en.m.wikipedia.org
Wolof language
Wolof /
ˈwoʊlɒf
/[3] is a language of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania, and the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Senegambian branch of the Niger–Congo language family. Unlike most other languages of the Niger-Congo family, Wolof is not a tonal language.
Wolof
Wolof
Native toSenegal, Gambia, Mauritania
EthnicityWolof
Native speakers
5,454,000 (2001-2016)[1][2]
L2 speakers: ?
Niger–Congo
Wolof–Nyun
Wolof
Latin (Wolof alphabet)
Arabic (Wolofal)
Garay
Official status
Regulated byCLAD (Centre de linguistique appliquée de Dakar)
Language codes
ISO 639-1wo
ISO 639-2wol
ISO 639-3Either:
wol – Wolof
wof – Gambian Wolof
Glottologwolo1247
Linguasphere90-AAA-aa

Areas where Wolof is spoken
Play media
A Wolof speaker, recorded in Taiwan.
Wolof is the most widely spoken language in Senegal, spoken natively by the Wolof people (40% of the population) but also by most other Senegalese as a second language.[4] Wolof dialects vary geographically and between rural and urban areas. The principal dialect of Dakar, for instance, is an urban mixture of Wolof, French, and Arabic.
Wolof is the standard spelling and may also refer to the Wolof ethnicity or culture. Variants include the older French Ouolof and the principally Gambian Wollof, Jolof, jollof, etc., which now typically refers either to the Jolof Empire or to jollof rice, a common West African rice dish. Now-archaic forms include Volof and Olof.
English is believed to have adopted some Wolof loanwords, such as banana, via Spanish or Portuguese,[5] and nyam in several Caribbean English Creoles meaning "to eat" (compare Seychellois Creole nyanmnyanm, also meaning "to eat").[6]
Geographical distribution
States of the Wolof Empire
Wolof is spoken by more than 10 million people and about 40 percent (approximately 5 million people) of Senegal's population speak Wolof as their native language. Increased mobility, and especially the growth of the capital Dakar, created the need for a common language: today, an additional 40 percent of the population speak Wolof as a second or acquired language. In the whole region from Dakar to Saint-Louis, and also west and southwest of Kaolack, Wolof is spoken by the vast majority of people. Typically when various ethnic groups in Senegal come together in cities and towns, they speak Wolof. It is therefore spoken in almost every regional and departmental capital in Senegal. Nevertheless, the official language of Senegal is French.
In The Gambia, although about 20–25 percent of the population speak Wolof as a first language, it has a disproportionate influence because of its prevalence in Banjul, the Gambian capital, where 75 percent of the population use it as a first language. Furthermore, in Serekunda, The Gambia's largest town, although only a tiny minority are ethnic Wolofs, approximately 70 percent of the population speaks or understands Wolof.
In Mauritania, about seven percent of the population (approximately 185,000 people) speak Wolof. Most live near or along the Senegal River that Mauritania shares with Senegal.
Classification
Wolof is one of the Senegambian languages, which are characterized by consonant mutation.[7] It is often said to be closely related to the Fula language because of a misreading by Wilson (1989) of the data in Sapir (1971) that have long been used to classify the Atlantic languages.
Varieties
Senegalese/Mauritanian Wolof and Gambian Wolof are distinct national standards: they use different orthographies and use different languages (French vs. English) as their source for technical loanwords. However, both the spoken and written languages are mutually intelligible. Lebu Wolof, on the other hand, is incomprehensible with standard Wolof, a distinction that has been obscured because all Lebu speakers are bilingual in standard Wolof.[8]
Orthography and pronunciation
Note: Phonetic transcriptions are printed between square brackets [] following the rules of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
The Latin orthography of Wolof in Senegal was set by government decrees between 1971 and 1985. The language institute "Centre de linguistique appliquée de Dakar" (CLAD) is widely acknowledged as an authority when it comes to spelling rules for Wolof. The complete alphabet is A, À, B, C, D, E, É, Ë, F, G, I, J, K, L, M, N, Ñ, Ŋ, O, Ó, P, Q, R, S, T, U, W, X, Y.[9][10][11]
Wolof is most often written in this orthography, in which phonemes have a clear one-to-one correspondence to graphemes.
