Linguists that document alternatives to loanwords

Continuing the discussion from Amen [alternative to "amiina"]:

:eyes: Do you know of any linguist that is doing/or has done fieldwork to track down the French and Arabic loanwords in the dictionary that have no Bambara options listed, like with ‘amiina’, instead of just leaving them as if none exist/existed? :nerd_face::woman_teacher:t5::upside_down_face:

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I ni ce, Christy!

I don’t know any linguists or lexicographers who have specifically focused on things in the way you are describing, except for maybe Sulemaana Kantè. Let me give some context before getting to Kantè :slight_smile:

The idea of “the dictionary” is a little tricky; there isn’t one definitive dictionary that is correct. There are multiple ones (For instance, I wrote a blog post about three important print ones). They are all snapshot attempts of either documenting the language as it is spoken or prescribing what written forms of the language to use (or some combination of the two approaches).

The two most important bilingual print dictionaries that exist for Bambara are:

  • Charles Bailleul’s “Dictionnaire bambara-français” [NOTE: The Bamadaba dictionary is a digital expansion of this book]
  • Gérard Dumestre’s “Dictionnaire bambara-français”

Like the AKT dictionary, both of them use the same approach of marking some words as coming historically from Arabic (e.g., hakili, sariya, etc.)

In terms of monolingual dictionaries, the two most important ones are:

Kone marks whether words come Arabic originally or not.

Kantè often does not, but words the come from Arabic still appear in his dictionary. In another one of his books, ‘The common language of Manden: an abridged history’ (Màndén fodobà kán’: dɔ̀fɔ́’ ládɛsɛnɛn), he does offer a historical account of the language that outlines the history of Arabic influence on Manding before enumerating a vast list of common loanwords and expressions accompanied by Manding glosses that are often either archaic synonyms or his own neologisms. (If you are curious, this is discussed on p. 197 of my dissertation.)

This list of Kantè’s seems to stem from the kind of work to find alternatives to loanwords that you are describing! Might be something that you’d like checking out! :slight_smile:

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Wow! LOVE this reply! :clap:t5: Thanks, Coleman! :blush: Even though I’m more settled on it all in my mind now in the way of having to speak I will definitely follow up on this information! :nerd_face::woman_teacher:t5:

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