Sociolinguistic Survey of the ‘Yara (Kamuku) people, Niger and Kaduna States, Nigeria

Type Report
Title Sociolinguistic Survey of the ‘Yara (Kamuku) people, Niger and Kaduna States, Nigeria
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
During two trips in August and November 2007, the survey team visited
the ‘Yara (Kamuku) people of Niger and Kaduna States, Nigeria. The main
goal was to determine how many of their speech varieties need to have a
written form in order to serve the whole group. The focus of this survey
was on the Cinda and Regi dialects listed as Cinda-Regi-Tiyal, ISO 639-3
identifier [cdr] in the 15th edition of the Ethnologue (Gordon 2005). Other
dialects were included to see if they could benefit from development in
Cinda or Regi: Kuki, Kuru and Maruba [also cdr]; Rogo and Shiyabe [rod];
Zubazuba [probably acp]; and Shama and Sambuga [sqa].
The survey team
? tested intelligibility between the Cinda, Regi, Kuki and Rogo speech
varieties, with the help of comprehension questions concerning natural
narrative texts recorded in each variety.
? interviewed groups of men and women of a variety of ages about
language identity, dialect intelligibility, multilingualism, domains of
language use, language vitality, language attitudes and literacy.
? interviewed church leaders regarding the use of various languages in
church services and for Scripture reading.
? interviewed school teachers regarding which languages are used in the
schools, the general level of education of the people, and the people’s
attitudes towards education and literacy.
? collected wordlists;
The interviews and wordlists show that Cinda, Regi and Kuki are quite
similar. We also were not able to prove that speakers of any of these three
dialects found either of the other dialects unintelligible.

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