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Documentation of Len-Mambila

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Language Len-Mambila
Depositor Ogunsola Bukunmi
Affiliation University of Ibadan
Location Nigeria
Collection ID 0569
Grant ID SG0519
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

Len-Mambila is spoken in six Bang villages in Sardauna LGA of Taraba State along the Nigerian-Cameroon border. The collection investigates phonetic and phonological systems of Len as it does not share significant intelligibility with other Mambila varieties; knowledge of and socio-cultural practices in the face of language and cultural contact.

corpus include; word list, folktales, farming practices, personal history as told by consultants, making of food and household items, Bang history, and marriage practices recorded in audiovisual which was annotated as well as picture documentary. Outcome of socio-linguistic survey directed at answering questions as; what the language is? Its speaker and what other languages they speak? make this an ethnographic and linguistic rich corpus.

The photo at the top shows the bird eye view of Bang and was taken by Darasimi Adekunle.


Group represented

The Mambila ethnic group in present day Taraba State, Nigeria migrated from Central Africa around 3000 BC and eventually settled in a place called Kimi, southern part of Cameroon. After many years of inhabiting Kimi, political (Jihad) and economic crisis rocked the settlement and resulted in a new wave of migration and dispersal. Hence, people groups proceeded under different leaders and settled at various points along the Plateau. The Bang people in the course of these migrations settled in their present day location along the Nigerian-Cameroon border. Owing to war, intruding forces, neighbouring conquerors, land ownership and need for protection, Bang people sought shelter on the Plateau along the remotest part resulting in further fragmentation.


Language information

Len-Mambila is a variety of the Mambiloid cluster classified as North Bantoid language saddling both sides of the Nigeria-Cameroon border in Taraba State and Adamawa region, respectively. It is spoken by agrarian community in Bang villages, (Bang 3 Corner, Bang Down, Bang Leng, Bang Leng-Lip, Bang Lycop and Saam) of Sarduna Local Government Area, Taraba State; with diminishing number of speakers. It is used alongside Fulfulde and other Mambila lects by most residents.


Collection contents

Most of the collection is in audiovisual recordings. In all, about 10 hours of narratives, personal history, wordlists, stories, processes of making food, Bang history was annotated and transcribed using ELAN while lexical data was managed using FLEx.


Acknowledgement and citation

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

Ogunsola, Bukunmi A. 2018. Documentation of Len-Mambila. Endangered Language Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date].

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