A language of Sierra Leone

Alternate Names
Boumpe, Hulo, Kossa, Kosso

1,820,000 in Sierra Leone (2013 J. Leclerc). Total users in all countries: 1,843,400.


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.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication).


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.

Language Use

Also use Krio [kri]. Used as L2 by Bom [bmf], Krim [krm], Northern Kissi [kqs].

Language Development
Taught as an elective from primary to college levels. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1959.

Latin script [Latn]. Mende Kikakui script [Mend], limited usage except for correspondence and record keeping, especially accounting.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All
Page Views Left: