Liberia

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Bandi
[bza] Northwest, Lofa County. Also in Guinea. 100,000 in Liberia (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). 50,000 fled to Guinea (Johnstone 1993). Population total all countries: 107,000. Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Bande, Gbande, Gbandi, Gbunde Dialects: Hasala, Hembeh, Lukasa, Tahamba, Wawana, Wulukoha. Tahamba dialect used for literature. Lexical similarity: 96% with the 6 dialects, 83% with the most similar Mende [men] dialect. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Southwestern, Mende-Loma, Mende-Bandi, Bandi Comments: Glossonym: Gbandi or Gbande, both erroneous. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.

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Bassa
[bsq] Central, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, and Montserrado counties. Also in Sierra Leone. 403,200 in Liberia (2006). Population total all countries: 408,930. Status: 5 (Developing). Dialects: Central Bassa, Gba Sor, Gbor, Hwen Gba Kon, Mabahn, Rivercess Bassa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Bassa Comments: Different from Basa [bzw] of Nigeria or Bassa (Basaa) [bas] of Cameroon. Christian, traditional religion.

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Dan
[dnj] North central, Nimba County. 310,000 in Liberia (2012 V. Vydrin). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Da, Gio, Gio-Dan, Guio, Gyo, Yacouba, Yakuba Dialects: Lower Gio, River Cess Gio, Upper Gio. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Eastern, Southeastern, Guro-Tura, Tura-Dan-Mano, Tura-Dan Comments: Ethnonym: Gio.

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Dewoin
[dee] Montserrado County near the coast; Monrovia, between Lofa and Saint Paul rivers. 8,100 (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: De, Dei, Dewoi, Dey Dialects: No significant dialect differences. Lexical similarity: 72% with Bassa [bsq]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Bassa Comments: Many loan words from other languages. Muslim, traditional religion, Christian.

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English
[eng] 70,000 in Liberia (2006). Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Dialects: Liberian Standard English. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English

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Gbii
[ggb] Central, Nimba County, west of Cestos river. 5,600 (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Gbee, Gbi-Dowlu Dialects: Dorbor, Kplor. Lexical similarity: 78% with Bassa [bsq]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Bassa Comments: Traditional religion.

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Glaro-Twabo
[glr] Northeast, Grand Gedeh County. Also in Côte d’Ivoire. 4,270 in Liberia (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: Glaro, Twabo. Minimal intelligibility between Twabo dialect and some Eastern Krahn [kqo] dialects, but not with Glaro. Lexical similarity: 82% with some Eastern Krahn [kqo] dialects, 87% with Glaro and Twabo dialects. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Wee, Guere-Krahn Comments: Traditional religion.

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Glio-Oubi
[oub] Northeast. Grand Gedeh County, 6 towns each side of the border. Also in Côte d’Ivoire. 3,500 in Liberia (1991). Population total all countries: 6,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Glio, Oubi, Ubi Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Twabo dialect of Glaro-Twabo [glr] and 73% with Trepo dialect of Krumen [ted] and Pye [pye] of Côte d’Ivoire. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Glio-Oubi Comments: Glossonym: Glio in Liberia and Oubi in Côte d’Ivoire. Traditional religion.

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Gola
[gol] West, between Mano and Saint Paul rivers. Also in Sierra Leone. 99,300 in Liberia (Vanderaa 1991). Population total all countries: 107,300. Status: 5 (Developing). Dialects: Deng (Todii), Kongba, Senje. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Southern, Mel, Gola Comments: Different from Gola dialect of Mumuye [mzm] of Nigeria or Badyara [pbp] of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Muslim, Christian, traditional religion.

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Grebo
[grb] Population total all countries: 265,000. Comments: Member languages are: Barclayville Grebo [gry], Central Grebo [grv], Gboloo Grebo [gec], Northern Grebo [gbo], Southern Grebo [grj]

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Grebo, Barclayville
[gry] Grand Kru County, southeast coast and inland, between the Klao [klu] language area and Jabo Grebo. 23,700 (Vanderaa 1991). 387,000 all Grebo languages in Liberia (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Wedebo Grebo Dialects: Kplebo, Wedebo. A subgroup of quite distinct dialects. Many phonological differences with Jabo dialect of Southern Grebo [grj]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Liberian Comments: They identify with Klao [klu], but understand Grebo better. Strong ethnocentric attitudes between subgroups. Traditional religion.

