A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Mole, Moose, More, Moshi, Mossi

5,000,000 in Burkina Faso. 15,700 Yana (1991). Population total all countries: 5,061,700.


Central Ouagadougou area; widespread. Also in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Togo.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity.


Ouagadougou, Saremdé, Taolendé, Yaadré, Yaande, Yana (Jaan, Yanga), Zaore (Joore). Yana dialect has over 90% intelligibility with the Ouagadougou dialect 75%–80% with the Joore dialect. Joore with Ouagadougou varies from 88% in Tibga to 95% in Diabo. Yanga in Togo, completely intelligible with Central Mòoré.


SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subjects, objects; CV, CVC, CVV, CCV; tonal

Language Use

Dominant African language of Burkina Faso. Used as a trade language in the central part of the country, with sub-populations in all major cities. All ages. Some also use Jula [dyu].

Language Development
Not taught in government schools. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1983.
Braille script, developed in 2010. Latin script, primary usage.
Other Comments

Ethnic autonym: Moose (pl.), Moaaga (sg.); Autoglottonym: Mòoré. Other spellings are obsolete or reflect pronunciations of nonspeakers. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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