|Native speakers||1.4 million (1991–2012)|
|Writing system||Kpelle syllabary, African reference alphabet|
|ISO 639-3||kpe – inclusive code
gkp – Guinea Kpelle
xpe – Liberia Kpelle
knu – Kono
The Kpelle // language (endonym: "Kpɛlɛɛ") is spoken by the Kpelle people and is part of the Mande family of languages. Guinean Kpelle (known as Guerze in French), spoken by half a million people, concentrated primarily, but not exclusively, in the forest regions of Guinea, whose capital, Nzérékoré, is the third largest city in Guinea and the largest city in the Guinée Forestière region of south-eastern Guinea bordering Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. Liberian Kpelle, spoken by half again as many, is currently taught in schools in Liberia.
- Kunâŋ gáa ŋele sui,
- Tɔɔ ku iláai siɣe a maa waa.
- Tɔɔ Ikâloŋ-laai é pá,
- Tɔɔ ínîa-mɛni é kέ,
- Nɔii ma ɓɛ yɛ̂ɛ berei gáa la Ɣâla-taai.
- I kukɔ sâa a kuɣele-kuu tɔnɔ-tɔnɔ mii-sɛŋ;
- I ipôlu fe kutɔ̂ŋ-karaa-ŋai dîa,
- Yɛ̂ɛ berei kwa kupôlu fè la kuɓarâai ditɔ̂ŋ-karaa-ŋai dîai;
- Tɔɔ kutúɛ kufe pili yee-laa-maa su,
- Kέlɛ, i kukúla mɛni nyɔ́mɔɔ su.
- Kpelle reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Guinea Kpelle reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Liberia Kpelle reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Kono reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
- "Kpɛlɛɛ Kɔlɔi 2" [Kpelle reader #2]. 2nd ed. Totota: Kpelle Literacy Center, 1959, 1.
- Matthew 6:9-13 in the Gbanaŋ-woo-kɛɛ ninai ["Kpelle New Testament"]. Monrovia: Bible Society in Liberia and United Bible Societies, 1992. This excerpt visible at http://www.christusrex.org/www1/pater/JPN-kpelle-liberia.html.
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