Additionally, two other scripts exist: a traditional Arabic-based transcription of Wolof called Wolofal, which dates back to the pre-colonial period and is still used by many people, and Garay, an alphabetic script invented by Assane Faye 1961, which has been adopted by a small number of Wolof-speakers.[12][13]
The first syllable of words is stressed; long vowels are pronounced with more time but are not automatically stressed, as they are in English.
Vowels
The vowels are as follows:[14]
Vowels
FrontCentralBack
shortlongshortlongshortlong
Closei ⟨i⟩u ⟨u⟩
Close-mide ⟨é⟩o ⟨ó⟩
midə ⟨ë⟩
Open-midɛ ⟨e⟩ɛːɔ ⟨o⟩ɔː
Opena ⟨a⟩
There may be an additional low vowel, or this may be confused with orthographic à.[citation needed]
All vowels may be long (written double) or short.[15] /aː/ is written ⟨à⟩ before a long (prenasalized or geminate) consonant (example làmbi "arena"). When é and ó are written double, the accent mark is often only on the first letter.
Vowels fall into two harmonizing sets according to ATR: i u é ó ë are +ATR, e o a are the −ATR analogues of é ó ë. For example,[16]
Lekk-oon-ngeen /lɛkːɔːnŋɡɛːn/
[eat-PAST-FIN.2pl]
'You (plural) ate.'
Dóór-óón-ngéén /doːroːnŋɡeːn/
[hit-PAST-FIN.2pl]
'You (plural) hit.'
There are no −ATR analogs of the high vowels i u. They trigger +ATR harmony in suffixes when they occur in the root, but in a suffix, they may be transparent to vowel harmony.
The vowels of some suffixes or enclitics do not harmonize with preceding vowels. In most cases following vowels harmonize with them. That is, they reset the harmony, as if they were a separate word. However, when a suffix/clitic contains a high vowel (+ATR) that occurs after a −ATR root, any further suffixes harmonize with the root. That is, the +ATR suffix/clitic is "transparent" to vowel harmony. An example is the negative -u- in,
Door-u-ma-leen-fa /dɔːrumalɛːnfa/
[begin-NEG-1sg-3pl-LOC]
'I did not begin them there.'
where harmony would predict *door-u-më-léén-fë. That is, I or U behave as if they are their own −ATR analogs.
Authors differ in whether they indicate vowel harmony in writing, as well as whether they write clitics as separate words.
Consonants
Consonants in word-initial position are as follows:[17]
Wolof consonants
LabialAlveolarPalatalVelarUvularGlottal
Nasalm ⟨m⟩n ⟨n⟩ɲ ⟨ñ⟩ŋ ⟨ŋ⟩[18]
Plosiveprenasalizedmb ⟨mb⟩nd ⟨nd⟩ɲɟ ⟨nj⟩ŋɡ ⟨ng⟩
voicedb ⟨b⟩d ⟨d⟩ɟ ⟨j⟩ɡ ⟨g⟩
voicelessp ⟨p⟩t ⟨t⟩c ⟨c⟩k ⟨k⟩q ⟨q⟩ʔ
Fricativef ⟨f⟩s ⟨s⟩x~χ ⟨x⟩
Trillr ⟨r⟩
Approximantw ⟨w⟩l ⟨l⟩j ⟨y⟩
All simple nasals, oral stops apart from q and glottal, and the sonorants l r y w may be geminated (doubled), though geminate r only occurs in ideophones.[19][20] (Geminate consonants are written double.) Q is inherently geminate and may occur in an initial position; otherwise, geminate consonants and consonant clusters, including nt, nc, nk, nq ([ɴq]), are restricted to word-medial and -final position. In the final place, geminate consonants may be followed by a faint epenthetic schwa vowel.
