Basaa language

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ɓasaá, ɓàsàa
Native toCameroon
RegionCentre and Littoral Provinces
Native speakers
300,000 (2005 SIL)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2bas
ISO 639-3bas
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Basaa (also spelled Bassa, Basa, Bissa), or Mbene, is a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon by the Basaa people. It is spoken by about 300,000 people in the Centre and Littoral regions.

Maho (2009) lists North and South Kogo as dialects.



Front Back
Close i, iː u, uː
Close-mid e, eː o, oː
Open-mid ɛ, ɛː ɔ, ɔː
Open a, aː


Bilabial Coronal Palatal Velar Labial-velar
Stop p t c, ɟ k kʷ, ɡʷ
Implosive ɓ
Fricative s x
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ ŋʷ
Prenasalized stop ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ
Lateral l
Approximant j w
  • When not root-initial and not after a pause, the voiceless stops /p t k/ are realized as voiced stops or voiced fricatives.


Basaa contrasts four tones: high, low, high-to-low (falling) and low-to-high (rising).


  1. ^ Basaa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Basa (Cameroon)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  • Hyman, Larry M. (2003). "Basaá (A.43)". In Nurse, Derek; Philippson, Gérard (eds.). The Bantu Languages. Routledge. pp. 257–282. ISBN 0-7007-1134-1.