Kpelle, Guinea


A language of Guinea

Alternate Names
Akpese, Gbese, Gerse, Gerze, Guerze, Kpele, Kpelese, Kpelesetina, Kperese, Kpese, Kpwessi, Northern Kpele, Pessa, Pessy

460,000 (2012 V. Vydrin).


Mainly Nzerekore Prefecture, southeast at Liberia border; central Yomou Prefecture; Macenta Prefecture between Nzebola and Dondano towns; small border areas in Beyla and Lola prefectures.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). De facto language of national identity.


Central Kpelle, Gbali, Heghe. Different enough from Kpelle [xpe] of Liberia to need separate materials. Lexical similarity: 52%–67% with Kono [knu]. A member of macrolanguage Kpelle [kpe].

Language Development
Was taught in school under the 1st Republic (before 1984). Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 2008.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

’Guerze’ is the French name. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.