Africa – from dream to doctoral dissertation
Traveler with more than 20 years of experience, a member of many ethnographic and linguistic expeditions, it periodically puts "plus" in his list of desires and immediately counts the next project. Africa has suffered a standard fate: dream, plan, project, result. After repeated travels along the continent, he spent a scrupulous analysis and realized that Africa was exactly the region where his insatiable thirst for intellectual assaults and fantastic ideas can be realized.
In Africa, about a third of all world languages is concentrated, that is, about 2000. There are languages on which thousands of and tens of thousands of carriers say. There are only hundreds of people enjoyed. Some languages in the near future faces extinction, so it is important to have to be able to describe and documen. Not to mention the fact that there are still unknown worlds. Languages - since childhood I dreamed of discovering one of them. But in addition to languages, huge interest is the study of religions, cultures and traditions of the peoples of Africa ..
African languages are grouped into four families in their origin. The most curious family is Koisanskaya. The feature of it consists in a unique set of "clicking" by consonants – this is not found anymore in any language in the world. Carriers of the Koisan family live in the south of the continent.
And the biggest family is Niger Congo languages: about 1500. On Niger-Congo speak those who live south of Sahara. To them, in particular, refers to the language zialo. His discovery occurred during the expedition to Guinea in 2010.
Opening of the Zalo language
Language has been known to local population and missionaries. American Missionary worked in the area. In her records, we found a line that "there is behind the mountain, there are people in the jungle". And point. Nothing more. But we knew in extreme measures where to look. Found.
Our expedition to the wet forests of South Guinea began with the search for the conductor. He had to talk in French, and on Zalo. We found it through the Catholic mission of the city of Masanth, called His Siaf. But since the city is noticeably modified in the city, and in the description it requires "purity", we went to the native village of Siaf.
The first contact with the elders did not take place: I was accepted for a spy and put in prison. I had to show all my conceivable and inconceivable eloquence and with patriotic pathos explain to them that if I do not study the language, then for all scholars of the world he will only be considered a dialect of the neighboring Loom language. This, of course, the elders could not suffer. And the leader announced that I could start my noble cause to find out about Zalo. I was unarked by the birth name of the zoomanigi, in honor of the founder of the village, allocated the house and obliged SAUFI in all of me to help me.
The battle of the battle with the Zialo language and Siaf, who hardly comprehended the different syntactic wisdom of the native language. To enter one word in the dictionary, I had to solve whole rebuses.
– every day in the village treated me better. Once I tried to thank my owners and offered them money, but instead suggested work with men on collecting coffee beans. I still can not believe that I stayed alive. The viscous exhausting heat … ants, unceremoniously running around the whole body in search of an insecual piece of body … And still blind guy, which Siaf ruled the machete in two centimeters from my leg.
Two months later, the main work on the drafting of the dictionary and the grammatical essay was made. Accompanied me with all the villages. For the farewell, the leader kept speaking: "You know that, if? You said you don’t have your own village. So – now she is with you. Your village is our Gavi-Koylaza ".
A year after the expedition, Kirill Babayev’s book was published "Language Zalo: Essays of Grammar and Dictionary", which provides information on the geography of the distribution of the Zialo language, its phonology, tolology, morphology and syntax are described, presented the basic dictionary