a word from Vocabulary Hausa
The database contains the closest equivalents of LWT meanings in Hausa also in terms of general usage as judged by the near-to-native speaker competence of one of the investigators (Ari Awagana). Dictionaries such as Bargery (1934), Newman (1990) and Awde (1996), have been consulted for specific words, i.e., usually for words which occur in rather formal speech and are rarely used but which are assumed to be understood by educated speakers. This is particularly the case with some loans from Arabic which, however, can be assumed to be known by Hausa speakers who have been through the widespread early-childhood Quranic education. Also, we have chosen to incorporate “modern” terms that are typically used in the media based on the assumption that these terms are known to practically all Hausa speakers. With regard to words that can be considered rather local or regional (“dialectal”) and for which a more widespread term is available, these have been avoided and not been incorporated into the database.
As regards transcription of Hausa words, we are not following the official orthography which marks neither tone nor vowel length. We have adopted conventions used in Hausa linguistics which mark tone by diacritics on top of vowel symbols (á = H[igh] tone, à = L[ow] tone, â = HL Falling tone) and which mark long vowels by doubling the vowel symbol (aa = long a) rather than using a macron. Note that we, therefore, disallow tonally unmarked syllables which, however, would reflect a widely used convention for indicating a High tone syllable in Hausa. Note further that with long vowels, the diacritic for tone is only used once and on the first of the two vowel symbols (áa H tone, àa L tone). According to the conventions used here, we, therefore, write the word for “world” in Hausa as dúuníyàa rather than as dūniyā̀ (as other conventions would allow).
The following criteria have been applied in terms of describing the analyzability of a word form in Hausa.
Applies to simple monomorphemic words.
Applies to cases in which at least one of the analyzable parts of the word form has taken on a specialized (grammaticalized) functional meaning, or the word form does not correspond to the formation pattern(s) found elsewhere in the grammar. This can be illustrated by the following examples:
(a) complex numbers like goomà shâa bíyú ‘12’, góomà shâa úkù ‘13 ’, etc. in which the part shâa (probably etymologically identical to the polysemous verb ‘to drink’) functions as a connective particle;
(b) highly lexicalized noun plural forms like mútàanée (people) from mùtûm (human being), ítàacée (trees) from ícèe (piece of wood) etc. which allow infixation (such as -aa-) and are accompanied by considerable morphophonemic changes, such as m <> n (as in mùtûm > mùtûn > mút-àa-n-ée) and t <> c (as in *ítèe >ícèe, and *ít-àa-t-ée > ít-àa-c-ee);
(c) CVC-reduplicated forms like ɗánɗànáa (to taste); mùr̃múshíi < *mùs-mús-íi (smiling);
(d) juxtapositions which do not conform to the usual “genitive type” patterns for noun compounds in Hausa like ùbáa kíntàa (the stepfather) which lacks an expected “genitive linker”, cf. also ráanáa tsákàa ‘midday’ (lit. ‘the sun + the mid’);
(e) verbal derivatives with linguistically still disputed morphological structure, such as the so-called Grade V “efferential/causative” marking sáyár̃ dà ‘to sell’ from sàyáa ‘to buy’, in which the morphological status of the apparent “preposition” dà remains somewhat doubtful in the light of evidence from within Hausa grammar.
(iii) Analyzable derived:
Applies to fully regular Hausa derivations such as agentive nouns (máhàifáa ‘parents’ from hàifáa ‘to give birth’), instrumental nouns (mátáuníi ‘molar tooth’ from táunàa ‘to chew’), locative nouns (másálláacíi ‘mosque’ from sállàatáa ‘to pray’), abstract nouns (mâitáa ‘the magic’ from máayèe ‘the sorcerer’), etc.
(iv) Analyzable compound:
Applies to compounding by regular genitive construction involving a gender-sensitive linking morpheme, such as in bàakí-n ruwaa ‘shore’ (lit. ‘the mouth/fringe-of water’, with linking morpheme -n), or in some kinds of adverbial constructions which also make use of a genitive-type construction, such as ná ƙàrshée ‘last’ (lit. ‘of the end’, with linker ná), cf. also cardinal numbers that use the same construction: ná úkù ‘third’ (lit. ‘of three’). This also applies to certain constructions which make use of the derivative elements mài ‘the one who own/masters/makes…” and its polarity counterpart máràs ‘the one who lacks…’ (both ultimately from agentive constructions involving the identical prefix ma-), cf.
mài túkwàanée [WHO OWNS/MAKES pots] ‘the potter’
mài hánkàlíi [WHO HAS cleverness] ‘the clever one’
máràs náuyíi [WHO LACKS weight] ‘the one light in weight’
(v) Analyzable phrasal:
Applies, for instance, to many items in Hausa which involve verb-noun constructions, such as yí bárcíi ‘to sleep’ which is ‘to do sleeping’ (with bárcíi as a noun and yí ‘to do’ as a more or less dummy verb), Other verb+noun constructions use rather specific verbs, e.g. yánkè húnkúncìi ‘to adjudicate’ which is ‘to-cut-off sentence’. Hausa has a lot of highly descriptive verbal compounds which resemble whole clauses, such as máalàm bùuɗè líttáafíi ‘the butterfly’ which is ‘teacher open(s) the book’. Prepositional phrases often translate into single lexical items in English, such as à kàryé [PREP break.PRESENT.PARTICIPLE] ‘broken’, dà wúríi [with place] ‘early’, dà cíkìi [with belly] ‘pregnant’.
In terms of our rather tentative guesses on the age of loans, we use the following chronological approximations:
Proto Afro-Asiatic period: more than 10,000 BP
Proto Chadic period: 10,000 – 5,000 BP
Proto West-Chadic period: 5,000 BP
Ancient Areal Roots = Proto-Chadic period
For the Hausa language, we use the following rough approximations to relevant periods:
Pre-modern Islamic period 1000 - 1900
Pre-modern non-Islamic period before 1900
Pre-modern Kanuri contact period 1300 - 1900
Modern (colonial & postcolonial) period 1900 - date
|Ancient areal root (-10000–-3000)|