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The language of material culture in Baïnounk Gubëëher


Language Baïnounk Gubëëher
Depositor Amadou Bèye
Affiliation Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
Location Senegal
Collection ID 0127
Grant ID SG0160
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

Gubëëher is one of the three principal Baïnounk languages. This language group is spoken in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. Surviving in only one village with about 500 inhabitants, Gubëëher is threatened by rural exodus and concomitant shift to other languages, motivated by climate change and political unrest. Migration also has repercussions on the social organisation and language use in the village. Many cultural practices are rapidly changing, and with them the language linked, so that it is timely to document this knowledge now.

This collection aims to contain documentation on the language of material culture in Baïnounk Gubëëher, with a focus on linguistic and cultural practices.


Group represented


Language information

The Baïnounk language area is characterised by a complex multilingual situation, and the different varieties are partly in contact with different languages. Depending on their location, rural speakers use two distinct varieties of the Atlantic language cluster Joola (Joola Fogny and Joola Kasa), sometimes additional Joola languages, and/or the Mande language Mandinka. These speakers are also fluent to some extent in the national lingua franca of Wolof, an Atlantic language, and many speak the official language French. In addition, a Portuguese-based Creole has left traces in the language. As a consequence, the Baïnounk communities exhibit extensive multilingualism as a systematic trait of entire speech communities. However, speakers of Baïnounk are not generally multilingual in more than one Baïnounk variety.


Collection contents

The collection contains a total of 4 hours and 42 minutes of recorded footage. Of this there is 2 hours 9 minutes recorded in audio and 2 hours 33 minutes of video. 20 minutes of these recordings have been transcribed and translated from Gubaheer into French using ELAN.


Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Bèye, Amadou. 2012. The language of material culture in Baïnounk Gubëëher. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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