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Kissi Spoken in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone Region West Africa Total speakers ~500,000 Language family Niger-Congo Atlantic-Congo Limba–Mel Mel Bullom-Kissi Kissi Language codes ISO 639-1 None ISO 639-2 – ISO 639-3 either: kss – Southern Kissi kqs – Northern Kissi Linguasphere – Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. Kissi (or Kisi) is a language split into two parts, northern and southern. The northern dialect is spoken in Guinea and in Sierra Leone. In its northern form, it often uses loanwords from the Malinke and the Mende language. The southern dialect is spoken in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The two dialects are notably different, but are closely related. In Guinea, the main places Kissi is spoken are the cities of Kissidougou and Guéckédou and their préfectures. Contents 1 Grammar (northern Kissi) 1.1 Signs not in the English alphabet 1.2 Sounds 1.3 Pronouns 1.4 Articles 2 References 3 Links // Grammar (northern Kissi) Signs not in the English alphabet Note that this is the new spelling. The old one was used in the Kissi New Testament (1986) and many documents of the time of Sekou Toure (the first President of Guinea). IPA Description English example Kissi examples ɲ Palatal nasal consonant like French champignon or Spanish año. ɲunaa (ask) ŋ Velar nasal consonant as in 'song' [sɒŋ] o kɔɛ loŋ (He went there) ŋɔŋɔndo (bullfrog) ɛ Open 'e', open-mid front unrounded vowel as in 'elderly' [ɛldərli] laossɛ (greeting) muɛi (knife) ɔ Open 'o', open-mid back rounded vowel as in 'coin' [kɔɪn] mɔmɔ (rice) kɔɛ (to go) Kissidougou dialects preserve a distinction between /r/ and /l/ phonemes that have been merged as allophones in dialects south of Guéckédou. For instance, "la huŋ" means exactly the same as "ra huŋ". Also, "Thank you" is realized as "barika" around Kissidougou and "balika" south of Guéckédou. Sounds /gb)/, the voiced labial-velar plosive [IPA-ɡ͡b] is a sound that doesn't exist in European languages. it is spoken like the beginning of a /g/ (like in "grow") and a /b/. Practice repeating 'beg' rapidly until it becomes 'gbe'. Theses are some examples: gbaŋgbaŋ (name of a river in Kissidougou) gbaala (outdoor kitchen) maagbana (a city taxi) gbɛŋgbɔ (a stool) Pronouns Kissi pronoun Pronunciation English pronoun Kissi example English translation y /i/ I y tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. I'm going there. a /a/ You a tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. You're going there. o /o/ He/She o tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. He's going there. n /n/ We n tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. We're going there. la /la/ You (plural) la tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. You're going there. aa /aː/ They aa tyo kɔlaŋ loŋ. They're going there. As you can already see from these examples, verbs aren't conjugated like English verbs, but they are inflected by tone. Kissi pronoun Pronunciation English pronoun Kissi example English translation ya /ja/ Me o tyo ya lɔ. yɔŋgu ya ho. / k'ya ho. He's going to beat me. Give me that. nɔm /nɔm/ You y tyo nɔm lɔ. I'm going to beat you. ndu /ndu/ Him /Her y tyo ndu lɔ. o tyo ndu pilɛ lɔ. I'm going to beat him / her. He's going to beat himself. na /na/ Us o tyo na lɔ. He's going to beat us. nia /nia/ You (plural) o tyo nia lɔ. He's going to beat you. ndaa /ndaː/ Them o tyo ndaa lɔ. He's going to beat them. Articles Definite and indefinite articles do not exist in Kissi, so "muɛi" means "the knife" as well as "a knife". If an object has to be defined (because there are more than one, for example), "this" is used: example: muɛi coŋ - this knife If that is not exact enough, an object is described using adjectives. yɔŋgu ya muɛi. / k'ya muɛi. - Give me a/the knife. yɔŋgu ya muɛi bɛndɛi. / k'ya muɛi bɛndɛi. - Give me the big knife. References Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version. G. Tucker Childs. A Grammar of Kisi, A Southern Atlantic Language. 1995. 370 pp. G. Tucker Childs: A Dictionary of the Kisi Language. With an English-Kisi Index Denise Paulme. Les Gens du Riz: Les Kissi de Haute-Guinée. Paris. Librairie Plon. 1954, 1970. 324 pp. Online version Links Linguist List article KQS Kissi-Northern Linguist List article KSS Kisi-Southern Ethnologue article KQS Kissi-Northern Ethnologue article KSS Kisi-Southern UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive - Sound Files Kissi-Northern Sound Files - KQS Kissi-Northern at Sound Files - KSS Kisi-Southern (Gissi) at Sound Files - The complete New Testament in Kisi (Select language "Kisi Southern") Sample text at