Hassaniya Arabic(Mali): Poetic and Ethnographic Texts
|pages/dimensions: ||207 Seiten - 24 × 17 cm|
|publishing date: ||1. Auflage 08.2003|
|prices: ||58,00 Eur[D] / 59,70 Eur[A]|
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In most countries of the Maghreb, the local Arabic vernaculars are increasingly inundated by vocabulary, grammatical forms, and even syntax from literary Arabic (used in mosques, schools, and media), and oral poetry is receding except for popular song genres. The Arabs of the TimbuktuGao region, by contrast, are a peripheral linguistic minority with little exposure to literary Arabic. They continue to speak a relatively pure beduin Arabic, closely related to varieties spoken in Mauritania and southern Algeria. These texts, recorded in 19861989 and presented here in transcription along with facing English translations, document this language, as well as the remarkable verbal culture of these people. The ethnographic texts cover such topics as the annual salt caravans from Timbuktu to Taoudenni, the perils of the pastoral life, and adjustments to city life. The poetic texts include recitations of locally familiar poems, typically integrated into narratives or otherwise contextualized. The poems, consisting of quatrains (gaf) and more extended poems (tala), are often satirical or even bawdy in nature.
Jeffrey Heath is Professor of Linguistics and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of many fieldworkbased works, including grammars, dictionaries, and text collections on languages of Australia and on Songhay languages of West Africa.