessible except by boat. Traditional religion, Christian.

KABIYÉ (KABRE, CABRAI, KABURE, KABYE, CABRAIS) [KBP] 520,000 in all countries (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 489,200 in Togo (1991 Vanderaa); 1,200,000 including second language speakers (1991 UBS). North. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Eastern. Traditional religion. NT in press (1996). Bible portions 1955-1987.

KANTOSI (KANTONSI) [XKT] 2,000 possibly in Ghana, including 200 to 300 in Sandema District, possibly 1,000 in Kpaliwongo (1991 P. and N. Schaefer SIL). North central, Sandema District, among the Bulsa (Buli language). Also settlements near Wa, in Navrongo, Bolgatonga, and Nalerigu. They say Kpaliwongo, a village 50 km. from Wa, is their place of origin. It was destroyed during the days of slave-raiding. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast. A school in Wa uses Kantosi. Close to Gurenne. Those in Sandema use Buli as second language. One source says they are from Niger or Mali. Bulsa call them 'Yadasi' (pl.), 'Yadakala' (sg.), which means 'Muslim'. Muslim. Survey needed.

KASEM (KASENA, KASSENA, KASENE) [KAS] 100,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL); 100,000 in Burkina Faso (1990 SIL); 200,000 in all countries. North central (Navrongo District). Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Northern. Dialects: NUNUMA, LELA, KASEM, FERE. The people are Kasena, the language Kasem. An official literary language in Ghana. 15% to 25% literate. Grammar. Traditional religion, Christian, secular, Muslim. NT 1988. Bible portions 1948-1978.

KONKOMBA (LIKPAKPALN, KPANKPAM, KOM KOMBA) [KOS] 400,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL); 50,100 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 450,000 in all countries. Northeast border area around Guerin, Yendi District, and into Togo. Many groups are scattered throughout north central Ghana. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Gurma. Dialects: LICHABOOL-NALONG, LIMONKPEL, LINAFIEL, LIKOONLI, LIGBELN. 'Likpakpaln' is the self name for the language, 'Bikpakpaln' for the people. Patrilineal, patrilocal. 5% to 15% literate. Agriculturalists: yams. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Bible in press (1996). NT 1977-1984. Bible portions 1969.

KONNI (KONI, KOMA, KOMUNG) [KMA] 2,500 (1995 SIL). Remote and isolated. Southeast of the Sisaala and west of the Mamprusi. No roads. 5 villages; Yikpabongo is the main one, Nangurima is another. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Buli-Koma. 60% lexical similarity with Buli. They also speak several nearby languages. Politically under the Mampruli chief. The people are called 'Koma', the language 'Komung' or 'Konni'. It has some linguistic features common to Mampruli, Hanga, and Buli. A high percentage of blindness from onchocerciasis. No one fully literate. Agriculturalists: yams, cassava, millet, guinea corn, maize, peanuts. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. Work in progress.

KPLANG (PRANG) [PRA] 7,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). South of Volta Lake, south of Yeji (Chumburung). Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. 92% lexical similarity with Yeji Chumburung, 79% with Chumburung. 73% intelligibility of Chumburung. 96% comprehension of Yeji because of proximity. Most people are bilingual in Twi (Akan). Traditional religion. Survey needed.

KRACHE (KRACHI, KRAKYE, KAAKYI) [KYE] 60,000 (1988 GILLBT). Central, near Nchimburu, area of Kete Krachi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. A portion of the population is bilingual in Twi (Akan). High level of school attendance. Community sponsored literacy materials available. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

KULANGO, BONDOUKOU (NKURAENG, NKURANGE, KOULANGO, KULANGE, KOLANGO, BONDUKU) [KZC] 10,000 in Ghana (1991); 77,000 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993); 87,600 in all countries. West central, west of Wenchi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Kulango. Traditional religion. NT 1975. Bible portions 1967-1989.

KULANGO, BOUNA (NKURAENG, BUNA) [NKU] 15,500 in Ghana (1991); 142,000 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993); 157,500 in all countries. West central border area. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Kulango. Dialects: SEKWA, NABANJ. Mainly traditional religion.

KUSAAL, EASTERN (KUSALE, KUSASI) [KUS] 500,000 (1995 SIL). Northeast corner, Bawku District. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast, Kusaal. Dialects: ANGOLE, TOENDE. Dialects are inherently intelligible. Distinct from Western Kusaal of Burkina Faso. Kusasi are the people, Kusaal is the language. 15% to 25% literate. Dictionary. Grammar. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1976, in press (1995), out of print. Bible portions 1965.

LELEMI (LEFANA, LAFANA, BUEM) [LEF] 42,000 (1995 SIL). Southeast, town of Jasikan. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Lelemi-Akpafu. Some bilingualism in Twi (Akan). A test sample averaged 40% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. The people are called 'Buem', the language 'Lelemi'. 5% to 15% literate. Grammar. Typology: SVO. NT 1995. Bible portions 1984.

