Concept

Laal language

Summary
Laal is an endangered language isolate spoken by 749 people () in three villages in the Moyen-Chari prefecture of Chad on opposite banks of the Chari River, called Gori (lá), Damtar (ɓual), and Mailao. It represents an isolated survival of an earlier language group of Central Africa. It is unwritten except in transcription by linguists. According to former Summer Institute of Linguistics-Chad member David Faris, it is in danger of extinction, with most people under 25 shifting to the locally more widespread Bagirmi. This language first came to the attention of academic linguists in 1977 through Pascal Boyeldieu's fieldwork in 1975 and 1978. His fieldwork was based, for the most part, on a single speaker, Djouam Kadi of Damtar. The language's speakers are mainly river fishermen and farmers, who also sell salt extracted from the ashes of doum palms and Vossia cuspidata. Like their neighbours, the Niellim, they were formerly cattle herders but lost their herds around the turn of the 19th century. They are mainly Muslims, but until the latter half of the 20th century, they followed the traditional Yondo religion of the Niellim. The area is fairly undeveloped; while there are Qur'anic schools in Gori and Damtar, the nearest government school is 7 km away, and there is no medical dispensary in the region (). The village of Damtar formerly had a distinct dialect, called Laabe (la:bé), with two or three speakers remaining in 1977; it was replaced by the dialect of Gori after two Gori families fled there at the end of the 19th century to escape a war. No other dialects of Laal are known. Under Chadian law, Laal, like all languages of Chad other than French and Arabic, is regarded as a national language. Although the 1996 Constitution stipulates that "the law shall fix the conditions of promotion and development of national languages", national languages are not used for education, for official purposes, or usually for written media, but some of the larger ones (but not Laal) are used on the radio.
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading

Related MOOCs

Loading