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African Linguistics and Literatures

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Hausa [háusá] is the largest language of wider communication (LWC) in large parts of West Africa. Additionally, it is the first language for more than 65 million speakers, mainly in Nigeria and Niger, but also in states like Sudan, Ghana, Chad, Benin, and Togo. Hausa belongs to the Chadic language family within the Afroasiatic phylum. It is taught at many universities on all continents.

Hausa has adopted the function of a supra-regional, global language in addition to the functions of  LWC and local language that it had before. In addition to old functions as y language for religious purposes (99% Islam), trade, administration, police and military in parts of West Africa (introduced under pressure of the British colonial administration), interethnic communication in everyday life, newspapers, primers and books (from around the 1930’s), Hausa has gained and is still gaining importance in the following domains: Religion (Islam and Christianity), youth language for modern music and culture like hip-hop and rap, Video/DVD (Nollywood), “lifestyle“, literature, education in health matters (HIV), interethnic communication in everyday life via the internet, official (UNO), and National language.

Most aspects of Hausa language, literature and culture are part of Hausa language teaching at Bayreuth. After four semesters of learning, students are usually able to communicate about various topics. 

Source: Pawlak, Nina (2002), Hausa Outside the Mother Area: Plateau Variety (Orientalia Polona), Warszawa.

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