LIGBI (LIGWI, NIGBI, NIGWI, TUBA, BANDA, DZOWO, NAMASA, TSIE, WEILA, WIILA, WEELA) [LIG] 10,000 in Ghana (1988 GILLBT); 4,000 in Côte d'Ivoire (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 14,000 in all countries. Numasa, northwest Brong-Ahafo, East of Sampa and northwest of Wenchi. Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Northern, Ligbi-Numu. Dialects: BUNGASE, GYOGO, HWELA (WEILA, WIILA, WEELA, VWELA), DWERA (MANJI-KASA), ATUMFUOR (ATUMFUOR-KASA), NTOLEH. 'Banda' is the name of the people, which also refers to speakers of the Nafaanra language. Numu is a caste of blacksmiths who speak the same dialect as others. Blacksmiths in other countries speaking Manding languages are also called 'Noumou', but in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire the Noumou speak Ligbi. Second language is Akan (Twi Asante). Grammar. Muslim, traditional religion. Survey needed.

LOGBA [LGQ] 5,000 (1988 SIL). Southeast. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Logba. Average 87% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. Distinct from Dompago (Logba) of Benin and Togo. Survey needed.

MAMPRULI (MAMPRULE, MANPELLE, NGMAMPERLI) [MAW] 226,800 Mamprusi (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). East and west of Gambaga. Talni is north central, around Tongo. Some in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast. Dialects: NABT (NABNAM, NAMNAM, NABDAM, NABDE, NABIT, NABTE, NABDUG, NABRUG), TALNI (TALENSI, TALANSI, TALENE, TALLENSI). The people are called 'Mamprusi'. The speakers of Talni are 'Talensi'. 50% intelligibility with Dagbani. Some people are bilingual in Gurenne, Bimoba, or Bissa. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim. Bible portions 1943-1994. Work in progress.

NAFAANRA (NAFANA, NAFAARA, PANTERA-FANTERA, BANDA, DZAMA, GAMBO) [NFR] 45,000 (1992 GILLBT). Western border, east of Bondoukou in Côte d'Ivoire. A few speakers in Côte d'Ivoire. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Senufo, Nafaanra. Dialects: PANTERA, FANTERA. 'Banda', 'Banafo', or 'Nafana' are names for the people. Different from Nafara Senoufo of Côte d'Ivoire. 15% to 25% literate. Grammar. Typology: SOV; postpositions; genitives before noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; ergativity; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVV; tonal. Levels of bilingualism in Twi (Akan) are 0:15%, 1:15%, 2:50%, 3:20%, 4:0%, 5:0%. Plains, low rocky mountains. Intensive agriculturalists:tobacco, yams, cotton, peanuts. Cattle guarded by Fulani. Altitude: 200 to 300 meters. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1984. Bible portions 1982.

NAWDM (NAUDM, NAWDAM, NAOUDEM, LOSSO, LOSU) [NMZ] (112,000 in Togo). In Accra, Ho, Kpandu, and Volta Region. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Yom-Nawdm. Work in progress.

NAWURI [NAW] 10,000 (1995 SIL). East central, mostly on the western bank of the Oti River branch of Lake Volta. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Highest lexical similarity with the Buipe dialect of Gonja (72%). Closest inherent intelligibility with Gikyode. Not intelligible with Chumburung. 5% to 15% literate. Grammar. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

NCHUMBULU [NLU] 1,300 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC. Three villages west of Volta Lake near Kplang. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. May use Chumburung or Dwan literature. Speakers use Twi as second language. Survey needed.

NKONYA [NKO] 20,000 (1988 GILLBT). Southeast Ghana, northwest of the Ewe. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang. Average of 48% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Work in progress.

NTCHAM (NCHAM, BASSAR, BASSARI, BASARI, BASAR, BASARE, TOBOTE) [BUD] 120,000 in Ghana (1995 SIL); 100,000 in Togo (1993 SIL); 220,000 in all countries. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Gurma, Ntcham. Dialect: BITAAPUL. 15% to 25% literate. Traditional religion. Braille Bible portions. Braille Scripture in progress. NT 1986-1990. Bible portions 1969.

NYANGBO (TUTRUGBU) [NYB] 3,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southeast. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo. People who have had no contact with Tafi had 67% intelligibility of it on tests; people 30 to 50 years old had near perfect comprehension. There are reported to be only phonological differences. Average 72% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

NZEMA (NZIMA, APPOLO) [NZE] 285,800 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 66,700 in Côte d'Ivoire (1993); 352,500 in all countries. Southwest corner and into Côte d'Ivoire. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern. An official literary language. 50% to 75% literate. Traditional religion. NT 1985. Bible portions 1984.

