Bassari is a member of the Senegambian branch of the Atlantic-Congo languages. It is spoken by about 31,200 people mainly in southeastern Senegal, and also in northwestern Guinea and eastern Guinea-Bissau.
In Senegal there are about 18,200 speakers of Bassari in the Kédougou and Tambacounda regions. In Guinea about 12,400 people speak Bassari in the Gaoual prefecture of the Boké region and in the Mali prefecture of the Labe region. There are also about 500 Bassari speakers in the Piche sector of the Gabu region of Guinea-Bissau.
Bassari is also known as Ayan, Basari, Bassari, Bassari-Tanda, Biyan, Onian, Oniyan, Onëyan, Tenda Basari or Wo. The Ane, Këd and Oxalac dialects are spoken in Senegal, and the Southern Bassari dialect is spoken in Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
The Bassari people call themselves a-liyan and call their language o-niyan. The name Bassari is thought to be of Manding origin.
Bassari is written with the Latin alphabet with slightly different orthographies in Senegal and Guinea.
Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum and Wolfram Siegel
Information about Bassari
Page last modified: 01.09.21
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