Abstract Title

Beyond the Lubunga: the Documentation of Ebembe Proverbs

Disciplines

African Languages and Societies

Abstract

Following the completion of an undergraduate field methods course working with five speakers of the Ebembe language, they and other members of the refugee Babembe community in Boise, Idaho, identified the documentation of proverbs in the language as a preferred follow-up project. As refugees living in a "preferred resettlement community" like Boise, the Babembe express alarm that the language is not being passed on to younger generations, who have quickly come to retain mostly passive knowledge of it.

We will report on the progress made and methods used to record, transcribe, and annotate both the proverbs themselves (nearly 300 so far from a single speaker), as well as spontaneous discussions in negotiating the translation of each proverb recorded and in explaining the various contexts for their use. We will also report on the processing of the documentary material for archival purposes and the dissemination of the results in a way that maximizes their accessibility and potential benefit to Babembe communities across the diaspora.

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Beyond the Lubunga: the Documentation of Ebembe Proverbs

Following the completion of an undergraduate field methods course working with five speakers of the Ebembe language, they and other members of the refugee Babembe community in Boise, Idaho, identified the documentation of proverbs in the language as a preferred follow-up project. As refugees living in a "preferred resettlement community" like Boise, the Babembe express alarm that the language is not being passed on to younger generations, who have quickly come to retain mostly passive knowledge of it.

We will report on the progress made and methods used to record, transcribe, and annotate both the proverbs themselves (nearly 300 so far from a single speaker), as well as spontaneous discussions in negotiating the translation of each proverb recorded and in explaining the various contexts for their use. We will also report on the processing of the documentary material for archival purposes and the dissemination of the results in a way that maximizes their accessibility and potential benefit to Babembe communities across the diaspora.