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Grant number like: RZ-50817-07

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SUNY Research Foundation, Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY 14222-1004)
Jeffrey C. Good (Project Director: December 2006 to April 2008)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

$14,498 (approved)
$14,498 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2007 – 6/30/2007

Documentation of Moribund Languages of Furu Awa, Cameroon (Bikya [byb], Bishuo [bwh], Busuu [bju])

This project will document the moribund Furu languages spoken in the Furu-Awa subdivision of the Northwest Province of Cameroon. It will result in (1) the creation of documentary resources in the form of audio and visual recordings; (2) the creation of descriptive materials in the form of transcribed and annotated texts, word lists, and information on their grammars; and (3) an assessment of the possibilities for future documentary work. The field work described in this proposal will take place in the town of Wum. The languages to be included are Bikya, Bishuo, and Busuu. There is, for practical purposes, no existing documentation on any of these; the number of speakers ranges from as many as eight for Busuu to as few as one for Bikya and Bishuo, and Bikya, in fact, may already be extinct. The languages are probably Bantoid but not clearly related to surrounding languages or to each other, making the need to gather information on them before they become extinct especially pressing. The languages provide one of the few sources of evidence for understanding what peoples may have occupied Furu-Awa in the distant past in a region believed to be part of the Proto-Bantu homeland and may offer crucial links between Bantu languages and the rest of the Benue-Congo language group. They may also offer clues into the nature of Bantu expansion itself. (Edited by staff)