Koyraboro Senni

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Koyraboro Senni
Native toMali
RegionEast of Timbuktu, Gao
Ethnicity850,000 (2007?)[1]
Native speakers
430,000 (2007)[2]
300,000 monolingual (2007)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ses
Songhay languages.svg
Location of Songhay languages[4]

Northwest Songhay:


Eastern Songhay:

  Koyraboro Senni

Koyraboro Senni (or Eastern Songhay, Koroboro Senni, Koyra Senni) is a member of the Songhay languages of Mali and is spoken by some 400,000 people along the Niger River from the town of Gourma-Rharous, east of Timbuktu, through Bourem, Gao and Ansongo to the Mali–Niger border.

The expression "koyra-boro senn-i" denotes "the language of the town dwellers", as opposed to nomads like the Tuareg people and other transhumant people.

Although Koyraboro Senni is associated with settled towns, it is a cosmopolitan language which has spread east and west of Gao, to the Fula people living at the Mali–Niger border and to the Bozo people of the Niger River. East of Timbuktu, Koyra Senni gives way relatively abruptly to the closely related Koyra Chiini.


  • Jeffrey Heath: Grammar of Koyraboro (Koroboro) Senni, the Songhay of Gao. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln 1999. ISBN 978-3-89645-106-4

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Koyraboro Senni at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ a b Koyraboro Senni at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Koyraboro Senni Songhai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ This map is based on classification from Glottolog and data from Ethnologue.