Wolof is an Atlantic language of the Niger-Congo language family.
There are two main variants of Wolof: Senegal Wolof, which is the
standard form of the language, and Gambian Wolof, which is spoken
along with Senegal Wolof by more than 160,000 people in The Gambia.
Wolof is a national language of Senegal, where it is spoken by
approximately 4.6 million people as a first language. An additional
7.8 million people use Wolof as a lingua franca. Significant numbers
of Wolof speakers also are found in France, Mauritania, and Mali.
Wolof is currently offered via videoconference from Columbia
University. Cornell students may register for the class in Student
Center through the Africana Studies and Research Center (ASRC). They
meet in a room in Noyes Lodge on a regular schedule. The teacher is
on the screen and in immediate communication with the students all
hour. It is not an ‘online’ course. Wolof will be offered at all
three levels and Cornell students will be able to pursue Wolof
language study through and beyond the Cornell Arts College language
requirement. For more information contact Dick Feldman at
The Wolof teacher is Mariame Sy, who is the Coordinator of the African
Language Program at Columbia University, where she also teaches
Pulaar. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in linguistics at UCLA.
Her research interests are in the morpho-phonology and syntax of West
Atlantic languages and first and second language acquisition. She may
be contacted at <SMS2168@columbia.edu>.