University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Africa Focus

Page View

Hair, P. E. H. (Paul Edward Hedley); Barbot, Jean, 1655-1712 / Barbot's West African vocabularies of c. 1680
(1992)

Barbot's West African vocabularies,   pp. 1-15


Page 2

- Memo al ltbrary
University of Wisconsin - MadisOn
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1494
languages of the West African coast found their way into print.' Jean Barbot,
a  young   commercial      agent   aboard    French   slaving    vewssels,
-coIllected     c.1680
vocabularies of five African languages. One vocabulary he mislaid and never
recovered.' But four fairly extensive ones he included in both his French
and
English accounts of Guinea. Substantial vocabularies of one of the languages,
Akan/Twi,    had been collected and put into print earlier in the century,
                    and
a publication in another of the languages, Ewe, had appeared. Barbot copied
into his French account one of the earlier Akan/Twi vocabularies, and later
printed it, together with his own vocabulary.' But Barbot's vocabularies
of
4 I have discussed the earliest collection by Europeans of terms in African
languages, all
known pre-Barbot vocabularies of western Africa, and various later collections
of vocabularies,
in the following articles: 'The use of African languages in Afro-European
contacts in Guinea
1440-1560', Sierra Leone [later African] Language Review, 5 (1966), 5-26;
'Ethnolinguistic
continuity   on  the  Guinea  coast',   Journal of African     History, 
8  (1967),  247-268;   'An
ethnolinguistic inventory of the Upper Guinea coast before 1700', 'An ethnolinguistic
inventory
of the Lower Guinea coast before 1700', African Language Review, 6 (1967),
32-70; 7 (1968),
47-73: 8 (1969), 225-256; 'The contribution of early linguistic material
to the history of West
Africa' in 0. Dalby, ed., Language and History in Africa (1970), 50-63; 'Collections
of
vocabularies of Western Africa before the Polyglotta: a key', Journal of
African Languages, 5
(1966), 208-217; 'The languages of Western Africa c.1770: a note and a query',
Bulletin of the
Society for African Church History, 1/1 (April 1963), 17-20; 'A further note
on Oldendorp's
informants', Plantation Society in the Americas, 2/3 (1989), 343; 'An introduction
to John
Clarke's "Specimens of Dialects.. ." 1848/9', Sierra Leone Language
Review, 5 (1966), 72-82. The
following articles are more specific in relation to individual languages;
[with D. Dalby]' "Le
langaige de Guynee": a sixteenth century vocabulary from the Pepper
Coast', African Language
Studies, 5 (1964), 174-191; 'An early seventeenth-century vocabulary of Vai',
African Studies,
23 (1964), 129-139; 'A note on De La Fosse's "Mina" vocabulary
of 1479-80', Journal of West
African Languages, 3 (1966), 55-57; [with D. Dalby] 'A further note on the
Mina vocabulary of
1479-80', ibid., 5 (1968), pp 129-132; [with D. Dalby] 'A West African word
of 1456', ibid., 4
(1967), 13-14; 'The earliest vocabularies of Cameroons Bantu', African Studies,
28 (1969), 49-54;
'Early Kanuri vocabularies', Journal of West African Languages, 6 (1969),
27-29; 'Early Gold
Coast vocabularies', Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, 11
1970, 123. For
comparison of the West African experience with that of certain other regions
of Black Africa, see
the following articles: 'The brothers Tutschek and their Sudanese informants',
Sudan Notes and
Records, 50 (1969), 53-62; 'Milho, meixoeira and other foodstuffs of the
Sofala garrison,
1505-1525', Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, 17 (1977), 353-63; 'Portuguese contacts
with the Bantu
languages of the Transkei, Natal and southern Mozambique 1497-1650', African
Studies, 39 (1980),
3-46; 'The earliest extant wordlist of Swahili, 1613', ibid., 40 (1981),
151-153 (correcting
William Payton to Walter Payton). For post-Barbot West African vocabularies,
see also Edwin
Ardener's edition of the 1972 reprint of John Clarke, Specimens of dialects
... (Berwick-upon-
Tweed, 1848); and a series of articles on the vocabularies in S.W. Koelle,
Polyg7otta Africana
(London, 1854; reprint Graz, 1963) appearing in Sierra Leone [later African]
Language Review,
vols 3-8 (1964-9).
' "I would have given you another [vocabulary], that of the Quabes-Mounou,
who occupy the
banks of River Sess and the neighbourhood, but unfortunately I have mislaid
my record of it ..."
(1688, 2/193 (in translation); cf. 1732, 414, " ... have lost that paper").
The vocabulary was
presumably one of Krao, or at least of one of the Kra languages, and it would
have been the only
substantial vocabulary of any of those languages before the nineteenth century
- for an earlier
collection of a few terms, see Dalby and Hair, "'Le langaige de Guynee"
(previous note).
. 6 For the Akan vocabulary of P[ieter]. D[e]. M[arees], Beschryvinghe ende
historische
verhae7 van het Gout Koninckrijck van Gunea (Amsterdam, 1602), 125-9, the
vocabulary reprinted
by Barbot (in 1688, 194-5; cf. 1732, 415-6), see the English translation,
ed. Albert van Dantzig


2


 


Go up to Top of Page