The Fula Language and People
Fula (variously also called, in European languages, Fulanl, Peul, Poular, Toucouleur, Fulfuide) is the language of the Fulbe (singular Pullo), cattle raising and farming peoples of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun and adjacent areas in other states. The people are generally referred to by the term applied to their language. In none of the countries where they live do the Fula people form a majority. The principal concentrations are In the Fouta Toro and adjacent areas of Senegal,Mali and Gambia, in the Fouta Dialion area around Labe in Guinea, and in the Northern region of Nigeria and adjacent parts of Niger and Cameroun. Smaller concentrations, primarily of cattle-herding Fulde, occur all across the Savannah areas of West Africa. The Fulde are predominantly Muslim. In Nigeria they have a relatively recent history of political hegemony over other trlbes. Many important leaders in Guinea, Northern Region of Nigeria, and Federal Nigeria,are Fulbe.
The language is divisible into dialects on various bases. The principal dialects accord with the main concentrations of speakers, being the Fouta Dialion dialect of Guinea, the Senegambian dialects known to the French as Peul, the Fula of Massina in Mali, and the Eastern Fula dialects known generally as Fulanl in Northern Nigeria, of which the speech of Adamawa is the best known.
The Language of this Manual
This book is based on the speech of Khalilu Tambadu, a Gambian, whose Fula is that of the Firdu Fulde, but contains a number of items akin to the Massina and Fouta Dialion dialects. His speech is quite generally representative of the Sene-Gambian dialect of Fula. His speech aiso contains some usages,and borrowed words from English, which probably have little currency outside Gambia. Since he speaks little French, it is probable that French borrowings in his speech are items most general among Fula speakers over a fairly wide area. Efforts have been made to check especially items of vocabulary against existing glossaries and, where Mr. Tambadu accepted alternative forms, to use the form most widely attested in the literature. However, this process was not carried to the extreme of putting words in the mouth of the native speaker.
The student user of this manual should, of course, follow his instructor even lf his pronunciation, choice of vocabulary, or 'turn of phrase' differs from what appears on these pages. It is hoped that, even in dialect areas where major revisions are required to adapt these lessons to local speech, the format of the course may prove suggestive, and that, with appropriate Substitutions to fit local usage, the dialogs, drills and narratives may be used. Mr. Tambadu's speech is, of course, represented with complete accuracy only on the accompanying tape recordings of Which the printed text is merely a transcription.
Structure of the Course
This course consists of forty numbered units, three review units, and a glossary. The first twenty units have a review unit after each of the first three of four five-unit groups. This portion contains most of the grammatical exposition In the course and also the majority of the manipulative drill material. The remaining units (21-40) contain relatively little grammatical explanation and drill, being devoted to dialog and narrative texts with exercises mainly based upon them.
The Fula language, also known as Fulani is a non-tonal language spoken as various closely related dialects, in a continuum that stretches across some 20 countries of West and Central Africa. Like other related languages such as Serer and Wolof, it belongs to the Atlantic branch of the NigerCongo language family. It is spoken as a first language by the Fule (Fula or Fulani people) and related groups (such as the Tukulor in the Senegal River Valley) from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroon and Sudan. It is also spoken as a second language by various peoples in the region, such as the Kirdi of Northern Cameroon and North-Eastern Nigeria.
Fula is spoken in: Niger
Fula is also called: Fulani, Fulbe Jeeri, Fulfulde Pulaar, Fulfulde-Pulaar, Haalpulaar, Peuhl, Peul, Peulh, Pulaar Fulfulde