A language of Ghana


14,000 (2003 GILLBT), increasing.


Northern and Volta regions: Lake Volta, mostly Oti river west bank branch, northeast of Katiajeli.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Lexical similarity: 72% with the Buipe dialect of Gonja [gjn] (most similar).


SVO; postpositions; genitives before noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; subject pronouns are clitics, objects (postverbal) can be treated as independent words; subject and object pronouns indicate person and number; limited noun class agreement of head nouns with modifiers; verb agreement with prefix concord marker which is usually a copy of the head noun (agreement both within noun phrase and subject-verb), but less extensive than in many Bantu languages; semiproductive causative suffix on verbs; comparison typically indicated by a serial verb or serial clause construction; CV, CVC, limited V(C); tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Also use English [eng].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 5%–15%. Literature. Grammar. Texts. NT: 2012.


Latin script [Latn], used since 1987.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

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