An Arabic creole in Africa: the Nubi language of Uganda
Author: I.H.W. Wellens Date: 2001 Institution: University of Nijmegen, Department of Arabic and Islam Studies (KUN) Subject:Linguistics Supervisor: Prof.dr. M.A. Woidich Linguistic Field(s): Education and Training
Abstract: Nubi Arabic is a creolized variety of Arabic, spoken in Uganda and Kenya by appr. 50,000 speakers, one of the few documented examples of a creole language with a non-Indo-European basis. Nubi Arabic developed from a pidginized variety of Arabic, which originated in the 19th century in the camps of the Egyptian army in Upper Egypt and the Sudan. This pidgin Arabic was brought to Uganda and Kenya where it underwent a process of creolization. The present project has two major aims. In the first place an analysis of the structure of Nubi Arabic is given on the basis of a text corpus collected during fieldwork in Uganda. In the second place the historical development of the language is reconstructed on the basis of the available sources on the history of Egypt and the Sudan. The results will contribute towards the knowledge of the use of Arabic in sub-Saharan Africa. The study of the creolization of Nubi Arabic will also provide material for a comparison with other instances of pidgin and creole languages and thus contribute towards general theories of pidginization and creolization.