Of the consonants in the chart above, p d c k do not occur in the intermediate or final position, being replaced by f r s and zero, though geminate pp dd cc kk are common. Phonetic p c k do occur finally, but only as allophones of b j g due to final devoicing.
Minimal pairs:[21][22]
bët ("eye") - bëtt ("to find")
boy("to catch fire") -boyy("to be glimmering")
dag("a royal servant") -dagg("to cut")
dëj ("funeral") - dëjj ("cunt")
fen ("to (tell a) lie") - fenn ("somewhere, nowhere")
gal("white gold") -gall("to regurgitate")
goŋ("baboon") -goŋŋ(a kind of bed)
gëm ("to believe") - gëmm ("to close one's eyes")
Jaw (a family name) - jaww ("heaven")
nëb("rotten") -nëbb("to hide")
woñ("thread") -woññ("to count")
Tones
Unlike most sub-Saharan African languages, Wolof has no tones. Other non-tonal languages of Africa include Amharic, Swahili and Fula.
Grammar
Notable characteristics
Pronoun conjugation instead of verbal conjugation
In Wolof, verbs are unchangeable stems that cannot be conjugated. To express different tenses or aspects of an action, personal pronouns are conjugated – not the verbs. Therefore, the term temporal pronoun has become established for this part of speech. It is also referred to as a focus form.[23]
Example: The verb dem means "to go" and cannot be changed; the temporal pronoun maa ngi means "I/me, here and now"; the temporal pronoun dinaa means "I am soon / I will soon / I will be soon". With that, the following sentences can be built now: Maa ngi dem. "I am going (here and now)." – Dinaa dem. "I will go (soon)."
Conjugation with respect to aspect instead of tense
In Wolof, tenses like present tense, past tense, and future tense are just of secondary importance, they play almost no role. Of crucial importance is the aspect of action from the speaker's point of view. The most vital distinction is whether an action is perfective, i.e., finished, or imperfective, i.e., still going on, from the speaker's point of view, regardless of whether the action itself takes place in the past, present, or future. Other aspects indicate whether an action takes place regularly, whether an action will take place for sure, and whether an actor wants to emphasize the role of the subject, predicate, or object of the sentence.[clarification needed] As a result, conjugation is not done by tenses, but by aspects. Nevertheless, the term temporal pronoun became usual for these conjugated pronouns, although aspect pronoun might be a better term.
Example: The verb dem means "to go"; the temporal pronoun naa means "I already/definitely", the temporal pronoun dinaa means "I am soon / I will soon / I will be soon"; the temporal pronoun damay means "I (am) regularly/usually". Now the following sentences can be constructed: Dem naa. "I go already / I have already gone." – Dinaa dem. "I will go soon / I am just going to go." – Damay dem. "I usually/regularly/normally/am about to go."
A speaker may absolutely express that an action took place in the past by adding the suffix -(w)oon to the verb (in a sentence, the temporal pronoun is still used in a conjugated form along with the past marker).
Example: Demoon naa Ndakaaru. "I already went to Dakar."
Action verbs versus static verbs and adjectives
Wolof has two main verb classes: dynamic and stative. Verbs are not inflected, instead pronouns are used to mark person, aspect, tense, and focus.[24]:779
Consonant harmony
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2011)
Gender
Wolof does not mark sexual gender as grammatical gender: there is one pronoun encompassing the English 'he', 'she', and 'it'. The descriptors bu góor (male / masculine) or bu jigéen (female / feminine) are often added to words like xarit, 'friend', and rakk, 'younger sibling' to indicate the person's sex.
Markers of noun definiteness (usually called "definite articles") agree with the noun they modify. There are at least ten articles in Wolof, some of them indicating a singular noun, others a plural noun. In Urban Wolof, spoken in large cities like Dakar, the article -bi is often used as a generic article when the actual article is not known.
Any loan noun from French or English uses -bi: butik-bi, xarit-bi "the boutique, the friend."
Most Arabic or religious terms use -Ji: Jumma-Ji, jigéen-ji, "the mosque, the girl."
