A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Gurunsi, Lela, Lele, Lyela, Lyele, Lyæ̀læ

213,000 (2009 UNSD).


Boucle du Mouhoun region: Nayala province; Centre-Ouest region: Boulkiende province; north and central Sanguie province, Dassa, Didyr, Godyr, Kordie, Kyon, Réo, and Tenado subdistricts, Réo principal center; Nord region: Passore province.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Southern Lyélé (Reo), Central Lyélé, Northern Lyélé, Kandéré. Most Central and Northern Lyélé speakers have nearly 100% comprehension of Southern Lyélé dialect. Kandéré have 75% comprehension of Southern Lyélé; Southern Lyélé understand all dialects except Kandéré well. Reportedly similar to Nuni [nuv], but low mutual inherent intelligibility.


SVO; postpositions; genitives before noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; 1 prefix, 2 suffix; word order distinguishes subject and object; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVV; tonal.

Language Use

Some young people, all adults. About 50% age 15 or under. Also use French [fra], Jula [dyu], Mòoré [mos]. Used as L2 by Northern Nuni [nuv].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: Growing number in Lyélé. Literacy rate in L2: 18% mainly in French [fra], some in Mòoré [mos]. Government coordinated literacy program, 110 classes (1998). Satellite school project. NT: 2001.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

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