Baoulé language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
RegionIvory Coast
EthnicityBaoulé people
Native speakers
4.7 million (2017)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bci

Baoulé, also known as Baule or Bawule, is a language spoken in central and southern Ivory Coast, including in the regions of Lacs, Lagunes, Gôh-Djiboua, Sassandra-Marahoué, Vallée du Bandama, Woroba, and Yamoussoukro, by approximately 4.7 million people. It is a Kwa language of the Central Tano branch, forming a dialect continuum with Anyin and closely related to Nzema and Sehwi.[2] It is the common language of the Baoulé people, the largest ethnic group in Ivory Coast.[3]

Translations of the Bible[edit]

In 1946, portions of the Bible translated into Baoulé were first published; the full New Testament followed in 1953.[citation needed] The complete Bible was published first in 1998, by the Bible Society in Abidjan.



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Labial-
Plosive voiceless p t c k kp
voiced b d ɟ g gb
Fricative voiceless f s
voiced v z
Nasal m n ɲ
Lateral l
Trill r
Approximant j w


Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

Of these vowels, five may be nasalized: /ĩ/, /ɛ̃/, /ã/, /ũ/, and /ɔ̃/.[4][5]


Baoulé has five tones: high, low, mid, rising, and falling.[6]


Baoulé uses the following letters to indicate the following phonemes:[4]

Uppercase A B C D E Ɛ F G GB I J L K M N NY O Ɔ P S T U V W Y Z
Lowercase a b c d e ɛ f g gb i j l k m n ny o ɔ p s t u v w y z
Phoneme /a/ /b/ /c/ /d/ /e/ /ɛ/ /f/ /g/ /gb/ /i/ /ɟ/ /l/ /k/ /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /o/ /ɔ/ /p/ /s/ /t/ /u/ /v/ /w/ /j/ /z/

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baoulé at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019) closed access
  2. ^ Koffi, Ettien N'da (1990). The interface between phonology and morpho(phono)logy in the standardization of Anyi orthography (PDF).
  3. ^ "Baoulé". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  4. ^ a b "Système alphabétique de la langue baoulé". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  5. ^ Kouadio N'guessan, Jérémie; Kouame, Kouakou (2004). Parlons baoulé: langue et culture de la Côte d'Ivoire. Paris: L'Harmattan.
  6. ^ "PHOIBLE 2.0 -". Retrieved 2020-01-03.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]