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Grebo, Central
[grv] Eastern border, including Barrobo. 30,800 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: Borobo, Dorobo, Globo, Nyenebo, Trembo. Distinct from Gboloo Grebo [gec]. Dialects may be quite distinct. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Liberian Comments: Traditional religion.

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Grebo, Gboloo
[gec] Maryland County, east border, north of Jabo Grebo. 64,400 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Gblou Grebo, Gboloo Dialects: Biabo, Dediebo, Gederobo, Nyanoun, Tuobo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Liberian Comments: Traditional religion.

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Grebo, Northern
[gbo] Southeast, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, and Grand Kru counties near Côte d’Ivoire border, south of Krahn, north of Klao, west of Glaro. 84,500 (1999 LBT). Status: 5 (Developing). Dialects: Chedepo, E Je (Eh Je), Fopo-Bua, Gbepo (Gbeapo), Jedepo, Klepo, Northeastern Grebo, Palipo, Tienpo. A subgroup of quite distinct dialects. Subdialects of Northeastern dialect are Ketiepo, Nitiabo, Sabo, Tuobo, Webo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Liberian Comments: Strong ethnocentric attitudes between subgroups. Traditional religion.

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Grebo, Southern
[grj] Grand Gedeh and Maryland counties, southeast coast and inland. Also in Côte d’Ivoire. 61,600 in Liberia (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: Glebo (Seaside Grebo), Jabo, Nyabo, Wrelpo. A subgroup of quite distinct dialects. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Liberian Comments: Strong ethnocentric attitudes between subgroups. Traditional religion.

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Kisi, Southern
[kss] Extreme northwest corner, Lofa County. Also in Sierra Leone. 115,000 in Liberia (1995). Population total all countries: 200,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Gisi, Gizi, Kissi, Kissien Dialects: Luangkori, Tengia, Warn. Different from Northern Kissi [kqs] of Guinea. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Southern, Mel, Bullom-Kissi, Kissi Comments: Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

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Klao
[klu] Sinoe and Grand Kru counties, coast and inland. Also in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States. 213,000 in Liberia (2006). Population total all countries: 222,620. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Klaoh, Klau, Kroo, Kru Dialects: Central Klaoh, Eastern Klaoh, West Central Klaoh, Western Klaoh. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Klao Comments: Traditional religion.

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Kpelle
[kpe] Population total all countries: 1,220,000. Comments: Member languages are: Guinea Kpelle [gkp] (Guinea), Liberia Kpelle [xpe]

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Kpelle, Liberia
[xpe] Central. 760,000 (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Gbese, Kpele, Kpwessi, Pessa, Pessy Dialects: Boopolu, Fuama, Nyawokole. Dialect differences slight. Different from Kpelle [gkp] of Guinea. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Southwestern, Kpelle Comments: Largest group in Liberia. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Krahn, Eastern
[kqo] Northeast near Côte d’Ivoire border. Also in Côte d’Ivoire. 62,900 in Liberia. 20,000 Tchien (1992 UBS). Population total all countries: 73,500. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Eastern Kran, Kran Dialects: Gorbo, Kanneh, Konobo, Tchien (Chiehn). Minimal intelligibility between some dialects and Twabo dialect of Glaro-Twabo [glr]. Distinct from Western Krahn [krw], Sapo [krn], and We Southern [gxx]. Lexical similarity: 93% between Gorbo and Kanneh dialects, 87% between Gorbo and Konobo dialects. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Wee, Konobo Comments: Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

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Krahn, Western
[krw] Western Grand Gedeh County near Côte d’Ivoire border. Also in Côte d’Ivoire. 53,200 in Liberia (2006). Population total all countries: 65,400. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Krahn, Kran, Northern Krahn, Western Kran Dialects: Biai, Gbaeson (Gbaison, Gbarzon), Gbarbo, Gbo, Gborbo (Gbobo), Kpeaply, Plo. Dialects in Côte d’Ivoire have French [fra] influences. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Wee, Guere-Krahn Comments: Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

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Krumen, Tepo
[ted] Glawlo dialect is southeast. 2,910 in Liberia (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Kroumen, Kru, Krumen, Southern Krumen Dialects: Bapo, Dapo, Glawlo, Honpo, Plapo, Tepo, Wlopo (Ropo), Yrepo (Kapo). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Grebo, Ivorian Comments: Traditional religion.

