Paul Newman: A Hausa–English Dictionary

Malami Buba


Hausa (Chadic/Afroasiatic) is a major world language, spoken by more than 40 million people who are mostly found in northern Nigeria and the Republic of Niger. A sizeable number reside in other parts of Nigeria and the major cities of West Africa (Accra, Kumasi, Douala, Cotonou) and beyond. The history of its
documentation dates back more than 150 years, with the most comprehensive
grammars of any African language (see Wolff 1993, Jaggar 2001, for example).
In the context of dictionary making, the language has also been the subject of
lexicographic interest for more than a century, ranging from the pioneering
work of Robinson (1899) to the large and accurate dictionary by Bargery (1934).
Hausa has also had the benefit of more than a dozen other dictionaries,
including Abraham (1962), Newman and Newman (1977), Mijinguini (1987),
Newman (1990), Caron and Amfani (1997), Awde (1996) and more recently
CNHN (2006). All these efforts have been acknowledged by the author in his
introductory remarks. And it is against this comprehensive treatment of Hausa
lexicography that the proper place of Newman's A Hausa–English Dictionary
needs to be examined.

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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