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GHANAIAN LANGUAGES

On Language And Development In Africa: The Case of Ghana
The official language is ENGLISH.

A: GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED LANGUAGES

1.   AKAN (Ashanti, Fante, Akuapem, Akyem, Kwahu) (Written Twi)
2.   DAGAARE / WAALE	Spoken in Upper Western Region (UWR)
3.   DANGBE	Spoken in Greater Accra.(G/A)           
4.   DAGBANE	Spoken in Northern Region (NR)
5.   EWE		"       Volta Region (VR)
6.   GA		"       Greater Accra Region (G/A)
7.   GONJA		"        Northern Region (NR)
8.   KASEM         "       Upper Eastern Region (UER)
9.   NZEMA         "       Western Region (WR)

B: NON-GOVERNMENT SPONSORED LANGUAGES

LANGUAGE		LOCATION

1.  ADELE		Spoken in VR (Tutukpene &Nkwanta)
2.  ANUFO/CHOKOSI	Spoken in NR (Chereponi)
3.  BULI		Spoken in UER (Sandema)
4.  BIMOBA		Spoken in NR  (Bunkpurugu)
5.  BIRIFOR		Spoken in UWR & NR(Bilema & Danvar)
6.  BASSARI		Spoken in NR...
7.  CHUMBURUNG		Spoken in NR & VR (Ekumdipe)
8.  FRAFRA		Spoken in UER  (Bolgatanga)
9.  GIKYODE/AKYODE	Spoken in VR   (Shiare)
11. HANGA		Spoken in NR   (
12. KONKOMBA		Spoken in NR   (Saboba)
13. KUSAAL		Spoken in UER  (Bawku)
14. KASEM		Spoken in UER  (Navrongo)
15. KOMA		Spoken in UER  (Yipabongo)
16. BUEM/ LELEM		Spoken in VR   (Jasikan & Bodada)
17. MAMPRULI		Spoken in NR   (NALERIGU)
18. MO/ DEG		Spoken in B/A&NR (New Longoro & Bole Dist.) 
19. NAFAANRA		Spoken in B/A  (Banda Ahenkro)
20. NKONYA		Spoken in VR   (Akloba & Wurupong)
21. NTRUBO / DELO	Spoken in VR   (Pusupu)
22. NAWURI		Spoken in NR   (Kitare)
23. SISAALA		Spoken in UWR  (Tumu)
24. TAMPULMA		Spoken in NR
25. VAGLA		Spoken in NR
26. WALI                Spoken in UWR

additions to be made
Guan speaking peolpe of Anum, Larteh, Adukrom, Dawu, Awukugua, Boso, Senya Bireku, Winneba. Bono speaking peolpe of Brong Ahafo, the Moo people, the Sehwi, Aowins, Krobos.

some more information

Dialect names

 FANTE (FANTI, MFANTSE), AKUAPEM (AKWAPEM TWI, AKUAPIM, AKWAPI),
    ASANTE (ASHANTE TWI, ASANTI, ACHANTI), AGONA, DANKYIRA, ASEN,
    AKYEM BOSOME, KWAWU, AHAFO

  Genetic affiliation
      Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano,
      Tano, Central, Akan
 Geographical region
      The Asante are south central, Ashanti Province. The Akuapem are
      southeast, in areas north of Accra. The Fante are south central,
      between Winneba, Takoradi, and Obuasi
 Population
      7,000,000 (1991 WA); 44% of the population (1990 WA); 1,380,000
      Asante Twi; 1,170,000 Fante; 230,000 Akuapem Twi (1978 SIL)
 Bible printings
      1871-1964
 New Testament printings
      1863-1981
 Printings of whole books of Bible
      1859-1957
 Remarks
      Dialects are largely inherently intelligible. The language of the
      Asante and Akuapem is called 'Twi'. An official literary language
      used for education through university, and in mother tongue
      authored literature. Roman alphabet
 Grammar typology
      SVO
 Total speakers
      7,000,000


