An Afro-Asiatic language and a member of the Chadic group of languages, spoken by more than 25 million people as a first or second language mainly in Nigeria, and in nearby parts of Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Ghana. It is also an official regional language in northern Nigeria and a lingua franca throughout West Africa. Hausa ranks as one of the most important languages in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Literary Hausa is based on the Kano dialect. It was written in the Arabic script, ajami, from the 16th century, but the Roman script, bóokòo, was introduced in the early 20th century. The two writing systems are still widely used. Traditional Hausa literature mainly consists of verse chronicles and modern prose fiction began to appear in the 1930s. It is the only Chadic language to have a written form.
Tone in Hausa is of cardinal phonemic importance. There are two main tones, high and low.
CLASSIFICATION = Afro-Asiatic family, SCRIPT = Roman and Arabic