Welcome to the homepage of the DagaareLinguists. The DagaareLinguists
is an informal grouping of professional academic linguists who have worked
on the Dagaare language. In general, these are linguists who are united in
their common interest to promote scholarship in Dagaare linguistics.
The DagaareLinguists is purely an academic grouping of linguists who
discuss and exchange information regarding their professional linguistic
analysis of this and related languages.
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this home page has the following items:
The purpose of this who is who list is to outline the interests of members and to provide readily available addresses to consult regarding our questions and discussions about the structure of Dagaare. Please help make this home page and, especially, the mailing list lively by bringing up issues for discussion and sending various bits of information about your research to update the entries. Please, together, let us help promote the linguistic scholarship of this medium-sized West African language.
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Anttila, Arto and Adams Bodomo. 2000. Tonal polarity in Dagaare. In Carstens, Vicki & Frederick Parkinson (eds.). Trends in African Linguistics 4: Advances in African Linguistics. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. pps 119-134.
Bodomo, Adams. 2002a. The
syntax of serial verbs in Dagaare. In: New Directions in Ghanaian Linguistics,
edited by F. K. Ameka and E. K. Osam. Accra, Ghana: Black Mask Ltd.
------. 2001. A comparative study of English small clauses and Dagaare serial verbs. In Languages and Linguistics.
------. 2000. Dagaare: Languages of the World Materials No. 165. Lincom Europa, Munchen, Germany.
------. 1999-2000. Ka Te Yele Dagaare: A Proficiency Course in Dagaare Language and Culture. Online proficiency coursebook. at: <http://www.hku.hk/linguist/staff/_ab.DagaareProficient.html>
Nakuma, Constancio. 2002. A guide to Dagaahre orthography. Journal of Dagaare Studies. Vol. 2.
------ 2001. Name morphology and significance among the Dagaaba of Ghana. Journal of Dagaare Studies. Vol 1:1.
Saanchi, James Angkaaraba. 2002.. Linguistic Parallelism and the Dagaaba Dirge. in Ameka, Felix K. and Kweku Osam (eds) New Directions in Ghanaian Linguistics.
Dagaare is the language of the Dagaaba (plural of Dagao), a predominantly agricultural community of approximately one million people located in north-western Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) called the Upper-West Region, and in south-western Burkina-Faso (formerly Upper Volta). The name Dagaare designates, more accurately, one of several dialects in the continuum of dialects that make up this language. Although speakers of the language agree on their common ancestry and cultural identity as Dagaaba, it appears as though the need for a common designation for the language and cultural identity has never been felt by the indigenous people, hence the lack of a commonly accepted name for the language and the people who speak it, as well as the liberty with which scholars like us assign these names, as we must. Dagaare has been assigned the following names in the literature by different scholars: Dagaari, Dagaa-Wiile, Dagara, Dagari, Dagarte, Dagarti, Lobiri, Lo-Dagaa, Lo-Wiile, etc. Classified as a Gur (or Voltaic) language within the Mole-Dagbane subfamily of the Niger-Congo family of languages, Dagaare shares with the other family members their characteristically register tone feature and the use of labio-velar consonants.
Dialect boundaries within Dagaare are generally not clear cut, but noticeable phonetic (both segmental and prosodic), lexical, and syntactic differences exist between the dagaare, dagara, and waale dialects, each of these designations covering internal variations of more or less significant proportion. The dagara dialect, in addition to the normal internal variations similar to those which characterize waale and dagaare, suffers from variation imposed upon it by the political legacy of colonialism : The Dagara of Burkina-Faso borrows from the French language to enrich its stock of vocabulary, while the Dagara of Ghana borrows from the English language. A people so divided by their language, are they still one ? I suspect that behind this question must lie a gold mine for anthropological linguists and dialectologists. Linguistic neighbors of the Dagaaba include the Moore or Mossi (in Burkina-Faso) to the North, the Sisaala and Gurma to the North-east, the Grunne or Grunsi to the East, the Vagala (in Ghana) to the South and the Lobi (in Cote d'Ivoire) to the West.
Dagaare studies is still, relatively speaking, in its infancy despite an increase in the number of native speakers who have joined the ranks of foreign scholars to document the cultural, artistic, and linguistic wealth of the Dagaaba. Dagaare needs all the scholarship it can get, be it in the form of the rigorous and insightful analyses which "outsiders" like Jack Goody and "insiders" like Malidoma Patrice Some have already given us in the domain of Dagaare ethnography, for example, or the complementary perspectives given by Penou-Achile Some (insider) and Alain Delplanque (outsider) on the linguistics of the lobr and wule subdialects of the Dagara of Burkina-Faso, or even the proposal by Adams Bodomo to replace names like "Gur" or "Voltaic" with a more culturally-adapted name like "Mabia." Equally needed are works focusing on promoting Dagaare literacy, either in the form of short stories of the type that Mr. Dong was among the first to compile, or semi-technical works like Dagaare fonologyi by Cletus Yabang, or even spelling guides, like the one compiled by the Dagaare Language Committee, or the Guide to Dagaare Orthography still in the works by Constancio Nakuma and Adams Bodomo. Finally, not less important are studies on the economics and politics of Dagaabaland. Whatever the particular focus of any study, it is important that "outsiders" feel just as competent as "insiders", and vice versa, in making their contribution, for each one's unique insights help us all to see the full picture - and more clearly. Without each of us making our brush stroke, the canvas will probably never be completed. It is in this spirit that this web page is being developed to unite all dagaarephiles in collaborative and complementary effort, for the better understanding of the Dagaaba and their language.
In addition to this home page, there is also a mailing list. To join, send an email message to me (see address below) with a short note introducing yourself and your work. This homepage and the mailing list are being maintained and administered by me, A. B. Bodomo, as a voluntary, public service to the academic community. Requests for addition, modification, and deletion of information from this home page may be sent to me, using any of the following lines of communication:
Dr. A. B. Bodomo,
Monday, February 4th 2002 - 04:53:06 PM
Tuesday, November 13th 2001 - 11:26:15 AM
Thursday, January 4th 2001 - 04:33:04 PM
Last updated: 25th May 2003
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