|Native to||Guinea; minor: Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Mali|
|Region||Fouta Jalon (in Guinea)|
|3 million (1991–2006)|
Pular is a Fula language spoken primarily by Fula people in the Fouta Jalon area in Guinea. It is also spoken in parts of Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. There are a small number of speakers in Mali. Pular is spoken by 2.5 million Guineans, about 28% of the national population. This makes Pular the most widely spoken indigenous language in the country. Substantial numbers of Pular speakers have migrated to other countries in West Africa, notably Senegal.
There are some particularities to this version of Fula, including:
- Use of plural form for politeness (such as in German or French, unlike other varieties of Fula)
- A number of separate verbal roots for politeness (these may exist only in Pular)
- There is no initial consonant mutation from singular to plural verb forms as is the case in other varieties of Fula (there is in nominal forms, however)
- In addition to the more standard long-form pronouns of Fula there are alternate forms in Pular (= hi(l) + pronoun). The table below summarizes these (question marks where the info is not complete):
|Person / number||Standard long-form pronoun
(as in Pulaar)
|Corresponding form in Pular|
|1st / sing||miɗo||miɗo
hilan (non-standard alternate form)
|2nd / sing||aɗa||hiɗa|
|3rd / sing||omo||himo|
|1st /pl (excl)||miɗen, amin||meɗen
himen (non-standard alternate form)
|1st / pl (incl)||eɗen||hiɗen|
|2nd / pl||oɗon||hiɗon|
|3rd / pl||eɓe||hiɓe|
Like other varieties of the Fula language, Pular was written before colonization in an Arabic-based orthography called "Ajami." Today, ajami remains prevalent in rural areas of Fuuta Jalon, but Pular is mainly written in a Latin-based orthography, the so-called UNESCO orthography. Pular Latin orthography is basically the same as that used for Fula languages throughout West Africa.
Up until the mid-1980s, Pular in Guinea was written with an orthography set by the Guinean government that differed from that used in other countries.
- Pular at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pular". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- ethnologue.org. "Ethnologue report for Guinea". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- Miɗo Waawi Pular! Learner's guide to Pular (Fuuta Jallon) by Herb Caudill and Ousmane Diallo
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