Wolof is a member of the West Atlantic sub-branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Common to West Atlantic languages are derivitive verbal suffixes, used in Wolof to mark tense, mode, aspect, and negative/affirmative distinctions.
In Wolof, verbs are unchangeable words which cannot be conjugated. To express different tenses or aspects of an action, the personal pronouns are conjugated - not the verbs. Therefore, the term Temporal Pronoun has become established for this part of speech.
Despite the considerable geographic spread of Wolof speakers, the language is relatively unmarked by dialectal differences. Variations in Wolof are evident, however, in comparing the Wolof of urban inhabitants to that of rural-dwellers.
The Wolof spoken in Dakar, Senegal's capital, is particularly noted for its high level of French loans or derivitive words and is readily distinguishable from the Wolof spoken in other parts of Senegal. The influence of English on the Wolof of The Gambia, a former English colony, has also been studied, though the differences do not seem to be such that intercomprehension is hindered greatly.