Kikimbu: Documenting Nomadism in Central Tanzania

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Kimbu is a Bantu, Niger-Congo language spoken across a wide swathe of west-central Tanzania by loosely-associated communities totaling no more than 62,672 (Muzale and Rugemalira 2008). Sharply decreasing numbers, sparsely-distributed population, and largely negative attitudes of speakers toward speaking Kimbu (Simons and Fenig 2018, Gabriel 2018) mean that this language is highly endangered. Additionally, there are no documentary materials available for this language whatsoever. This small project provides an initial documentation of this language by focusing on a unique aspect of Kimbu culture: nomadism. Audiovisual recordings cover political economy, patterns of movement, and family structure and inheritance - all pertaining to how the Kimbu people move and have moved across the land. These materials, along with morphosyntactic and lexical elicitation, will be the starting point for grammatical analysis of the language. Primary investigator: Augustino Amos Kagwema

Project Details


Location: Tanzania, Eastern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Mkwawa University College of Education Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £8,255.00 Commencement Date: 01/2015 Project Status: Active
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