Talk:Bambara language

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Untitled[edit]

I think we can remove the stub template now. Perhaps one of you (feel free, Guaka ;-)) could add a section about the grammar; if that is done, there are imho no reasons left to call this thing a stub. (Excuse my humble command of English) Caesarion 09:18, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's not bad, and improved since I last checked. It might not be a stub (if a stub is an article of only two or three paragraphs); but it's certainly still in need of expansion. It should have more on grammar; more on classification; more on dialects; more on geography and demography; more on phonology; more on morphology (basic word structures etc.); and it should have a references section (see Wikipedia:Verifiability). On the day that we are going to make it a Featured article, it should also have a nice map and some sound samples :) — mark 13:30, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
All this is true, of course, but I felt the "stub"-notice as in implicit insult to all of them who did so much work for it. But anyway, it should be expanded, as should so many other articles. Caesarion 15:02, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Language infobox[edit]

I miss the language infobox and information about the language family to which the Bambara language must belong. Perhaps someone (perhaps Guaka) can add these. Meursault2004 14:20, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Good point, I've added it. By the way, the article already stated that Bambara is one of the Mande languages. — mark 14:56, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you! Yes I also read that the article says that Bambara is a Mande language. But I didn't know that it is a Niger-Congo language. I thought it was a Nilo-Saharan language. Meursault2004 15:43, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

"Accents can be used to indicate tonality"[edit]

Which accents for which tones? What about nasality? And vowel length? Evertype 17:54, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

There's no tonal notation in the practical orthographie. Nasality is marked by letter "n" following the vowel. Vowel length is marked by doubling the letter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.134.33.131 (talk) 07:42, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Context-free[edit]

I've pulled out the following pending verification:

In mathematical linguistics Bambara is regarded with interest, since for only very few languages it was possible to show that they were not context-free. For Zurich German and Dutch the proof is based on sentence construction, whereas the proof for Bambara is based on word construction.

I think we need a reference for that, and even then I doubt the relevance to this particular article. It's more of a nice factiod for context-free grammar. — mark 09:36, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Christopher Culy: The Complexity of the Vocabulary of Bambara. In: Linguistics and Philosophy, 8. Springer (Kluwer, Reidel), Dordrecht 1985, ISSN 0165-0157, p. 345–351 (PDF; 297 kB) — Sascha Brawer (talk) 20:01, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

language name[edit]

The name of this article needs to be changed, please. The term 'Bambara' floating around in other articles as an alternative name can still link to the new correctly titled article. The name of the ethnic group is the BAMANA and the language is BAMANA (English, German) or BAMANANKAN (lit. 'Bamana sound') in the native language. The term BAMBARA is pejorative on several levels. It's a mispronunciation by the Colonial French (and therefore smacks of colonialism) and has stuck in much of French literature as well as art circles. However, this article is English wiki, and Americans and British anthropologists, sociologists and LINGUISTS call the language BAMANA. The term BAMBARA meant 'riverworking / hardworking *slave*' during the slave trade in Senegal, used by the whites and the Wolof to refer to the Bamana, Boso, Kagoro, etc. And, BAMBARA literally means in Fula (and has connotations in other West African languages) 'pagan, infidel' as the Fula converted many other ethnic groups to Islam. Many Fula still consider the Bamana as 'bad muslims.' The term BAMBARA is tinted with racsim, colonialism, ethnic hatred/distrust and religious tension. Professionals call the language and its speakers the same term that those speakers do. The article's name needs to be changes. Using BAMBARA in Wiki is like titling a page Beaner or Yank or Lapp or Polack or Limey. Change it. 71.210.91.4 (talk) 02:34, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll post this issue to the MANSA-L list (of the Mande Studies Association), because I think the issue may not be as clear cut as you imply. I think the case for endonyms - as you put it "Professionals call the language and its speakers the same term that those speakers do" - is sometimes overstretched and many now recognize that it is not always appropriate and sometimes even awkward. Where a pejorative association is clear, I think we'd all agree that the change should have no question - we say "Soninke" and have long before Wikipedia dropped "Saracolle" for this reason. I'm not arguing against the change so much as asking for more clarity before it be considered. My understanding is that "Bambara" came into the European languages via Fula pronunciation (Bammbaraajo/Bambaraaɓe), but that it does not "literally mean in Fula (and has connotations in other West African languages) 'pagan, infidel'" (although it sounds a bit like a derivative of the root for carrying on the back - wammb-). The history of the term is no doubt complex and I'd suggest more discussion before any attempt to move the articles.--A12n (talk) 14:56, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

The first paragraph here about the language name changing is in fact legitimate. Why tell this person that the issue is not as clear-cut as he/she implies?? Lapp and Saami mean basically the same thing, but one is much more correct/acceptable than the other. I've been to Mali twice, and speak some Bamanankan. The name of the people is Bamana and their language is Bamanankan. The term Bambara/Bambera **does** have negative connotations, and can often imply 'pagan'. The reason there is little clarification about this by Bamana people to French, British, and American tourists and researchers is complex. Correcting a stranger is seen as rude, for one. For another, the ubiquitous and important use of joking relationships in Mali (and other Mande countries) --between clans within an ethnic group and caste, between castes within the same ethnic group, and even between ethnic groups-- very very often uses jokes related to being current or former slaves, being current or former infidels, etc. To a Bamana person, hearing a tubab(u) (white person) call them the term Bambara is a subtle sign of pride, showing that they can take the joke/insult. Also, of course, it's not literally thought of as a true insulte, as they assume "stupid" whites from Europe or North America don't know any better. Well, we should (and some do) know better. This needs to be changed. 75.175.174.14 (talk) 02:32, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Number inconsistency[edit]

It says in the first line that there could be as many as six million speakers, then in the info box it mentions 4 million native speakers and 8-10 million second language speakers. I'm not an expert, but this doesn't seem to add up. Could whoever who knows more about this than I do fix it so that viewers aren't confused? Alázhlis (talk) 22:33, 22 April 2012 (UTC)