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Friday, April 22, 2011


Nafaanra (sometimes written Nafaara, pronounced [nafãːra]) is a Senufo language spoken in northwest Ghana, along the border with Côte d'Ivoire, east of Bondouko. It is spoken by approximately 61,000 people.Its speakers call themselves Nafana; others call them Banda or Mfantera. Like other Senufo languages, Nafaanra is a tonal language. It is somewhat of an outlier in the Senufo language group, with the geographically closest relatives, the Southern Senufo Tagwana-Djimini languages, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) to the west, on the other side of Comoé National Park.
The basic word order is Subject Object Verb, similar to Latin and Japanese. Like other Niger-Congo languages it has a noun class system where nouns are classified according to five different genders, which also affects pronouns, adjectives and copulas. The phonology features a distinction between the length of vowels and whether they are oral or nasal (as in French or Portuguese). There are also three distinct tones, a feature shared with the other Senufo languages. Nafaanra grammar features both tense and aspect which are marked with particles. Numbers are mainly formed by adding cardinal numbers to the number 5 and by multiplying the numbers 10, 20 and 100.

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