Frafra language

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Frafra
Gurenɛ
Native toGhana, Burkina Faso
EthnicityFrafra people
Native speakers
720,000[1] (2003)[2]
Niger–Congo
Dialects
  • Gurenɛ
  • Nankani
  • Booni
Language codes
ISO 639-3gur
Glottologfare1241[3]

Frafra or Farefare, also known as Gurenɛ, is the language of the Frafra people of northern Ghana, particularly the Upper East Region, and southern Burkina Faso. It is a national language of Ghana, and is closely related to Dagbani and other languages of Northern Ghana, and also related to Mossi, also known as Mooré, the national language of Burkina Faso.

Frafra consists of three principal dialects, Gurenɛ (also written Gurunɛ, Gudenne, Gurenne, Gudeni, Zuadeni), Nankani (Naani, Nankanse, Ninkare), and Booni. Nabit and Talni have been mistakenly reported to be Frafra dialects.[4]


Orthography[edit]

The Frafra language uses the letters of the Latin alphabet with the exception of c, j, q, x, and with the additions of ɛ, ɔ, ŋ, and ɣ.

Gurunɛ Vowels
Sound Representation Example Meaning
/a/ a ya /ja/ houses
/a:/ aa gaarɛ /ga:ɹɛ/ a type of bean cake
/ɛ/ ɛ ɛkɛ /ɛkɛ/ to fly
/e/ e zoore /zo:ɹe:/ mountain/hill
/ẽ/ tẽŋa city
/ɪ/ ɩ taablɩ /ta:blɪ/ table (French borrowing)
/i/ i piika /pi:ka/ little
/ɔ/ ɔ ɔɔrɔ /ɔ:ɹɔ/ cold
/o/ o toma toma /to:.ma.to:.ma/ a greeting similar to "hi"
/ʊ/ ʋ teebʋl /te:bʊl/ table (English borrowing)
/u/ uu buulika /bu:lika/ morning

Grammar[edit]

Words in Gurunɛ have different "classes" for verb endings:

Gurunɛ Plurals
Class Singular Plural Example Meaning
1 -a -ba nẽra > nẽrba Person > People
2 -ka -gsɩ bɛka > bɛgsɩ part(s)/fraction(s)
4 -ko -gro boko > bogro[5] hole(s)
Used mainly for

loanwords from

Twi, English, and

other languages

- -dõma ãnkɔra > ãnkɔrdõma water barrel(s) [Twi]
foto > fotodõma photo(s) [most likely

French and English]

taablɩ > taablɩdõma table(s) [French]
n/a -grɛ -ga dɩgrɛ > dɩga dwarf(s)
-ɩa -ɩɩsɩ bɩa > bɩɩsɩ child > children
-kɔ -grɔ dʋkɔ > dʋgrɔ pot(s)
-õa -õosɩ kõa > kõosɩ voice(s)
pɔgdɔgnõa >

pɔgdɔgnõosɩ[6]

Cuckoo bird
-lɛ -la ɩɩlɛ > ɩɩla[7] horn(s)
ʋʋlɛ > ʋʋlɛ[8] Uulea mushroom
-nɛ[9] -ma gɩgnɛ > gɩgma lion(s)
bẽmnɛ > bẽma Bemnea calabash drum
-(n)na -nɩba sɔ'ɔna > sɔ'ɔnɩba owner(s)

Greetings[edit]

Gurunɛ Phonetic English
Buulika /bu:lika/ morning (Greeting in the morning)
Wuntɛŋa /ˈvʊntɛŋa/ sun (Greeting around noon)
Zaanure /za:juɻɛ/ Evening (Greeting in the evening)
Zaare /za:r̝e/ Welcome
Toma Toma /to:.ma.to:.ma/ a greeting similar to "Hello" (every time of the day)
Nambaa /ˈnaːmba:/ Response to these greetings

Geography[edit]

Continents
English Gurunɛ
Africa Afrika
America Amerika
Antarctica Antarktika
Asia Asia
Australia Australia
Europe Europa
Oceania Okeania

Solemitiŋa means "land of the white man" and is used to refer to all non-African countries.

Solemine is theoretically referring to all non-African languages however it is only used to refer to English.

Bibliography[edit]

  • M.E. Kropp Dakubu, S. Awinkene Antintono, and E. Avea Nsoh, A Gurenɛ–English Dictionary and accompanying English–Gurenɛ Glossary
  • https://ninkare.webonary.org/

References[edit]

  1. ^ Excluding ?30,000 Nabit and ?100,000 Talni
  2. ^ Frafra at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Farefare". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ ISO change request
  5. ^ "Ninkare Frafra Dictionary » boko" (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  6. ^ "Ninkare Frafra Dictionary » pɔgdɔgnõa" (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  7. ^ "Ninkare Frafra Dictionary » ɩɩlɛ" (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  8. ^ "Ninkare Frafra Dictionary » ʋʋlɛ" (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  9. ^ "Ninkare Frafra Dictionary » Search Results » nɛ". Retrieved 2019-08-09.