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Trilingual Ng'hwele-Swahili-English wordlist

Participants Karsten Legère, Shaaban Msumi, Daniel Ridings, Anne-Marie Tulkki

The Ng'hwele language, or Chi-Ng'hwele (in Swahili: Kikwere), is one of Tanzania's many minority languages. It is spoken in the Bagamoyo District in eastern Tanzania by (probably) less than 100,000 people. The linguistic material available on this language is very scanty.

The present trilingual Ng'hwele-Swahili-English wordlist comprises appr. 1,000 entries. It is an attempt to put on record some linguistic data that reflect Ng'hwele as it is spoken today.

Search the database/wordlist

Download a PDF version of the entire wordlist/database (280 kb).

You can search for individual words in Ng'hwele, Swahili or English. The per cent sign "%" can be used as a wild card. For example, "b%" will give you all entries starting with the letter "b", while a sole per cent sign "%" will give you a list of all entries. (For best results when searching for English items, always add the wild card at the end.)

This is a working document that will be updated when more lexical data become available. The same goes for the linguistic improvement of the material that will need to follow suit.

Brief background

The wordlist originates from material that was developed by and used in the project "Language Use and Language Teaching in Eastern Africa" during the early seventies. In those days, Derek Nurse and Gérard Philippson commissioned students of the University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM) to collect the equivalents of a bilingual Swahili-English word list in many Tanzanian languages. In the nineties these trilingual wordlists were digitalized and included in the Comparative Bantu Online Dictionaries (CBOLD) documents of the University of California.

In July 2001 Anne-Marie Tulkki, who was then a second-year GU student in linguistics, checked the available CBOLD version for Ng'hwele. With Mr. Shaaban Msumi (a UDSM employee) and other competent Ng'hwele speakers as resource persons, she worked through the word list. The material resulting from this assiduous endeavour was subsequently discussed and checked again by Prof. Karsten Legère with Mr. Msumi in Dar Es Salaam from March 2002 onwards. Many open questions could be answered during various meetings. Nevertheless, in the course of updating the manuscript during the following months, other questions arose. Some questions must remain unattended for the time being, as only Ng'hwele speakers (who obviously are not sitting next door to us here in Sweden) could give the answers. Accordingly, several entries that are still dubious are indicated with question marks.

The present Ng'hwele wordlist has been funded by Sarec/Sida within the Languages of Tanzania (LoT) project, a joint UDSM and GU enterprise.

Papers and reports

Legère, Karsten. 2003. Trilingual Ng'hwele-Swahili-English and Swahili-Ng'hwele-English wordlist. Dept of Oriental and African Languages, Göteborg University. Pp 81.
PDF download (280 kb)

Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2010-09-27

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