DAGAARI, SOUTHERN (Ghana) Alternate language names SOUTHERN DAGARI, DAGARI, DAGARA, DEGATI, DAGATI, DOGAARI Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest, Dagaari-Birifor, Dagaari Geographical region Northwest corner Population 423,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) Printings of whole books of Bible 1970 Status Work in progress Remarks The people are called 'Dagaaba'. The language is spoken by all ages. Dagaari and Birifor are partially intelligible; Dagaari is more prominent politically and socially. It is an official literary language with Wali. It is distinct from Northern Dagaari in Burkina Faso Total speakers 423,200 Religion 70% traditional religion, 30% Muslim


DAGBANI (Ghana) Alternate language names DAGBANE, DAGOMBA, DAGBAMBA Dialect names NANUNI (NANUMBA) Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast Geographical region Northeast around Tamale and as far as Yendi. Also in Togo - settlers Population 504,100 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) New Testament printings 1974-1983 Printings of whole books of Bible 1935-1955 Remarks The people are called 'Dagbamba' or 'Dagomba', the language 'Dagbani'. 90% lexical similarity with Talni, 89% with Kusal. An official literary language. 2% literate Grammar typology SVO Total speakers 504,100 or more Religion Muslim 60%, traditional religion 39%, Christian 1%
ENGLISH (Ghana) Genetic affiliation Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English Primary country of language United Kingdom Population Second language speakers: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin); 450,000,000 total (1991 WA) National language Yes
GA-ADANGME-KROBO Alternate language names AMINA, GAIN, ACCRA, ACRA Dialect names GA, ADANGME (ADANGBE, DANGME, DANGBE), KROBO Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Ga-Dangme Geographical region Southeast, coast around Accra and inland. Also in Togo Population 1,125,900 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 8% of the population (1990 WA) Remarks Ga and Adangme are separate official literary languages. Ga is the major language of Accr=A0, the capital Total speakers 1,125,900 Also in Togo
GURENNE Alternate language names FRAFRA, FAREFARE Dialect names GUDENI (GUDENNE, GURENNE, GURUNE), NAANI (NANKANI, NANKANSE), BOONI, TALNI, NABT Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast Geographical region Northeast around Bolgatanga (Bolgatanga District) and Navrongo Population 526,300 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) including 400,000 in the Upper East Region, perhaps 100,000 in various towns and cities in other regions (1988 SIL); 25,100 in Burkina Faso (1991 Vanderaa); 551,400 total Remarks They call themselves 'Gurunsi' and their language 'Farefare' or 'Frafra'. The dialects are named after towns or localities. They consider Mampruli, Kusaal, and Dagaati to be sister languages. Nabt and Talni may be considered dialects of Mampruli. 5 major dialects and many minor ones. Taught at the University of Ghana. Dictionary in progress Total speakers 551,400 Religion 90% traditional religion, 8% Christian, 2% Muslim Also in Burkina Faso
GONJA (Ghana) Alternate language names NGBANYITO Dialect names GONJA, CHORUBA (CHOROBA), DUMPO (NDMPO) Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, North Guang Geographical region West central, around the Upper Volta River Population 138,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) Remarks It is not intelligible with Chumburu. An official literary language Total speakers 138,500 Religion Muslim 98%, Christian 2%
GUA Alternate language names LARTEH-CHEREPON-ANUM-BOSO Dialect names OKERE (CHIRIPONG, CHIRIPON, CHEREPON), LATE (LETE, LARTEH), ANU (ANUM), BOSO Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Guang, Southern Guang Geographical region Anum: a pocket in Ewe area, Lete and Chiripon: a pocket between Ga and Twi areas Population 156,200; 54,000 Cherepon; 36,000 Larteh; 30,000 Anum (1988 GILLBT) Bilingual in Akan Status Needs survey Remarks Speakers of all dialects use Twi (Akan) as second language Religion Traditional religion Total speakers 156,200
HAUSA (Ghana) Genetic affiliation Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, West, A, A.1 Primary country of language Nigeria Geographical region Mainly in Nigeria. Also in Niger, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso Population 22,000,000 total (1991); 35,000,000 first and second language speakers total (1991 WA) Trade language Yes Remarks The trade language of northern Ghana Religion Muslim
