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The language of Mamprusi

Mamprusi (autonym Mampruli, also Mampelle, Ŋmampulli) is a Gur language spoken in northern Ghana by the Mamprusi people. It is partially mutually intelligible with Dagbani. The Mamprusi language is spoken in a broad belt across the northern parts of the Northern Region of Ghana, stretching west to east from Yizeesi to Nakpanduri and centred on the towns of Gambaga/Nalerigu and Walewale. In Mamprusi, one speaker is a Ŋmampuriga, many (plural) are Ŋmampurisi and the land of the Mamprusi is Ŋmampurigu.

 The language belongs to the Gur family which is part of the Niger–Congo language family, which covers most of Sub-Saharan Africa (Bendor-Samuel 1989). Within Gur it belongs to the Western Oti–Volta subgroup, and particularly its southeastern cluster of six to eight languages (Naden 1988, 1989). Closely related and very similar languages spoken nearby are Dagbani, Nanun, Kamara and Hanga in the Northern Region, and Kusaal, Nabit and Talni in the Upper East Region. Not quite so closely related are Farefare, Waali, Dagaari, Birifor and Safalaba in the Upper East and Upper West Regions and southwest of the Northern Region.

Comparatively little linguistic material on the language has been published; there is a brief sketch as an illustration of this subgroup of languages in Naden 1988.[3][4] A collection of Mampruli proverbs has been published by R.P. Xavier Plissart,[5] and a translation of the New Testament is in print,[6] a sample of which can be read and heard online.[7] There are also beginning Mampruli lessons in which the spoken language can be heard.[8]

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Ghana Gur Mamprusi Naden Northern Region


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