1.  Classification / Classification

Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest, Dagaari-Birifor, Dagaari (Ethnologue?).

The Birifor language is related and partially intelligible with Dagaare (Ethnologue).

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

Northwest Ghana and southwestern Burkina Faso. Ethnologue specifies "Southern Dagaare" in Ghana, and "Northern Dagara" and "Dagaari Dioula" in Burkina Faso.

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to information compiled from Ethnologue:

  • Southern Dagaare: 700,000 (2003)
  • Northern Dagara: 388,000 (2001 Johnstoneand Mandryk)
  • Dagaari Dioula: 21,000 (1999 SIL)

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Ethologue finds that the three varieties are quite separate:

  • Southern Dagaare - "It is distinct from Northern Dagara in Burkina Faso."
  • Northern Dagara
    • Lober (Lobr)
    • Wule
    • Nura (Lawra Lobi)
  • Dagaari Dioula - "Not inherently intelligible with Dagaare, Jula, or Mòoré. Lexical similarity 65% to 70% with Dagaare."

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Ethnologue notes (accessed 2007):

  • Dagaare, Southern:
    • Language use is vigorous. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio programs.
    • Literacy rate:
      • L1: 5% to 10%
      • L2: 5% to 15%
  • Dagara, Northern
    • Radio programs. TV.
  • Dagaari Dioula
    • West of the Mouhoun River some men have routine proficiency in Jula, but women have lower proficiency. In some western locations some also speak Mòoré.

"has been the principal language of evangelisation in north-western Ghana since the advent of the missionaries in the colonial era. In present-day language policy, Dagaare occupies a considerably important position. It is one of the nine official literacy languages of Ghana. As a result the Bureau of Ghana languages publishes educational material in it. Dagaare is taught and offered for degree courses in the country's higher institutions such as the University of Ghana, Accra, and the University College of Winneba. Further, it is broadcast over the Ura FM radio, which serves the three regions in Northern Ghana." (Bodomo, n.d.)

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

The Latin alphabet is used. It uses extended characters. Tones are indicated by diacritics.

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

The following extended characters are used for Dagara in Burkina Faso: ɛ, ɔ, ʋ, ɓ, ɩ, ŋ, ƴ (according to the keyboard layout for the language available at http://www.abcburkina.net/sedelan/contenu/services/edition.html )

Alphabets as reported by Hartell (1993) and presented in Systèmes alphabétiques:

Sample Dagaare text from "Language Museum" (NB- may not be official orthography): http://www.language-museum.com/d/dagaare.htm

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

Fonts with extended Latin ranges would be necessary.

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

For Dagara in Burkina Faso, see http://www.abcburkina.net/sedelan/contenu/services/edition.html

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

(There is no ISO-639-1 or -2 code for Dagaare.)

Dagaare, Southern

  • ISO 639-3: dga

Dagaari Dioula

  • ISO 639-3: dgd

Dagara, Northern

  • ISO 639-3: dgi

7.6  Other / Autre

8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

  • Dr. Adams Bodomo, University of Vienna

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

  • University of Ghana, Accra
  • University College of Winneba

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile

Dagaare Linguists' HomePage (offline, seeking more info; old url - www.hku.hk/linguist/staff_ab.DagaareLinguist.html)

Journal of Dagaare Studies http://www.hku.hk/linguist/staff/Bodomo/JDS/all.html

Edition en langue nationale de Burkina Faso http://www.abcburkina.net/sedelan/contenu/services/edition.html

Latin & diacritic character picker http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/pickers/latin/

9.  Comments / Remarques

If the northern and southern varieties of Dagaare are close enough to permit localization of some applications in a single version, then perhaps a single locale (requiring an ISO-639 code for it as a "macrolanguage") would be necessary.

10.  References / Références

Bodomo, Adams (n.d.), "The Dagaare language and its speakers: Introduction" http://www.hku.hk/linguist/staff/intro_dagPro.htm

Chanard, Christian (2006), Systèmes alphabétiques des langues africaines, LLACAN, CNRS, http://sumale.vjf.cnrs.fr/phono/

Hartell, Rhonda L., ed. (1993), The Alphabets of Africa. Dakar: UNESCO and SIL. (The French edition, published the same year, is entitled Alphabets de Langues Africaines).

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Dagaare, Southern," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/dga

______, "Dagaari Dioula," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/dgd

______, "Dagara, Northern," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/dgi

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php

Wikipedia, "Dagaare language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagaare_language

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Categories: Languages, Ghana, Burkina Faso