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Annie speaking Bassa

Anonymous Peace Corp volunteer speaks Bassa, a West African language of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The mother tongue of the Bassa people, the language is part of the Western Kru cluster of the Niger-Congo family, related closely to Dewoin and Gbii, two other Western Kru languages. Native to Liberia, Bassa is spoken by 350,000 speakers in Liberia and an additional 5,000 speakers in Sierra Leone. Bassa is a Kru language, indicating its belonging to the Niger-Congo language family. Interestingly, the origin of the “Kru” name is unknown. Bassa sometimes uses Vah or Bassa Vah, an indigenous script, for its writing system. Vah was initially popularized by Dr. Thomas Flo Lewis, who rediscovered the script from the descendants of Bassa Slaves in South America in the early 1900s. Read from left to right, the Vah script contains 30 consonants and 7 vowels, in addition to five tones which are marked with dots and lines inside of the vowel they correspond to. Vah also includes punctuation marks for commas and periods. Today, the Vah script is still recognized and respected, but is used primarily for record-keeping, as it has mostly been replaced by the IPA in publications. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. To download a copy, please contact Help us caption & translate this video!