Aspects Of Bura Phonology

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Aspects Of Bura Phonology

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.0 Introduction

As an introductory chapter, we shall focus on the historical background of Bura, sociolinguistic profile of the people and the genetic classification of the language. Other sub-headings in this chapter include the scope and organization of study, theoretical framework, data collection, data analysis, and a brief review of the chosen framework.

1.1 Genetic Background Of The Language

Bura is a language spoken in two adjacent states in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. Native speakers of Bura are found in the southern part of Borno and northern Part of Adamawa. In Borno state, native speakers are found, precisely, in Gwoza and Damboa districts while in Adamawa state, they live around Madagalik, Gulak, Duhu and Isge.

In terms of population of speakers, the SIL website ethnologue counts 250,000 ‘Bura’ altogether (SIL, 1993).

1.2 Historical Background Of Bura Speakers

As stated above, native speakers of Bura are found in southern part of Borno in Borno state and northern part of Adamawa in Adamawa state. In Borno state, native speakers are found, precisely, in Gwoza and Damba districts while in Adamawa state, they live around Madagalik, Gulak, Duhu and Isgel.

The people of Duhu in Adamawa state migrated from Sukur mountain. Sukur mountain is located in Gombi Local Government Area in Adamawa state. The migration was due to the growth in their population and search for farm land.

Quite a number of Bura speakers are literate. This is as a result of early contact with the Church of Brethen (CBM) Missionaries which brought education and medical care to Bura people.

1.3 Sociolinguistic Profile Of Bura Language

The Bura people have a very rich sociolinguistic profile just like many African people. These include their system of government with the king as the head. The king is assisted by leaders of different units like farming and army, known as ‘Lawans’. Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion (ATR) are the religions practiced by Bura people. A rough estimate of the religious percentages is as follows: Muslim 78%, Christians 20%, Traditionalists 2%.

Traditionally, Bura people wear the normal Hausa attaire and carry sticks (especially those on mountain). The women are seen with skirts and wrapper which they tie on one side above the shoulder. Their hair is always cut short and covered with a calabash.

The economic system of Bura agriculture. In fact, agriculture is the dominant occupation of the Bura. Among their festivals are ‘maize harvest’ festival which performed before fresh corn can be eaten and ‘mbal’ festival for both men and women who are suitable for marriage.

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