Fali languages (Cameroon)

Fali comprises two languages spoken in northern Cameroon. Included in Greenberg's Adamawa languages (as group G11), it was excluded from that family by Boyd (1989). Roger Blench suspects it may represent one of the earlier lineages to have branched off the Atlantic–Congo stock.

Native toCameroon
Native speakers
(35,000 cited 1982)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
fal – South Fali
fll – North Fali


According to Ethnologue 16, the two branches of Fali are "different," but it is not clear how distinct they are. Blench apparently treats them as half a dozen languages in two branches. South Fali has 20,000 speakers, with several dialects. North Fali, with 16,000 speakers, also has several dialects; North Fali speakers were "rapidly" shifting to Adamawa Fulfulde by 1982.

North Fali
Dourbeye (Fali-Dourbeye)
Bossum (Fali-Bossum)
Bvəri (Fali du Peske-Bori)
South Fali
Kaang (Fali Kangou)
Bele (Fali-Bele)

The Nimbari language used to be spoken in the southern Fali area, but Nimbari people now speak Fali Kangou.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ South Fali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    North Fali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Raimund Kastenholz, Ulrich Kleinewillinghöfer. 2012. Nimbari as a language name. Adamawa Languages Project.

  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 3.0 license.

Further readingEdit

  • Roger Blench, 2004. List of Adamawa languages (ms)
  • Sweetman, Gary. 1981. A comparative study of Fali dialects. Yaoundé: SIL.