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Songhay, Koyraboro Senni

A language of Mali

ISO 639-3ses

Population  100,000 in Mali (2007 Almaki), increasing. 300,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 850,000.
Region  Southeast, along Niger River from Gourma Rharous, east of Timbuktu, through Bourem, Goa, and Ansongo to Mali-Niger border. Believed to border Kaado (Zarma) [dje] in Niger.
Language map  Mali
Alternate names   East Songhay, Gao Songhay, Koroboro Senni, Koyra Senni, Koyra Senni Songhay, Songai, Songay, Songay Senni, Songhai, Songhay, Songoi, Songoy, Sonrai, Sonrhai
Dialects  Gao, Fulan Kirya. Intelligibility is good with all dialects on Niger River. The Fulan Kirya dialect has more limited intelligibility because of heavy lexical borrowing from Fulfulde [ffm] and Humburi Senni Songhay [hmb]. The Gao dialect is dominant in all respects. Closely related languages: Koyra Chiini Songhay [khq], Humburi Senni Songhay [hmb], Zarmaci [dje], Dendi [ddn]. Lexical similarity: 77% between the Gao dialect and Timbuktu dialects, lexical similarity 50% with Tadaksahak [dsq].
Classification  Nilo-Saharan, Songhai, Southern
Language use  National language. Trade language. All ages. Positive attitude. Some also use Bamanankan [bam], French, or Tamasheq [taq], but there is no extensive bilingualism (1999 J. Heath).
Language development  Actively promoted by the government through adult literacy classes and as the language of instruction at the primary level in some experimental schools. Some French literacy. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  SOV; nontonal. Muslim, traditional religion.