1,230,000 (2006). L2 users: 240,000 (1981 D. Cranmer).
Northern province: Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Bombali districts; west of Sewa river to Little Scarcie; Southern province: northwest Moyamba district; Western Area: Rural district.
3 (Wider communication).
Banta, Bombali, Kholifa, Konike, Koya, Malal, Masingbi, Ribia, Sanda, Western Temne (Pil), Yoni. People claim to understand all dialects. Lexical similarity: 74% with Masingbi and Malal dialects, 70% with Konike dialect and western varieties.
Latin script [Latn].
Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.