Four nouns referring to persons use -ki/-ñi:' nit-ki, nit-ñi, 'the person, the people"
Plural nouns use -yi: jigéen-yi, butik-yi, "the girls, the boutiques"
Miscellaneous articles: "si, gi, wi, mi, li."
Numerals
Cardinal numbers
The Wolof numeral system is based on the numbers "5" and "10". It is extremely regular in formation, comparable to Chinese. Example: benn "one", juróom "five", juróom-benn "six" (literally, "five-one"), fukk "ten", fukk ak juróom benn "sixteen" (literally, "ten and five one"), ñent-fukk "forty" (literally, "four-ten"). Alternatively, "thirty" is fanweer, which is roughly the number of days in a lunar month (literally "fan" is day and "weer" is moon.)
0tus / neen / zéro [French] / sero / dara ["nothing"]
1benn
2ñaar / yaar
3ñett / ñatt / yett / yatt
4ñeent / ñenent
5juróom
6juróom-benn
7juróom-ñaar
8juróom-ñett
9juróom-ñeent
10fukk
11fukk ak benn
12fukk ak ñaar
13fukk ak ñett
14fukk ak ñeent
15fukk ak juróom
16fukk ak juróom-benn
17fukk ak juróom-ñaar
18fukk ak juróom-ñett
19fukk ak juróom-ñeent
20ñaar-fukk
26ñaar-fukk ak juróom-benn
30ñett-fukk / fanweer
40ñeent-fukk
50juróom-fukk
60juróom-benn-fukk
66juróom-benn-fukk ak juróom-benn
70juróom-ñaar-fukk
80juróom-ñett-fukk
90juróom-ñeent-fukk
100téeméer
101téeméer ak benn
106téeméer ak juróom-benn
110téeméer ak fukk
200ñaari téeméer
300ñetti téeméer
400ñeenti téeméer
500juróomi téeméer
600juróom-benni téeméer
700juróom-ñaari téeméer
800juróom-ñetti téeméer
900juróom-ñeenti téeméer
1000junni / junne
1100junni ak téeméer
1600junni ak juróom-benni téeméer
1945junni ak juróom-ñeenti téeméer ak ñeent-fukk ak juróom
1969junni ak juróom-ñeenti téeméer ak juróom-benn-fukk ak juróom-ñeent
2000ñaari junni
3000ñetti junni
4000ñeenti junni
5000juróomi junni
6000juróom-benni junni
7000juróom-ñaari junni
8000juróom-ñetti junni
9000juróom-ñeenti junni
10000fukki junni
100000téeméeri junni
1000000tamndareet / million
Ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) are formed by adding the ending –éél (pronounced ayl) to the cardinal number.
For example, two is ñaar and second is ñaaréél
The one exception to this system is "first", which is bu njëk (or the adapted French word premier: përëmye)
1stbu njëk
2ndñaaréél
3rdñettéél
4thñeentéél
5thjuróoméél
6thjuróom-bennéél
7thjuróom-ñaaréél
8thjuróom-ñettéél
9thjuróom-ñeentéél
10thfukkéél
Personal pronouns
subjectobject
singularpluralsingularplural
1st personmannunmanu
2nd personyowyeenlaleen
3rd personmoomñoomkoleen
Temporal pronouns
Conjugation of the temporal pronouns
1st person2nd person3rd person
singular
"I"
plural
"we"
singular
"you"
plural
"you all"
singular
"he/she/it"
plural
"they"
Situative (Presentative)PerfectVerb + -ingmaa nginu ngiyaa ngiyéena ngimu ngiñu ngi
Imperfectmaa ngiynu ngiyyaa ngiyyéena ngiymu ngiyñu ngiy
TerminativePerfectPast tense for action verbs or present tense for static verbsnaananungangeennanañu
Futuredinaadinanudingadingeendinadinañu
ObjectivePerfectPuts the emphasis on the object of the sentencelaalanungangeenlalañu
ImperfectIndicates a habitual or future actionlaaylanuyngayngeen dilaylañuy
Processive
(Explicative and/or Descriptive)
PerfectPuts the emphasis on the verb or the state 'condition' of the sentencedamadanudangadangeendafadañu
ImperfectIndicates a habitual or future actiondamaydanuydangaydangeen didafaydañuy
SubjectivePerfectPuts the emphasis on the subject of the sentencemaanooyaayéenamooñoo
ImperfectIndicates a habitual or future actionmaaynooyyaayyéenaymooyñooy
NeutralPerfectmanungangeenmuñu
Imperfectmaynuyngayngeen dimuyñuy
In urban Wolof, it is common to use the forms of the 3rd person plural also for the 1st person plural.
