Zaghawa-Wagi: Towards documenting the Sudanese dialectal variant of Zaghawa


Zaghawa-Wagi: Towards documenting the Sudanese dialectal variant of Zaghawa

Language: Zaghawa (ISO639-3:zag)
Depositor: Isabel Compes
Location: Sudan
Deposit Id: 0410
Grant id: SG0386
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
Zaghawa is said to be spoken by a total of 169.000 speakers in Sudan (North Darfur state) and Chad. This project focuses on the distinct Sudanese dialect Wagi. While this dialect is still spoken, it is rapidly giving way to Arabic.

Group represented

Zaghawa is a language spoken in the border region between Sudan and Chad. The official language of Sudan and Chad is Arabic. Beri is the ethnic autonym for Zaghawa, Beria for their language respectively. (There exists a Zaghawa community also in Libya (with 7000 members) but they seem to have abandoned their language in favour of Arabic).

The language as a whole is classified as vigorous: the Ethnologue states a total of 169.000 speakers (Grimes 2000),with about half of them living in Sudan. While these figures date from 2000, in a sociolinguistic survey conducted by Anonby & Johnson (2001) for the SIL, the figures are slightly lower: 144.000. But the ongoing ethnic conflict in North Darfur (where the greater part of the Zaghawa community was situated) and the resulting large-scale displacements of the Zaghawa population make the actual estimates rather uncertain. Apart from this current threat, the situation in the North Darfur State of Sudan has undergone a fundamental change during the last 50 year (cf. Ibrahim 1988, Osman 2006). Due to periods of drought, parts of the Zaghawa speaking community in Sudan migrated to the South and East living now in El Fasher (East Darfur) and in the bigger cities of the Nile valley (Khartoum, Omdurman and Wadi Madani). This urbanization process has not only impacted on the economy, but also on the language: in the multilingual urban setting speakers switch to Arabic as a lingua franca. Furthermore, Sudan pursues a policy of Arabicization, systematically introducing Arabic into all official settings. As such, Arabic is the language of education both in rural and urban settings. But whereas in rural areas Zaghawa is probably still spoken at home, in the cities multilingual settings and the special force of Arabic threatens the vitality of Zaghawa.

The civil war in Darfur has sped up this process of urbanization and displacement. During the Darfur conflict manyvillages in the Sudan (Darfur) - Chad border region were damaged or even destroyed. Part of the people fled to the bigger cities within Sudan, living there as an internally-displaced population. Others fled to neighbouring countries and now live in refugee camps. These camps represent multilingual settings where there is close contact not only with other languages but also with other dialects of Zaghawa.



Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Compes, Isabel. 2017. Zaghawa-Wagi: Towards documenting the Sudanese dialectal variant of Zaghawa. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: https://elar.soas.ac.uk/Collection/MPI1032018. Accessed on [insert date here].



Status

Collection online
Resources online and curated

Depositor

Isabel Compes
Affiliation: Institute of Linguistics, University of Cologne

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2018 December 18 to 2018 December 18
Deposit hits:1
Downloaded files
Without statistics


Showing 1 - 10 of 52 Items


In this recording we documented the first meeting of our research assistent Elsadig Omda Ibrahim ELnur with another Zaghawa speaker Mr. Mohamad Ibrahim Abdulgabbar Mahmoud in Cologne. He later helped to transcribe data in Cologne.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




In this session we asked for Zaghawa traditions and ceremonies. The consultants (two women - Mrs. Ashe Musa Abdalla Abdalgaui and Mrs. Ordjun Bakhat Juma) describe traditional practices in the preparation for a wedding. OBJ also gives a short impression of a traditional song. The recording has a conversational format in which also the research assistent who is a speaker of Zaghawa takes part.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




In this session we asked for Zaghawa traditions and ceremonies. The consultants (Mr. Abdalnasir Mohamad Khalil and Mr. Mahloud Heri Nahar Abdalla) describe traditional practices in the preparation for the upcoming festivities of EID. The recording has a conversational format. It is the last recording on that day and the participants don't seem to feel very comfortable.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa) on the Swadesh list, first part (items 1-53), based on an arabic translation. It is the second session on the first day we are working on elicitations. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa) on the Swadesh list, second part (items 54-100), based on an arabic translation. It is the third session on the first day we are working on elicitations. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa) on the verbal paradigm of 'give' (IO=1.Sg, O=3.Sg, Pres, Past) and some simple sentences with two or three participants (full NPs). It is the third session on that day. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is the first elicitation session with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa). We worked for the first time without the research assistent EOI, a speaker of Zaghawa. We elicited some basic greetings to become accustomed to the situation with the three languages. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Addouma Abdarahman Mahadi and the research assistant Elsadig Omda Ibrahim Elnur who is a speaker of the content language Zaghawa. It is a stimulus based elicitation on body parts based on the "body colouring task" (van Staden & Majid 2006). The informant does not feel comfortable with the task. It is our first meeting and this first session is rather tensed. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa) on body parts within the sentence frames: "this is my .../it is my...". It is the fifth session on the first day we are working on elicitations. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04




This is an elicitation with Mr. Adam Rahma Jamous and an interpreter (arabic-english, not speaking Zaghawa) looking for minimal pairs (vowels (quality, length), tone, rare consonants, gemination of consonants). It is based on an preliminary analysis of the phoneme inventory of Zaghawa. The focus is on back vowels. It is the second session on that day. In the annotations are only captured the relevant items in the content language Zaghawa.

Recorded on: 2017-05-04