A language of Senegal

Alternate Names
Diola-Fogny, Dyola, Jola-Fogny, Jóola-Fóoñi, Kujamataak, Kújoolaak kati Kúfooñaak, Yola

340,000 in Senegal. Less than 10% are monolingual. 243,000 Fonyi, 96,700 Buluf. Population total all countries: 407,500.


Casamance river south, strip just north of Senegal-Gambia border, Diouloulou-Marigot tributary west, Soungrougrou river west, Bignona area; east and southeast of Ziguinchor. Also in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2001, Constitution, Article 1).


Buluf, Kalounaye, Kombo, Narang. Gusilay [gsl], Kuwaataay [cwt], Karon [krx], Mlomp [mlo], Kerak [hhr], Ejamat [eja], and Bayot [bda] are distantly related to Fonyi, but are close geographically. Jola-Fonyi is the largest and most widely understood Jola variety. Lexical similarity: 68% with Jola-Kasa [csk].

Language Use

Vigorous. Gusilay [gsl], Karon [krx], Kuwaataay [cwt], Mlomp [mlo], and some Pulaar [fuc] living in the area speak Jola-Fonyi as L2. All domains, oral and written use in administration, informal use in education. Oral use in commerce, traditional religion, some use in other religious services, oral literature. All ages. Positive attitudes. Over 90% also use Wolof [wol], French [fra], or Mandinka [mnk].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 9%. Buluf dialect seems to have many lexical items different from Fonyi, but Buluf speakers are willing to learn to read Fonyi. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2012.
Arabic script. Latin script.
Other Comments

Distinct from Jula [dyu] (Dioula, Dyoula, Dyula) of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire. Muslim, Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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