It is also important to note that the verb follows specific temporal pronouns and precedes others.
Literature
The New Testament was translated into Wolof and published in 1987, second edition 2004, and in 2008 with some minor typographical corrections.[25]
Boubacar Boris Diop published his novel Doomi Golo in Wolof in 2002.[26]
The 1994 song "7 Seconds" by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry is partially sung in Wolof.
See also
References
  1. ^ "Wolof, Gambian". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  2. ^ "Wolof". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  3. ^ "Wolof". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  4. ^ "Wolof Brochure" (PDF). Indiana.edu. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  5. ^ Harper, Douglas. "banana". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  6. ^ Danielle D'Offay & Guy Lionet, Diksyonner Kreol-Franse / Dictionnaire Créole Seychellois – Français, Helmut Buske Verlag, Hamburg, 1982. In all fairness, the word might as easily be from Fula nyaamde, "to eat".
  7. ^ Torrence, Harold The Clause Structure of Wolof: Insights Into the Left Periphery, John Benjamins Publishing, 2013, p. 20, ISBN 9789027255815 [1]
  8. ^ Hammarström (2015) Ethnologue 16/17/18th editions: a comprehensive review: online appendices
  9. ^ "Orthographe et prononciation du wolof | Jangileen". jangileen.kalam-alami.net (in French). Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  10. ^ Léopold., Diouf, Jean (2003). Dictionnaire wolof-français et français-wolof. Karthala. p. 35. ISBN 284586454X. OCLC 937136481.
  11. ^ 1944-, Yaguello, Marina (January 1991). J'apprends le wolof Damay jàng wolof. Karthala. p. 11. ISBN 2865372871. OCLC 938108174.
  12. ^ Everson, Michael (26 April 2012). "Preliminary proposal for encoding the Garay script in the SMP of the UCS"(PDF). UC Berkeley Script Encoding Initiative (Universal Scripts Project)/International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  13. ^ Ager, Simon. "Wolof". Omniglot. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  14. ^ Unseth, 2009.
  15. ^ Long ëë is rare (Torrence 2013:10).
  16. ^ Torrence 2013:11
  17. ^ Omar Ka, 1994, Wolof Phonology and Morphology
  18. ^ Or ⟨n̈⟩ in some texts.
  19. ^ Pape Amadou Gaye, Practical Cours in / Cours Practique en Wolof: An Audio–Aural Approach.
  20. ^ Some are restricted or rare, and sources disagree about this. Torrence (2013) claims that all consonants but prenasalized stops may be geminate, while Diouf (2009) does not list the fricatives, q, or r y w, and does not recognize glottal stop in the inventor. The differences may be dialectical or because some sounds are rare.
  21. ^ Diouf (2009)
  22. ^ "Wollof - English Dictionary" (PDF). Peace Corps The Gambia. 1995. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  23. ^ Ngom, Fallou (2003-01-01). Wolof. Lincom. ISBN 9783895868450.
  24. ^ Campbell, George; King, Gareth (2011). The Concise Compendium of the World's Languages (2 ed.).
  25. ^ "Biblewolof.com". Biblewolof.com. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  26. ^ Encyclopedia of African Literature, p 801
Bibliography
Linguistics
Grammar
Dictionaries
Official documents
External links
Wolof edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wolof language.
Scholia has a topic profile for Wolof language.
Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Wolof.
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 07:48
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
Desktop
HomeRandomNearbyLog inSettingsDonateAbout WikipediaDisclaimers
LanguageWatchEdit