Today, Swahili is one of the most important languages of Africa. While it is written in Latin-script within the African Union, the language, in fact, had and continues to have a tradition of being written in Arabic script.Continue reading “Swahili Ajami: An introduction”
An interview with Darya Ogorodnikova about West African manuscripts written in Arabic Script
Editor’s Note: One of the most promising, but understudied traditions of African manuscripts that include sub-Saharan African languages written in Arabic script is that of Soninke. To learn more about this, I recently addressed a number of questions to Darya Ogorodnikova who has been researching Soninke Ajami manuscripts as an Ajami Lab member since 2013. She will defend her PhD at the University of Hamburg in 2020. – CD
What are Soninke Ajami manuscripts?
By Ajami manuscripts, I mean manuscripts containing Ajami elements; that is, words and phrases in local West African languages written in Arabic script. Such writing may make up an entire text. Soninke Ajami elements in manuscripts, however, are mainly represented by annotations, written between the lines or in the margins. They typically serve to explain the phrases of primarily Arabic language texts.Continue reading “Soninke Ajami Manuscripts”