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More, Mossi
Native toBurkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Togo, Niger, Senegal
Native speakers
6.5 million (2009–2013)[1]
Latin (Mooré alphabet), N'Ko
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2mos
ISO 639-3mos
Majority areas of Mooré speakers (see also on a map of Burkina Faso)
Country Moogho
A Mooré speaker speaking Mooré and Dioula, recorded in Taiwan. Video 1 min:23 sec, 2018.

Mooré, also called More or Mossi,[2][3] is a Gur language of the Oti–Volta branch and one of four official regional languages of Burkina Faso. It is the language of the Mossi people, spoken by approximately 6.46 million people in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Niger, Mali, Togo and Senegal as a native language, but with many more L2 speakers. Mooré is spoken as a first or second language by over 50% of the Burkinabè population and is the main language in the capital city of Ouagadougou. It is one of the official regional languages in Burkina Faso and is closely related to Dagbani.

The Lord's Prayer in Mooré translation (Church of the Pater Noster)
Blackboard with text in Mooré, including use of the letter Ʋ (v with hook).


The Mooré language consists of the following sounds:[4]


Mooré consonant phonemes
Labial Alveolar Postalveolar
/ palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Stop voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative voiceless f s h
voiced v z
Liquid r, l
Approximant j w


  • The semivowel /j/ ⟨y⟩ is pronounced [ɲ] (palatal nasal) in front of nasal vowels.


Front Central Back
Close vowel close i u
near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e o
Open a


  • All vowels (other than /e/ and /o/) can also be nasalized.
  • All vowels (oral and nasal) can be short or long.
  • Other linguists include the vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/; here, they are analysed as diphthongs, (/ɛ/ is considered to be ea and /ɔ/ is considered to be oa).


In Burkina Faso, the Mooré alphabet uses the letters specified in the national Burkinabé alphabet. It can also be written with the newly devised goulsse alphabet.

Burkinabé Mooré alphabet
A ʼ B D E Ɛ F G H I Ɩ K L M N O P R S T U Ʋ V W Y Z
a ʼ b d e ɛ f g h i ɩ k l m n o p r s t u ʋ v w y z
Phonetic values
a ʔ b d e ɛ f ɡ h i ɪ k l m n o p r s t u ʊ v w j z

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mooré at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "More, language of the Mossi tribe; phrase book". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.
  3. ^ School, Live Lingua-Online Language. "FSI More(Mossi) Basic Language Course :". Live Lingua.
  4. ^ Cf. Kabore (1985) : (p.44) for the consonants, (p.85-86) for the vowels.

External links[edit]

Learning materials[edit]