Documentation of Glavda in rural and urban contexts




Prof. Dr. Jonathan Owens






2009 - 2010


Die kleine zentral-tschadische Sprache Glavda wird durch Sprachaufnahmen dokumentiert. Ungefähr 100,000 Wörter werden transkribiert, übersetzt, und teilweise durch interlineare Glosses analysiert.

Glavda is a small language of around 20,000 speakers located in NE Nigeria at approximately 11º07΄N and 13º46΄E. Most of its speakers live in one of nine villages, Ngoshe, the largest Glavda-speaking settlement, ßoko, Amuuda, Arboko, Attagara, Agapalawa, Aganjara, Juburli and Zamga. This area lies to the East of the Mandara hills, and spreads towards the Cameroon border, the village of Zamga actually being in Cameroon. Directly to the West of the Mandara hills on the main road running from Maiduguri to Yola lies Gwoza, with Pulka slightly to the North.


Glavda is a Central Chadic (Biu-Mandara) language, classified in group A4. Glavda lies in an extremely heterogeneous area linguistically. To the North and East of the Glavda area Mandara is spoken, and to the South, Dghweďe, to the West Lamang. In addition, the villages of Gava, at the western foothills of the Mandara hills about one kilometer from Ngoshe, and Cikiďe, lying between Cinene and Arboko, are Guduf-speaking villages on the same eastern side of the Mandara hills as Glavda, while Cinene, lying between Cikiďe and Amuda, is an independent language of the A4 group.


The project aims to document the language by providing a corpus of around 100,000 words, all texts transcribed and translated and provided partially with interlinear glosses. Additionally, special attention will be given to providing texts from Maiduguri, the largest city in the area of Ngoshe, which has a large population of Glavda origin, particularly in the area of Lain Ngoshe, behind the University of Maiduguri teaching hospital on Bama Road.


The project is sponsored by the Hans Rausing Endangered Language Project, centered at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.