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Mossi language

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Title: Mossi language  
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Subject: Mossi, French West Africa, Demographics of Togo, Music of Burkina Faso, Music of Togo
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Mossi language

Native to Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Togo
Ethnicity Mossi
Native speakers
7.6 million  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 mos
ISO 639-3 mos
Glottolog moss1236[2]
Majority areas of Mossi speakers, in pink, on a map of Burkina Faso.
Person Moaaga
People Moose
Language Mòoré

The Mossi language (known in the language as Mõõré; also Mòoré, Mooré, Moré, Moshi, Moore, More) is one of two official regional languages of Burkina Faso, closely related to the Frafra language spoken just across the border in the northern half of Ghana and less-closely to Dagbani and Mampruli further south. It is the language of the Mossi people, spoken by approximately 5 million people in Burkina, plus another 60,000+ in Mali and Togo.


The Mossi language consists of the following sounds:[3]


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Occlusives Unvoiced p t k ʔ
Voiced b d ɡ
Nasal m n
Fricatives Voiceless f s h
Voiced v z
Liquid l / r
Semivowels w j


  • The semivowel /j/ y is pronounced [ɲ] (palatal nasal) in front of nasal vowels.


Front Central Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e o
Open a


  • All the vowels (other than /e/ and /o/) are pronounced equivalently to their nasal counterparts.
  • All the vowels (oral and nasal) are pronounced equivalently to their lengthened counterparts.
  • Other linguists include the vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/; here, these vowels are analyzed as diphthongs (/ɛ/ is considered to be ea, and /ɔ/ is considered to be oa).


In Burkina Faso, the Mossi alphabet uses the letters specified in the national burkinabe alphabet.

burkinabe mossi alphabet
A ʼ B D E Ɛ F G H I Ɩ K L M N O P R S T U Ʋ V W Y Z
a ʼ b d e ɛ f g h i ɩ k l m n o p r s t u ʋ v w y z
Phonetic values
a ʔ b d e ɛ f ɡ h i ɪ k l m n o p r s t u ʊ v w y z

See also


  1. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Mossi". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Cf. Kabore (1985) : (p.44) for the consonants, (p.85-86) for the vowels.

External links

  • Map of Mòoré at the LL-Map Project
  • PanAfrican L10n wiki page on Moore

Learning materials

  • USA Foreign Service Institute Moré basic course
  • Protestant Mission, Assemblies of God (Around 1955 CE - 1961 CE). More (Language of the Mossi Tribe) Phrase Book. Ouagadougou, Upper Volta: World Digital Library. 

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