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Towards a Dialect History of the Baggara Belt

1
SeDyL (CNRS UMR8202, INALCO, IRD UR135), Campus CNRS de Villejuif, 7 Rue Guy-Môquet, 94801 Villejuif, France
2
Department of Arabic Language and Culture, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Simone Bettega and Roberta Morano
Languages 2021, 6(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030146
Received: 26 June 2021 / Revised: 17 August 2021 / Accepted: 23 August 2021 / Published: 30 August 2021
The Baggara Belt constitutes the southernmost periphery of the Arabic-speaking world. It stretches over 2500 km from Nigeria to Sudan and it is largely inhabited by Arab semi-nomadic cattle herders. Despite its common sociohistorical background, the ethnography of Baggara nomads is complex, being the result of a long series of longitudinal migrations and contacts with different ethnolinguistic groups. Thanks to a number of comparative works, there is broad agreement on the inclusion of Baggara dialects within West Sudanic Arabic. However, little or nothing is known of the internal classification of Baggara Arabic. This paper seeks to provide a comparative overview of Baggara Arabic and to explain dialect convergences and divergences within the Baggara Belt in light of both internally and externally motivated changes. By providing a qualitative analysis of selected phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical features, this study demonstrates that there is no overlapping between the ethnic and dialect borders of the Baggara Belt. Furthermore, it is argued that contact phenomena affecting Baggara Arabic cannot be reduced to a single substrate language, as these are rather induced by areal diffusion and language attrition. These elements support the hypothesis of a gradual process of Baggarization rather than a sudden ethnolinguistic hybridization between Arab and Fulani agropastoralist groups. Over and above, the paper aims at contributing to the debate on the internal classification of Sudanic Arabic by refining the isoglosses commonly adopted for the identification of a West Sudanic dialect subtype. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arabic; Sudanic Arabic; Baggara; comparative dialectology Arabic; Sudanic Arabic; Baggara; comparative dialectology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manfredi, S.; Roset, C. Towards a Dialect History of the Baggara Belt. Languages 2021, 6, 146. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030146

AMA Style

Manfredi S, Roset C. Towards a Dialect History of the Baggara Belt. Languages. 2021; 6(3):146. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030146

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manfredi, Stefano, and Caroline Roset. 2021. "Towards a Dialect History of the Baggara Belt" Languages 6, no. 3: 146. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030146

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