L1 users: 1,940,000 (2016). Total users in all countries: 1,976,000.
Southern province: most of interior; Eastern province: Pujehun, Kenema, and Kailahun districts; Northern province: Bombali and Moyamba districts’ border areas; expanding along the coast and south and east.
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in Eastern and Northern provinces; also in Southern province interior (2004, Article 16(1), Local Government Act).
Kpa, Ko, Waanjama, Sewawa. Lexical similarity: 92%–98% among dialects.
SOV; postpositions; definite article suffix; 24 consonant and 7 vowel phonemes; tonal (2 tones: high, low); word-initial consonant mutation.
Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.