|Native to||Liberia, Sierra Leone|
|(120,000 cited 1991–2006)|
|Vai language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
Vai is noteworthy for being one of the few African languages to have a writing system that is not based on the Latin or Arabic script. This Vai script is a syllabary invented by Momolu Duwalu Bukele around 1833, although dates as early as 1815 have been alleged. The existence of Vai was reported in 1834 by American missionaries in the Missionary Herald of the ABCFM and independently by Rev. Sigismund Wilhelm Koelle, a Sierra Leone agent of the Church Missionary Society of London.
The Vai script was used to print the New Testament in the Vai language, dedicated in 2003.
|Oral vowels||Nasal vowels|
|Close||i i||u u||ĩ ĩ||ũ ũ|
|Close-mid||e e||o o||ɛ̃ ɛ̃||ɔ̃ ɔ̃|
|Open-mid||ɛ ɛ||ɔ ɔ|
|Open||a a||ã ã|
|Implosive||ɓ||l ~ ɗ||ɠ͡ɓ|
|l ~ ɗ|
- Vai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Vai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Ethnologue report for Vai
- "Report of Messrs. Wilson and Wynkoop". Missionary Herald. June 1834. p. 215.
- "A Written language in Western Africa". The New-Jerusalem magazine. A. Howard. 23 (10): 431.
- Vai Script workshop
- Omniglot entry on Vai script
- Smithsonian exhibit on Vai and other African scripts
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Vai
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