Documention of Animere, Ghana (Kwa, Niger-Congo): A Pilot Study


Documention of Animere, Ghana (Kwa, Niger-Congo): A Pilot Study

Language: Animere (ISO639-3:anf)
Depositor: James Essegbey
Location: Ghana
Deposit Id: 0331
Grant id: SG0199
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit


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Summary of deposit
Animere (ISO 639-3: anf) is a critically endangered Ghana-Togo Mountain language (Kwa, Niger-Congo) spoken north of the Volta Region, Ghana. A recent sociolinguistic survey of the language estimated that there were less than 30 speakers and that all but three of these speakers are over 40 years old. This project aims to provide a sample documentation and establish the feasibility of engaging in a full-scale language documentation of Animere. This project will also produce a thematic dictionary and a collection of varied naturally-occurring speech events in audio-visual format.

Group represented

Sometime in 2005, while a team from the Volta Region Multi-language Project (VRMP) were conducting a survey collecting wordlists from speakers of various Ghana Togo Mountain languages (GTM), they met some elders of Animere who expressed their dismay about their disappearing language. According to Andy Ring, the elders lamented that “We do not have anyone to sing our songs.” Animere (ISO 639-3: anf) is one of 15 languages located in the hills of Ghana-Togo border, from which they got the name Ghana Togo Mountain languages. It is estimated to have less than 30 speakers all of whom are over 50 years old. Animere people are known in the language as Benimbere, and they live in Kacheibe in the northern part of the Volta Region of Ghana. Animere is no longer being transmitted to children, a robust indicator of acute endangerment. All Benimbere people speak Adele, another GTM language, and Akan, the regional dominant language. The Animere situation is particularly interesting in that rather than shift to the dominant regional language, as happens in most language endangerment situations in Africa, they are shifting to Adele.



Special characteristics

Sound System:

[ŋ] - ŋ [ɛ] - ɛ [ɔ] - ɔ [ɪ] - ɩ [ʊ] - ʋ [n¬w] – nw [j] – y [bw] – bw [ãĩ] - aɩn [ɾ] - r [ɲ] - ny [kw] – kw [gw] - gw [ʨ] - ky [ʨw] - tw [ʥ] - gy [ʥw] - dw



Deposit contents

The deposit is comprised of 29 bundles that reflect the way of life in Animere. Each bundle contains either a video of the stories being told or an elicitation video. The original storytelling includes mixed generations of Animere speakers that sit together and tell different folk stories and fables relating to their cultural identity. The stories include cultural explanations, personal accounts of life as an Benimbere, historical interactions, ‘legends’ told at tribal gatherings, as well as songs and dance. The elicitation videos take place in Nkwanta, where the researchers are asking the consultant to slowly repeat the Animere phrases in order to verify that the correct sound and tone is being noted. Some bundles also contain one or more audio recordings and an ELAN file that contains a transcription of a specific story.

All the materials are openly accessible, without any kind of restrictions, in the online catalogue of the Endangered Languages Archive, ELAR.



Deposit history

With a small grant from the ELDP we got Bryan Gelles, one of our graduate students, to collect preliminary documentation materials on the language. These include 3 conversations and 5 stories. Bryan’s preliminary investigation of the language shows that a lot of the vocabulary is from Akan. Over the summer of 2017, Dr. James Essegbey also traveled to Nkwanta with four students from the University of Florida, with funding from the Center of African Studies, to transcribe some of Bryan’s videos and record the elders singing and dancing to their songs.



Other information


Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge James Essegbey as the principal investigator, the data collector and the researcher. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by respective name(s). Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information regarding consultants or contributors is available in the metadata.

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite as follows:

Essegbey, James. 2018. Documentation of Animere. ID: [insert ID number here]. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive, ELAR. URL: https://elar.soas.ac.uk/Collection/MPI1029744 (accessed on [insert date here]).



Status

Curated
Resources online and curated

Depositor

James Essegbey
Responsive image
Affiliation: University of Florida

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2018 October 16 to 2018 October 16
Deposit hits:6
Downloaded files
Without statistics


Showing 1 - 10 of 32 Items


Recorded on: Unspecified

Keywords: Animere - Personal notes



This video is comprised of a group of speakers from a neighboring Nkwanta clan. The speakers speak Animere fluently, but because of their different clans, they are not considered ‘true’ speakers of the language. Their names are: John (patterned shirt), the pastor (blue outfit), Simon (red outfit), and Theresea, and they are talking about the relationship between the Adele and Animere clans. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-02-14




This video is comprised of a group of speakers from a neighboring Nkwanta clan. The speakers speak Animere fluently, but because of their different clans, they are not considered ‘true’ speakers of the language. Their names are: John (patterned shirt), the pastor (blue outfit), Simon (red outfit), and Theresea, and they are talking about the history of the Adele people and their influence on Animere. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-02-14




This is a fable that tells the story of why gourds have paths, the stringy pulp on the inside. The fable focuses on the tumultuous relationship between a spider (Anansi) and an angry gourd. The story is told by Papa Peter (light blue shirt), Mathies (black/red hat), and Albion (blue crocs), a mixed generation of speakers who sit in front of Albion’s home in Nkwanta. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-02-26




This is an elicitation of Anansi and the gourd, a fable that explains why gourds have stringy pulp on the inside. The fable focuses on a fight between a spider and a gourd, eventually resulting in a somewhat tragic end for the gourd. The story is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2017-06-17




This video includes some songs and fables that originated in Animere. They help to uncover/explain different aspects of daily life in Nkwanta. The story topics range from farming troubles and animal interactions, to explanations of why certain foods grow the way they do. The stories are told by Kwamibo (white/ black striped top), Joseph (white shirt), Mathies (beanie), and Albion (blue crocs), speakers of mixed generations. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-02-15




This video includes some popular songs and fables that originated in Animere. They help to uncover/explain different aspects of daily life in Nkwanta. The story topics range from personal encounters to historical symbolism, always drawing upon aspects of Animere culture. The stories are told by Yaw Bio (light blue), Mathies (pink shirt), Afru (dark blue), Simon (tanish shirt), and Addo Joseph (stripes), all speakers from Animere’s youngest generation of speakers. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-03-13




This video includes some popular songs and fables that originated in Animere. They help to uncover/explain different aspects of daily life in Nkwanta. The story topics range from personal encounters to historical symbolism, always drawing upon aspects of Animere culture. The stories are told by Yaw Bio (light blue), Mathies (pink shirt), Afru (dark blue), Simon (tanish shirt), and Addo Joseph (stripes), all speakers from Animere’s youngest generation of speakers. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-03-13




This video includes some songs and fables that originated in Animere. They help to uncover/explain different aspects of daily life in Nkwanta. The story topics range from farming troubles to animal interactions, thus explaining the symbolism of certain animals. The stories are told by : Peter (light blue shirt), Mathies (black/red hat), and Albion (blue crocs). It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-02-26




Yaw Bio (light blue), Mathies (pink shirt), Afru (dark blue), Simon (tanish shirt), and Addo Joseph (stripes), all speakers from the youngest generation, sit adjacent with the school yard to quantify what it means to be Animere. The discuss cultural norms, discipline, and the importance of being stubborn. It is transcribed in Animere and translated into Akan and English.

Recorded on: 2013-03-13