PASAALE (SISAALI PASAALE, FUNSILE, SOUTHERN SISAALA) [SIG] 26,000 to 30,000 (1996 SIL). Upper West Region, 80 km. south of Tumu, 105 km. east of Wa, about 18 villages. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Dialects: GILBAGALA, PASAALI. Gilbagala is closer to Pasaale than to Tumulung Sisaala. The dialect in Funsi Kundogo is predominant among the Pasaale villages. There are 4 dialects. Some speak Wali, Hausa, or English as second language. About 50% of children begin school; 10% to 20% complete Junior Secondary School. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: SVO; prepositions; articles, adjectives, numerals after noun heads; question word initial; word order distinguishes object; ergativity; CV, CVC, CVV; tonal. Savannah. Plains. Subsistence agriculturalists: guinea corn. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Bible portions 1994. Work in progress.

SAFALIBA [SAF] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Immediately west and south of Bole. Villages of Mandari, Tanyire, Mamfuli, and Gbenfu. West central, north of Banda. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest. 79% lexical similarity with Dagaari. Savannah. Plains, some hills. Subsistence agriculturalists: yam, maize. Traditional religion, some Christian.

SEHWI (SEFWI, ASAHYUE) [SFW] 200,000 (1995 SIL). Southwest. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Northern. Closely related to Anyin of Côte d'Ivoire. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

SEKPELE (LIKPE, MU) [LIP] 15,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southeast, north of Hohoe. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Likpe-Santrokofi. Dialects: SEKWA, SEKPELE. 75% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. Community sponsored vernacular literacy materials are available. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

SELE (SANTROKOFI, SENTROKOFI, SELE) [SNW] 6,000 (1988 GILLBT). Southeast, villages of Benua, Bume, Agbodome. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Lelemi, Likpe-Santrokofi. Diminishing contact with Ewe. The language is called 'Sele'; the people 'Santrokofi'. Community sponsored vernacular literacy materials are available. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion.

SISAALA, TUMULUNG (SISAI, ISSALA, HISSALA, SISALA TUMU, ISAALUNG) [SIL] 121,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). North central, Tumu District. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Dialects: ISALA, GIL BAGALE (GALEBAGLA), NSIHAA, POTULE. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1984. Bible portions 1972.

SISAALA, WESTERN (BUSILLU SISALA, SISAI, ISSALA, HISSALA) [SSL] 20,000 (1988 GILLBT). North central, Lambusie and surrounding towns. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Close to Sissala of Burkina Faso, but distinct. Traditional religion, Muslim. Bible portions.

TAFI (TEGBO) [TCD] 2,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). East central, near the Togo border. None in Togo. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Left Bank, Avatime-Nyangbo. Average 73% comprehension of Ewe mixed discourse types. 83% understand Nyangbo narrative well. Muslim, traditional religion. Survey needed.

TAMPULMA (TAMPRUSI, TAMPOLE, TAMPOLEM, TAMPOLENSE, TAMPLIMA, TAMPELE) [TAM] 40,000 (1993 GILLBT). North central, south of Sisala, Damongo District, 25 villages. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Two inherently intelligible dialects. 62% lexical similarity with Chakali. 'Tamprusi' is the name of the people, 'Tampulma' of the language. 15% to 25% literate. Agriculturalists: guinea corn, millet, yams; fishermen. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1978-1994. Bible portions 1972.

TEM (KOTOKOLI, COTOCOLI, TIM, TIMU, TEMBA) [KDH] 300,000 in all countries (1987 SIL); 43,000 in Benin (1993 Johnstone); 204,100 in Togo (1991 Vanderaa). Most in Accra. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Eastern. Muslim. Work in progress.

VAGLA (VAGALA, SITI, SITIGO, KIRA, KONOSAROLA, PAXALA) [VAG] 10,000 (1992 GILLBT). West central near Sawla, Northern Province, Damongo District. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Southern, Grusi, Western. Dialects: BOLE, BUGE. 68% lexical similarity with Chakali. 15% to 25% literate. Traditional religion, Muslim. NT 1977. Bible portions 1969.

WALI (WAALI, WALA, ALA, OUALA) [WLX] 99,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Northwest corner. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest. Dialects: FUFULA, YERI WAALI, CHERII, 'BULENGEE, 'DOLIMI. Separate language from Birifor and Dagaari. 15% to 25% literate. The Chakali are reported to be bilingual in Wali. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1984. Bible portions 1968.

WASA (WASAW, WASSA) [WSS] 175,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC). Southwestern. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Akan. Dialects: AMENFI, FIANSE. Some intelligibility with Abron. Low Asante and Fante comprehension in rural areas. 5% to 15% literate. Traditional religion. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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