KONKOMBA (Ghana) Alternate language names LIKPAKPALN, KPANKPAM, KOM KOMBA Dialect names LICHABOOL-NALONG, LIMONKPEL, LINAFIEL, LIKOONLI, LIGBELN Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Gurma Geographical region Northeast border area around Guerin, Yendi District, and into Togo. Many groups are scattered throughout north central Ghana Population 220,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 50,100 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 250,000 total Bilingual in Twi, Bassari, Hausa, English Remarks 'Likpakpaln' is the self name for the language, 'Bikpakpaln' for the people. Patrilineal, patrilocal Subsistence type Agriculturalists: yams Total speakers 250,000 Religion 60% traditional religion, 25% Muslim, 15% Christian Also in Togo
KUSAAL, EASTERN (Ghana) Alternate language names KUSALE, KUSASI Dialect names ANGOLE, TOENDE Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast, Kusaal Geographical region Northeast corner, Bawku District Population 400,000 (1992 GILLBT) Bilingual in Hausa Remarks Dialects are inherently intelligible. Distinct from Western Kusaal of Burkina Faso. Kusasi are the people, Kusaal is the language. 2% literate Total speakers 400,000 Religion Traditional religion 88%, Muslim 7.5%, Christian 4.5%
MAMPRULI (Ghana) Alternate language names MAMPRULE, MANPELLE, NGMAMPERLI Dialect names NABT (NABNAM, NAMNAM, NABDAM, NABDE, NABIT, NABTE, NABDUG, NABRUG), TALNI (TALENSI, TALANSI, TALENE, TALLENSI) Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast Geographical region East and west of Gambaga. Talni is north central, around Tongo. Some in Togo Population 226,800 Mamprusi (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) Bilingual in Gurenne, Bimoba, Bissa Printings of whole books of Bible 1943-1944 Status Work in progress Remarks The people are called 'Mamprusi'. The speakers of Talni are 'Talensi'. 50% intelligibility with Dagbani. Some people are bilingual in Gurenne, Bimoba, or Bissa Total speakers 226,800 or more Religion 60% traditional religion, 35% Muslim Also in Togo
MOORE (Ghana) Alternate language names MOSSI, MORE, MOLE, MOSHI Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest Primary country of language Burkina Faso Geographical region Mainly in Burkina Faso. Also in Benin and Cte d'Ivoire Population 4,700,000 total or more (1991); 19,700 in Togo (1991); 17,000 in Mali (1980) Remarks Have come to Ghana to work Religion Traditional religion, Muslim
NZEMA (Ghana) Alternate language names NZIMA, APPOLO Genetic affiliation Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano, Tano, Central, Bia, Southern Geographical region Southwest corner and into Cte d'Ivoire Population 285,800 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 46,500 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 332,300 total Bilingual in Fante Remarks An official literary language Religion Traditional religion Total speakers 332,300 Also in Cote dIvoire
ABRON 606,600 in Ghana (1991); 114,600 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 791,200 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) ADAMOROBE SIGN LANGUAGE ADELE 9,500 in Ghana (1991); 7,000 in Togo (1991); 16,500 total (1991 L. Vanderaa 1991) AHANTA 97,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa 1991) AKAN 7,000,000 (1991 WA); 44% of the population (1990 WA); 1,380,000 Asante Twi; 1,170,000 Fante; 230,000 Akuapem Twi (1978 SIL) AKPAFU-LOLOBI 16,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) AKPOSO 5,400 in Ghana (1991); 94,900 in Togo (1991); 100,300 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) ANIMERE 2,000 (1988 GILLBT) ANUFO 30,700 in Ghana (1991); 41,800 in Togo (1991); 10,000 in Benin (1991); 82,500 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) ANYIN 122,800 in Ghana (1991); 487,900 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 610,700 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) AVATIME 11,600 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) AWUTU 100,000 (1988 GILLBT) BIMOBA 73,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) BIRIFOR, GHANA 63,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) BISSA 119,100 in Ghana (1991 Vanderaa); 400,000 in Burkina Faso (1991 SIL); 50,000 emigrants in Cte d'Ivoire; 3,000 in Togo (1991 SIL); 572,100 total BOWIRI 10,000 (1988 GILLBT) BULI 100,000 in Ghana, including 80,000 in the Sandema District (1991 SIL); possibly 60,000 in Burkina Faso; 160,000 total possibly CHAKALI 4,000 (1988 GILLBT) CHALA 2,000 (1988 GILLBT) CHUMBURUNG 40,000 (1992 GILLBT), including 2,000 Yeji DAGAARI, SOUTHERN 423,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) DAGBANI 504,100 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) DEG 17,200 in Ghana (1991); 1,100 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 18,300 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) DELO 5,100 in Ghana (1991); 5,000 in Togo (1991); 10,100 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) DWANG 10,000 (1988 GILLBT) ENGLISH Second language speakers: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin); 450,000,000 total (1991 WA) EWE 1,615,700 in Ghana (1991); 13% of the population (1990 WA); 861,900 in Togo (1991); 2,477,600 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 3,000,000 including second language users (1991 WA) FULFULDE, MAASINA 7,300 in Ghana (1991); 610,000 total GA-ADANGME-KROBO 1,125,900 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 8% of the population (1990 WA) GHANAIAN SIGN LANGUAGE GIKYODE 10,000 speakers, 8,000 in the traditional area (1991 SIL) GONJA 138,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) GUA 156,200; 54,000 Cherepon; 36,000 Larteh; 30,000 Anum (1988 GILLBT) GURENNE 526,300 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) including 400,000 in the Upper East Region, perhaps 100,000 in various towns and cities in other regions (1988 SIL); 25,100 in Burkina Faso (1991 Vanderaa); 551,400 total HANGA 5,000 including 3,000 in the traditional area, 2,000 elsewhere (1992 GILLBT) HAUSA 22,000,000 total (1991); 35,000,000 first and second language speakers total (1991 WA) JWIRA-PEPESA 17,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) KABIYE 520,000 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 489,200 in Togo (1991 Vanderaa); 1,200,000 including second language speakers (1991 UBS) KANTOSI 2,000 possibly in Ghana, including 200 to 300 in Sandema District, possibly 1,000 in Kpaliwongo (1991 P. and N. Schaefer SIL) KASEM 80,000 in Ghana (1990 SIL); 100,000 in Burkina Faso (1990 SIL); 180,000 total (1990 SIL) KONKOMBA 220,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 50,100 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 250,000 total KONNI 2,600 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) KPLANG 7,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) KRACHE 60,000 (1988 GILLBT) KULANGO, BONDOUKOU 10,000 in Ghana (1991); 81,600 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 91,600 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) KULANGO, BOUNA 15,500 in Ghana (1991); 155,000 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 170,500 total KUSAAL, EASTERN 400,000 (1992 GILLBT) LELEMI 30,570 (1988 SIL) LIGBI 10,000in Ghana (1988 GILLBT); 4,000 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 14,000 total LOGBA 5,000 (1988 SIL) MAMPRULI 226,800 Mamprusi (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) MOORE 4,700,000 total or more (1991); 19,700 in Togo (1991); 17,000 in Mali (1980) NAFAANRA 45,000 (1992 GILLBT) NAWDM (112,000 in Togo) NAWURI 13,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) NCHUMBULU 1,300 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC NKONYA 20,000 (1988 GILLBT) NTCHAM 100,000 total (1992 SIL); 62,300 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) NYANGBO 3,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) NZEMA 285,800 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 46,500 in Cte d'Ivoire (1991); 332,300 total PASAALA 50,000, with 25,000 Pasaali, 25,000 Gilbagala (1991 GILLBT) SAFALIBA 4,000 (1988 GILLBT) SEHWI 150,000 total (1988 GILLBT) SEKPELE 15,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) SELE 6,000 (1988 GILLBT) SISAALA, TUMULUNG 121,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) SISAALA, WESTERN 20,000 (1988 GILLBT) TAFI 2,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) TAMPULMA 35,000 (1992 GILLBT) TEM 300,000 total (1987 SIL); 75,000 in Benin (1978 MARC); 156,446 in Togo (1981 census) VAGLA 10,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 37 in Cte d'Ivoire (1975 census); 10,000 total WALI 99,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) WASA 175,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)