Ethnologue: Languages of the World

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Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Africa > Burkina Faso > Mòoré


A language of Burkina Faso

ISO 639-3: mos

Population 5,000,000 in Burkina Faso. Population includes 15,700 Yana (1991). Population total all countries: 5,036,700.
Region Central Ouagadougou area and throughout the country. Also spoken in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Togo.
Alternate names   Moose, More, Mole, Mossi, Moshi
Dialects Saremdé, Taolendé, Yaadré, Ouapadoupou, Yaande, Zaore (Joore), Yana (Yanga, Jaan). Yana has over 90% intelligibility of Ouagadougou Mòoré, 75% to 80% of Joore. Joore with Ouagadougou varies from 88% in Tibga to 95% in Diabo. Yanga dialect is in Togo, completely intelligible with Central Mòoré.
Classification Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest
Language use Dominant African language of Burkina Faso. All ages. Some who have traveled outside the area speak Jula as second language.
Language development Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1983.
Comments 'Moose' is the name of the people (pl.) or 'Moaaga' (sg.); 'Mòoré' of the language. Other spellings reflect obsolete spellings or pronunciations of nonspeakers. SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subjects, objects; CV, CVC, CVV, CCV; tonal. Savannah. Peasant agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Mòoré
Population 17,000 in Mali (1980).
Region Some villages in the Dogon area, near the Burkina Faso border, and elsewhere.
Alternate names   More, Mole, Mossi, Moshi
Comments Speakers came into Mali from Burkina Faso during the colonial period. Traditional religion, Muslim.


Language name   Mòoré
Population 19,700 in Togo (1991). Population includes 7,155 in Moore, 7,908 in Yanga dialect (1981 census).
Region Savana Region, several villages north of Dapaon Senkanssé, Timbou, Tabi.
Alternate names   Moose, Mossi, More, Mole, Moshi
Dialects Yanga (Yana, Yan, Yam, Yaan, Jaan, Timbou).
Language use Many monolinguals. Some use French as second language.
Language development Literacy rate in second language: Many in the younger generation can read French.

Entries from the SIL Bibliography about this language:

Academic Publications

Berthelette, John. 2002. "Sociolinguistic survey report for the Yaana dialect of Mooré."

Berthelette, John. 2002. "Sociolinguistic survey report of the Jooré, or "Zaoré" language."

Butler, Herbert W. 1997. "Education of the Mossi."

Cahill, Mike. 2004. "Tonal polarity in Kɔnni."

Ring, J. Andrew. 1991. "Three case studies involving dialect standardization strategies in northern Ghana."

Vernacular Publications

Moos soalma (Contes Mossi). 1997.