Farfesa Balarabe ZULYADAINI

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Hausa zumunci from a cognitive semantic
point of view

Dymitr Ibriszimow
Universität Bayreuth
Ahmad Tela Baba & Balarabe Zulyadaini
University of Maiduguri

+234803 647 4274

Since 2004 (Baba & Ibriszimow 2004) we have been working on cognitive semantic aspects of Hausa using an approach based on Eleanor Rosch’s classic  studies published in the 1970s (for a bibliography of her works, see Ungerer & Schmid (2006: 347f.)). We started with data collected for the project “Contrastive Cognitive Semantics. Conceptual Structures of Everyday Lexemes in Regional Nigerian Languages and Nigerian English in Relation to Language and Social Context” within the framework of the Humanities Collaborative Research Centre  (SFB/FK 560) “Local Action in Africa in the Context of Global Influences” of the University of Bayreuth1. We analysed a number of conceptual categories represented by everyday lexemes, i.e. lexemes which are supposed to be less ambiguous than e.g., abstract nouns. Our project was the first empirical attempt to apply Rosch’s methodology to African languages. We described in detail our theoretical approach and methods among others in Ibriszimow and Zulyadaini (2005, 2009). The development of our general theoretical insights may be followed in Ibriszimow and Zulyadaini (2005, 2006, 2011) as well as in Schmid et al. (2008). From the very beginning, the analytical part of our studies had comparative and contrastive objectives. We elaborated on differences and similarities between the conceptualisations of Hausa speakers for whom Hausa was their first language (L1) or their further language (L2). We analysed concepts from the semantic fields ‘food and foodstuff’ (Ibriszimow & Zulyadaini 2005), ‘make-up and good appearance’ (Ibriszimow & Zulyadaini 2006) and ‘relatives’ (Ibriszimow & Zulyadaini 2011, 2014). Furthermore, two master theses dealt with the semantic fields of ‘house’ (Wießner 2005) and ‘vehicles’ (Schubert 2009, 2011). Our approach was also applied in a dissertation, which treated HIV/AIDS in Northeastern Nigeria (Bello 2015).

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