The conventions we use to transliterate African languages from Arabic to Latin script.
One of the hardest things about working on Ajami manuscripts is interpreting the African language that is written in the Arabic script. This is because oftentimes certain contrastive sounds (phonemes, nasalization, tone) are not marked.
Continue reading “Transliterating Ajami into the Latin script”
Working through Ajami manuscripts can be slow-going. Here is a standard workflow using Tropy that can make it a little easier.
Working through Ajami manuscripts can be slow-going. One important tool in our workflow is the open-source software Tropy from the same people behind everyone’s favorite reference management software Zotero.
Continue reading “How to use Tropy to analyze Ajami manuscripts”
Presentations and slides from the Ajami Lab’s Nov 2018 workshop
While preparing some new material on types of Ajami manuscripts and specific approaches to study them (based on this talk), I post here an updated programme of the last year’s workshop. A big thank you to all participants and presenters! Here are the links to slide presentations (following the order of the talks in the programme):
Continue reading “Updated abstracts and presentations from Ajami Lab Workshop, 31 Oct-1 Nov, 2018”
Jula lexical data from Jan 2019
I spent most of January in western Burkina Faso doing research related to linguistic registers and Quranic education and scholarship in Jula-speaking areas.
Continue reading “Jula lexicographic data on Zenodo”
Identifying an African language written in Arabic script may be problematic even for speakers of the language. It is especially challenging when the Ajami items are represented by isolated words in the margins of an Arabic manuscript. Moreover, if the Ajami item is not visually linked to the intended Arabic phrase or word, it is almost impossible to tell what the Ajami item means and in which language it is written.
Continue reading “Identifying languages of Ajami commentaries”
From November 16-17, 2018, myself and Dr. Maria Luisa Russo had the pleasure of attending and presenting at a conference on “Manuscripts and Development” put on by the Arabic Department of the University of Bamako.
Continue reading “Notes from the “Manuscripts and Development” Conference in Bamako”
We just released two working technical notes (in French) to help researchers get set up to use Tropy to analyze Ajami annotations/segments in West African manuscripts:
Continue reading “New Technical Notes for Using Tropy to Analyze Manuscripts (en français)”
The Ajami Lab is pleased to announce its next workshop which will take place from 31 October to 1 November, 2018, at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg.
Continue reading “Ajami Lab Workshop, 31 Oct-1 Nov, 2018”
This blog is a companion to the research of the Ajami Lab within the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the Universität Hamburg. Focused on historical and modern instances of Ajami—that is, sub-Saharan African languages written in Arabic script—we aim here to share updates, anecdotes, and conceptual and methodological tools as we work to catalogue and analyse African Islamic manuscripts. In doing so, the blog will serve both other scholars of Ajami as well as a wider audience of scholars interested in the insights that can be gleaned from these understudied documents and literacy practices.