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Kuwaa
[blh] Lofa County, south of Bandi and Loma, north of Kpelle. 12,800 (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Belle, Belleh, Kowaao, Kwaa Dialects: Only minor pronunciation differences exist between the 2 Kuwaa clans: Lubaisu and Gbade. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Kuwaa Comments: Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

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Liberian English
[lir] Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: Liberian Pidgin English Dialects: Kru Pidgin English. Regional dialects. Classification: Pidgin, English based, Atlantic Comments: As different from standard English as is Sierra Leone Krio [kri] repidginized from American Black English of the 1800s (Holm 1989).

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Loma
[lom] Northwest, Lofa County, border area. 195,000 (2012 V. Vydrin). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: “Bouze” (pej.), “Busy” (pej.), “Buzi” (pej.), Loghoma, Looma, Lorma, Toa Dialects: Briama (Bulima, Buluiema, Buluyiema, Bulyama), Gbunde (Bonde, Bunde), Gizima, Wubomai (Wubomei), Ziema (Siama). Distinct from Toma [tod] of Guinea and Loma [loi] of Côte d’Ivoire. Northern and southern dialects are different enough to make mutual intelligibility difficult. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Southwestern, Mende-Loma, Loma Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Maninka, Konyanka
[mku] North, bordering Guinea. 39,200 in Liberia (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Konya, Konyakakan, Konyanka Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Central, Manding-Jogo, Manding-Vai, Manding-Mokole, Manding, Manding-East, Southeastern Manding Comments: Differs from Guinea variety in use of English loan words. Muslim.

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Mano
[mev] North central, Nimba County. Also in Guinea. 305,000 in Liberia (2012 V. Vydrin). Population total all countries: 390,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Maa, Mah, Manon, Mawe Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Eastern, Southeastern, Guro-Tura, Tura-Dan-Mano, Mano Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Manya
[mzj] North, Lofa County, bordering Guinea. Also in Guinea. 50,400 in Liberia (2006). Population total all countries: 75,400. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Mandingo, Manya Kan Dialects: Lexical similarity: 70% with Konyanka Maninka [mku], 66% with Eastern Maninkakan [emk]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Central, Manding-Jogo, Manding-Vai, Manding-Mokole, Manding, Manding-East, Southeastern Manding Comments: Muslim, Christian.

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Mende
[men] East, on Sierra Leone border. 19,700 in Liberia (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Boumpe, Hulo, Kossa, Kosso Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Southwestern, Mende-Loma, Mende-Bandi, Mende-Loko Comments: Muslim.

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N’ko
[nqo] No known L1 speakers in Liberia. Status: 3 (Wider communication). Classification: Mixed language

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Sapo
[krn] East, Sinoe and Grand-Gedeh (Putu) counties. Adjacent to Eastern Krahn [kqo] language area, Tchien dialect. 36,400 (2006). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Sarpo, Southern Krahn Dialects: Juarzon, Kabade (Karbardae), Nomopo (Nimpo), Putu, Sinkon (Senkon), Waya (Wedjah). Lexical similarity: 84%–97% between Western Wè [wec] and Sapo dialects, including some Wè dialects in Côte d’Ivoire. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Wee, Guere-Krahn Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Tajuasohn
[tja] Sinoe County, north of Greenville. 9,600 (Vanderaa 1991). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Tajuason, Tajuoso, Tajuosohn Dialects: 5 clans speak inherently intelligible dialects. Many understand Klao [klu], but the reverse is not true. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kru, Western, Klao Comments: Traditional religion.

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Vai
[vai] West, Grand Cape Mount County. Also in Sierra Leone. 104,000 in Liberia (2006). Population total all countries: 119,500. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Gallinas, Gallines, Vei, Vy Dialects: Different from Kono [kno] of Sierra Leone. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Central, Manding-Jogo, Manding-Vai, Vai-Kono Comments: Muslim, traditional religion, Christian.

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