A documentation project of Baa, a language of Nigeria

A documentation project of Baa, a language of Nigeria

Language: Baa
Depositor: Mirjam Möller Nwadigo
Location: Nigeria
Deposit Id: 0431
Grant id: SG0422
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
Baa (ISO 639-3 KWB) is a minority language of north eastern Nigeria. There are no recent statistics on the number of speakers, but estimates range between 5000 to 10000. This documentation corpus of annotated audiovisal texts is the first collection of data ever published on Baa. The material was recorded by Mirjam Möller Nwadigo and the community members themselves. It was collected from a wide range of speakers and includes different genres, such as, folktales, expository texts, songs, and cultural events.

Group represented
This deposit consists of material recorded in Baa, collected from their community in the two main villages: Gyakan, and Kwah, in Lamurde Local Government, Adamawa state, Nigeria. Baa speakers that live in Lagos and other major cities around Nigeria are also represented in this collection. The main content language is Baa, other languages used occasionally by some participants are Hausa and Nigerian Pidgin.

Special characteristics

Deposit contents
The majority of recordings are narratives and expository texts. The material relates to Baa traditional activities, such as, farming, fishing, and hunting. Some sessions include how they make and use pottery. Other texts concern histories of the Baa people's migration from northern Nigeria to where they are today. Recordings from cultural events, burials and dance festivals, are also found in the collection. Another part of the material features conversations between Baa speakers, relating to their language use, and their views on the future of the language. This corpus was partly built for the grammatical analysis of Baa as part of Mirjam's PhD project. All elicitation sessions during the project have also been included in the collection.

Deposit history
The data in this deposit was collected during the PhD project of Mirjam Möller Nwadigo, the principal investigator. During Mirjam's second fieldtrip to Lagos, January - March 2017, she was able to train community members in doing video and audio recordings. One community member, Elisha Yunana, then traveled to the two main villages; Gyakan, and Kwah, and some neighbouring hamlets, in Adamawa state, where he worked with his community to collect data. Most recordings are from Elisha's trips and visits to Gyakan and Kwah, but he also did recordings with speakers in Lagos. Kaduwe Ornan, a linguistics student from a neighbouring community, has also helped in the data collection.

Other information

Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Mirjam Möller Nwadigo as the principal researcher and data collector. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by name. Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors is available in the metadata.

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Möller Nwadigo, Mirjam. 2016. A documentation project of Baa, a language of Nigeria. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: https://elar.soas.ac.uk/Collection/MPI1035086. Accessed on [insert date here].


Collection online
Resources online and curated


Mirjam Möller Nwadigo
Responsive image
Affiliation: Langage, langues et cultures d'Afrique noire (LLACAN UMR 8135 du CNRS)

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2019 January 16 to 2019 January 16
Deposit hits:17
Downloaded files
Without statistics

Showing 1 - 10 of 106 Items

This video features a skilled fisherman demonstrating how to throw the big fishing net, pull it in and rinse it. He is at the river Inshi in Kwah. Fishing is his business and he tells how other come to 'pack' fish during the night. What he refers to is the thieves that come by night, throw in chemicals in the water that makes the fish float up to the surface. Such fishing destroys the traditions around fishing in Baa.

Recorded on: 2017-03-21

This video features 10 traditional songs mainly known by older speakers. Some of the songs are sung by people possessed by spirits at special occasions such as burials. Younger speakers join in the singing, but do not necessarily understand the exact lyrics.

Recorded on: Unspecified

Agabus complains about the moral standards of Baa people, how it used to be when he was a child and how it is now. He speaks of people not following the traditions any longer and how people live nowadays is not good.

Recorded on: 2017-02-02

In this video, Agabus Baba shows us his compound. He gives names of different items, and describes how they are used. He also shows the big mboshi, silk-cotton tree and its fruit.

Recorded on: 2017-01-28

In this video, the speaker shares about the area called Nattah, a quarter in Gyakan just at the foot of the mountain. He also speaks about the traditions relating to how to chose a chief for the Baa land.

Recorded on: 2017-10-07

A teacher at the primary school in Kwah tells about his view on the future of Baa. How it is used among the children and what type of materials he would like to see in order for Baa to be taught at schools.

Recorded on: 2017-02-02

This is a preliminary alphabet chart.

Recorded on: 2017-12-26

AM first sings two songs, 1) about Kasimin who drove the Fulani away when they came to fight Baa people, 2) a song normally sung by the Nyaso group. He then continues by telling about hunting, and the traditions around the guinea corn festival, Vigat nyaman.

Recorded on: 2017-10-08

Avo Malo speaks about Captain Faloko, her father, during his burial. His courage to fight wars not only in Nigeria but also abroad. How he was a great man and an inspiration for her.

Recorded on: 2017-03-18

This node contains the present working document of a grammar sketch on Baa. The document is not complete but has been uploaded until a final version is available.

Recorded on: 2018