distribution: The Gambia, Senegal (esp. Casamance) and Guinea-Bissau|
Linguistic classification: Niger–Congo Atlantic–Congo Bak–Bijago Bak proper Jola–Papel Jola
Glottolog: nucl1345 (Nuclear Jola) bayo1255 (Bayot)
Jola or Diola is a dialect continuum spoken in Senegal, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. It belongs to the Bak branch of the Niger–Congo language family.
The primary branches of Jola proper and to some extent Central Jola are not mutually intelligible. The main varieties are:
Bayot, spoken around Ziguinchor, is grammatically Jola apart from a non-Jola pronominal system, but maybe half its vocabulary is non-Jola and even non-Atlantic. It may therefore be a language isolate with substantial Jola borrowing (relexification). In any case it is clearly distinct from (other) Jola languages.