Ajami in the Senegambia

by Fallou Ngom

Fula - Fulakunda

Fulakunda is the variety of Fula primarily spoken in the present-day region of Kolda(known as Fuladu) in the eastern part of the natural region of Casamance, Senegal. It is also spoken in neighboring Guinea Bissau and The Gambia. Following are some linguistic features that distinguish Fulakunda from the Fuuta Tooro variety (primarily spoken in northern Senegal) and the Fuuta Jalon variety (primarily spoken in Guinea). The morpheme '-aani' is the perfective negative morpheme in both Fuuta Tooro and Fulakunda, while the Fuuta Jalon variety uses the morpheme '-aali.' The Fuuta Jalon variety also favors sequences of oral vowels followed by the velar nasal consonant 'ŋ'word-finally (similar to Senegambian Mandinka), while the Fuuta Tooro and Fulakunda varieties generally use sequences of oral vowels followed by either the alveolar nasal 'n'or the bilabial nasal 'm' in similar positions. The Fulakunda variety stands out as the one with significant influence from Mandinka, one of the major languae francae in Senegambia. While none of these varieties is introduced in the public school system, their Latin based alphabets are now used in adult literacy programs in Senegambia, particularly in rural areas, by both government and non-government organizations. Best evidence suggests that Ajami is not yet taken into account in formal literacy programs in the region. In general, while the Latin script is more commonly used in urban and rural areas where government and non-government literacy programs operate, Ajami continues to be the primary means of written communication in Muslim areas where these organizations have little presence. Because most Fulani people are Muslim, their linguistic varieties naturally exhibit strong lexical influences from Arabic.

Videos of Fula - Fulakunda Ajami scholar

Fula - Fulakunda from Ziguinchor

ajami scholar
Thierno Alpha Mouhammadou Baldé
Title: Call for peace and nonviolence in Africa