Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Southwestern Mande languages

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Subdivisions  Kpelle Loma-Mende
Glottolog  sout2842
Geographic distribution  Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia
Linguistic classification  Niger–Congo Mande Central-Southwestern Mande Southwestern Mande

The Southwestern Mande languages are a branch of the Mande languages spoken in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. There are around 2.8 million speakers, chiefly in Sierra Leone, due to Mende, the language with the most overall speakers. The Southwestern Mande languages are distantly related to the historic Manding languages, but are mutually unintelligble.


  • Mende, spoken by 1.4 million in the Southern and Eastern provinces, Sierra Leone
  • Loko, spoken by around 140,000 predominantly in Bombali and Port Loko districts, Sierra Leone.
  • Kpelle, spoken by around 1.2 million in central Liberia and Guinée forestière, Guinea.
  • Loma, or Toma, spoken by around 300,000 in Guinea and Liberia.
  • Zialo, one classified as a dialect of Loma, spoken by around 25,000 around Macenta and Guéckédougou, Guinea.
  • Gbandi, spoken by around 100,000 in Liberia.
  • References

    Southwestern Mande languages Wikipedia

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