DFG Project ‘Basic Linguistic Research in Adamawa(-Gur) Languages of Northeast Nigeria’

The research project aims at decisively boosting the state of documentation and knowledge regarding the Adamawa-(Gur) languages of Northeast Nigeria. The project focusses on the languages of the Nungura-Cluster (aka Longuda), the Yungur Group, the Bikwin-Jen Group and the Tula-Waja Group, and Baa (aka Kwa), which, both individually and as a whole, are barely documented and studied in even the most basic grammatical terms. They are spoken in a largely contiguous area north of the middle Benue, neighbouring to the region currently exposed to the terror of Islamistic militias.

In order to accomplish the research goal, the applicant, therefore, plans to initially reprocess notes, recordings and language materials which stem and profit from previous field trips, with the aim of making both the extensive empirical data and the results of initial analysis available to the academic audience, as well as to the speakers in situ. In order to effectively reach the targeted audiences, the materials will mainly be shared and posted on open access platforms. The major task of the projected research, however, focusses on the meticulous descriptive analysis of the available data. These materials offer a solid foundation for basic research and supports in particular synchronic and diachronic comparative studies of various aspects of the morpho-syntax, the structure and morphology of the verbal complex, formal characteristics of the tense-aspect-mode systems, as well as the structure of the noun phrase and, where applicable, the noun classification system. In terms of the wider perspective, the research will represent a vital contribution to the historical-comparative study of the Adamawa-Gur complex. The still hypothetical definition of the