A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Marka Dafing

200,000 in Burkina Faso (1992 CMA). Population total all countries: 225,000.


Boucle du Muhoun region: Bale, Banwa, Nayala, and Sourou provinces; Kossi and Mouhoun provinces: Nouna and Dedougou areas.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Gassan, Nouna, Safané. More than 80% inherent intelligibility of southeastern dialect around Safané; however, northwestern dialect region is 70%. The central dialect around Dembo village is well understood. Reportedly similar to Bambara [bam] or a variant of Jula [dyu].


SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; CV.

Language Use

All ages. Men who travel also speak Jula [dyu], but women and children do not. Comprehension of Jula ranges from 45% in a southeastern village to 85% in the northwest. Also use French [fra]. Used as L2 by Pana [pnq].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 5% haltingly in French, some in Jula. Radio programs. Grammar. Bible portions: 1987.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Marka is used for followers of the traditional religion, Dafing for Muslim speakers. Different from the Marka dialect of Soninke. Muslim, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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