Soninke language

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Sooninkanxanne سࣷونِکَنْخَنّࣹ
Native toMali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Ghana
EthnicitySoninke people
Native speakers
2.1 million (2006–2011)[1]
  • Mande
    • Western Mande
      • Northwestern
        • Soninke–Bobo
          • Soninke–Bozo
            • Soninke
Language codes
ISO 639-2snk
ISO 639-3snk
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The Soninke language (Soninke: Sooninkanxanne,[2] سࣷونِکَنْخَنّࣹ‎), also known as Serakhulle or Azer or Maraka,[3] is a Mande language spoken by the Soninke people of Africa. The language has an estimated 3 million speakers, primarily located in Mali and Mauritania, and also (in order of numerical importance of the communities) in Senegal, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea . It enjoys the status of a national language in Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia.



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal ⟨m⟩ m ⟨n⟩ n ⟨ñ⟩ ɲ ⟨ŋ⟩ ŋ
Stop and
voiceless ⟨p⟩ p ⟨t⟩ t ⟨c⟩ t͡ʃ ⟨k⟩ k ⟨q⟩ q
voiced ⟨b⟩ b ⟨d⟩ d ⟨j⟩ d͡ʒ ⟨g⟩ ɡ
Fricative ⟨f⟩ f ⟨s⟩ s ⟨x⟩ x ~ χ ⟨h⟩ h
Trill ⟨r⟩ r
Approximant ⟨w⟩ w ⟨l⟩ l ⟨y⟩ j


Front Central Back
Close i, iː u, uː
Close-mid e, eː o, oː
Open a, aː


Long vowels are written double: aa, ee, ii, oo, uu.


  1. ^ Soninke at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Lexicon Soninke-French-English Archived 2008-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Olsen, James Stuart; Meur, Charles (1996). The Peoples of Africa: an Ethnohistorical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 532-533. ISBN 9780313279188. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  4. ^ Moussa Diagana, Ousmane (2013). Dictionnaire soninké-français (Mauritanie). Karthala.
  5. ^ Gràcia; Contreras, Lluïsa; Joan Miquel (2005). El Soninké i el Mandinga. Universitat de Girona.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

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