A language of Nigeria

Alternate Names
Bariba, Bisayã, Busa, Busa-Bisã, Busano, Bussanchi, Bussawa

15,000 (2015 R. Jones). 20,000 ethnic Laaru, Lupa and Kambari.


Kebbi state: Bagudo LGA, 35 villages; Kwara state: south of Kanji reservoir; Niger state: Borgu LGA.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


New Busa, Wawa. New Busa and Wawa dialects inherently intelligible. New Busa is prestigious, but Wawa dialect is viewed as purer and used for literature. New Busa has Hausa [hau]-influenced phonology. Illo Busa dialect has Boko [bqc] influence. Lexical similarity: 91% with Bokobaru [bus], 85% with Boko [bqc], 57% with Kyanga [tye], 56% with Shanga [sho], 50% with Bisa [bib] in Burkina Faso and Ghana.


SOV; postpositions; genitives before noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals, imbedded relative NPs after noun heads; person, number, aspect suffixed to subject pronouns; CV, CVV, CCV; grammatical tone on verbs and pronouns; logophoricity, 3 level tones.

Language Use

Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Cishingini [asg], English [eng], Hausa [hau].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 5%. Busa and Hausa adult literacy programs. Literature. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2005.


Latin script [Latn], used since 2004.

Other Comments

Different from Bisa [bib] of Burkina Faso and Ghana. The Hausa call several groups of people (Boko, Bokobaru, Busa, Bariba) Bussawa, while the Yoruba call them Bariba. Glossonym: Bussanchi by the Hausa. Muslim.

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