"I ni ce" VS "A ni ce" in Jula

I recently received an email asking about the use of i vs a in greetings like i ni ce and a ni ce, etc., in Jula. Here’s a slightly edited version of the question:

I just wanted to confirm the most appropriate Dioula greeting [to say the equivalent of “hello” in an educational program for children where they learn a single expression]. Is “I ni ce” appropriate to use as general hello at any time of day? […] Also, in Dioula, would it be more customary to use “I ni” or “A ni”?

Here’s part of my response in case it is helpful for others:

Yes, you can use "I ni ce " or "A ni ce " as a greeting equivalent to ‘hello/hi’ in Jula that works at anytime of day. It also can mean “Thank you”.

As I mentioned in the Basic Bambara 1 video, strictly speaking, i is the singular pronoun (‘you’) and a (in this context) is the plural pronoun (‘you all’). In many Jula-speaking areas in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, people say "A ni ce! " all the time regardless of whether they are greeting one or multiple people. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which one you should use since inevitably someone from one place or another will take issue with your choice; a is more common in lingua franca Jula in my experience, but some speakers don’t do it and will laugh about or decry its usage :slight_smile: