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TEN HAYA WORDLISTS

During 2004, I worked on a small project with Abdulaziz Lodhi, Sweden's Swahili-expert par excellence since several decades back. Our aim was to devise a pilot survey trying to assess some of the influence that Swahili has on the other Bantu languages of Tanzania. We collected data mainly on Haya, a language spoken in the north-western corner of Tanzania, though we worked in the comfort of the Dar es Salaam university campus.

We started out with two separate wordlists, one in English, another in English and Swahili, since part of our objective was methodological. In particular, we wanted to see how the choice of working language would affect the outcome. Thus we collected a wordlist each from 10 different Haya mother speakers, five of whom filled in the English list, and five of whom filled in the English-Swahili list. Although the Swahili-influence was not as extensive as we might have expected, we did find some quite interesting influences and interference phenomena which differed between the two lists (cfr Maho & Lodhi 2006).

(More to be added later.)

We also collected a set of sentences and phrases involving grammatical agreement, but as far as we could see, there was little if any detectable influence from Swahili in that. Either way, the study was preliminary and exploratory (at least for us). Unfortunately, we never got a chance to properly continue and elaborate on our study, as the would-be sponsors didn't respond to the follow-up application (or so we were told).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jouni F. Maho & Abdulaziz Lodhi. 2004. Ten unannotated Haya wordlists from Tanzania. Göteborg africana informal series, n. 4. Dept of Oriental and African Languages, Göteborg University. Pp 126.
  [ complete text PDF ]

Jouni F. Maho & Abdulaziz Lodhi. 2006. Ten annotated Haya word lists from Tanzania. Unpublished project report. Dept of Oriental and African Languages, Göteborg University. Pp vi+278.
  [ complete text PDF ]

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