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Native toBurkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Togo, Niger
Native speakers
7.83 million (2009–2013)[1]
Latin (Mooré alphabet) N'Ko
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2mos
ISO 639-3mos
Languages of Burkina Faso.png
Majority areas of Mooré speakers, in pink, on a map of Burkina Faso
A Mooré speaker speaking Mooré and Dioula, recorded in Taiwan. Video 1 min:23 sec, 2018.
A Mooré text on a blackboard in the open at a meeting of farmers and extension workers, Ziga, Burkina Faso, 1981. The text reads:
"talaat Octobre kiug daar 6 soaba 1981 / moor tarongo roogo la wooto / ed fãa tom ne taaba d bayira manegre yinga / ned ka être n le n encore yẽ seka un meng ye ned fãarata / ato sôngre, ta vum yi a noogo / Ziiga"
(Tuesday, month of Octobre, 6th day, 1981 / This is a Mossi tarongo(?) house / We all work together for the repair of our home (village, homeland) / Nobody can say .. / With help it gets good. / Ziiga)[2]
The distribution of majority Mooré speaking Burkina Faso

The Mooré language is a Gur language of the Oti–Volta branch and one of two official regional languages of Burkina Faso. It is the language of the Mossi people, spoken by approximately 8 million people in Burkina Faso, plus another 1M+ in surrounding countries such as Ghana, Cote D'ivoire, Niger, Mali and Togo.


The Mooré language consists of the following sounds:[3]


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 close i u
near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e o
Open a


  • All vowels (other than /e/ and /o/) are pronounced like their nasal counterparts.
  • All vowels (oral and nasal) are pronounced like their lengthened counterparts.
  • 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.

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. ^ "Mòoré". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  2. ^ Kind translation by Afrika-Studiecentrum Leiden/African Studies Centre Leiden, 2021.
  3. ^ Cf. Kabore (1985) : (p.44) for the consonants, (p.85-86) for the vowels.

External links[edit]

Learning materials[edit]