Jeri language

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RegionIvory Coast, Burkina Faso
Ethnicity20,000 (1990)[1]
Native speakers
(2,000 cited 1990–1995)[1]
  • Mande
    • Western
      • Central
        • Manding–Jɔgɔ
          • Jɔgɔ–Jeri
            • Jeri
  • Jeri Kuo
  • Jalkunan
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
jek – Jeri Kuo
bxl – Jalkunan

Jeri is a cover term for two Mande language of northwestern Ivory Coast and southwestern Burkina Faso. The two had been thought until recently to be dialects of a single language, but they are now known to be clearly distinct. The Burkina language is Jalkunan (Blé, Dyala, Dyalanu, Jalanu), and the Ivory Coast language is Jeri Kuo (Celle, Jeli Kuo). Jeri Kuo is spoken by people who traditionally constituted a caste-like minority within an otherwise mostly Senufo-speaking zone. The language is thought to be endangered, with 90% of ethnic Jeri having shifted to regionally dominant languages. The Jalkunan-speaking people of the Blédougou village cluster are not people of caste, although nearby villages of other ethnicities have entire sections populated by blacksmith and leatherworker castes. Jalkunan is being replaced by Jula (Dioula), but it is not immediately threatened by extinction.


  1. ^ a b Jeri Kuo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Jalkunan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Jeri". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.