The vocabulary contains 1591 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language Kanuri. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page Kanuri contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.
In the absence of published systematic comparative work on the Saharan language family, sources and data from other Saharan languages as well as historical sources were considered. We also consulted Bender (1996) and Ehret (2001) for highly tentative and mostly rather speculative reconstructions of and within Proto-Nilosaharan.
In terms of our rather tentative guesses on the age of loans, we use the following chronological approximations:
Proto-Saharan period: 8,000 – 3,000 BCE
Proto-West Saharan period: 3,000 BCE
Ancient Areal Roots = Proto-Saharan period, possibly shared settlements with Proto-Chadic speakers
For the Kanuri language, we use the following guesses to relevant periods:
Pre-modern Islamic period 1000 - 1900
Pre-modern non-Islamic period before 1900
Pre-modern Hausa contact period 1300 - 1900
Modern (colonial & postcolonial) period 1900 - date
With regard to chronology, we suggest four major contact periods:
1. Ancient areal contacts between (Pre-)Kanuri/Saharan languages and Afroasiatic (Chadic/Berber/Semitic) languages, possibly also other Nilosaharan and Niger-Congo languages, which precede the advent of Islam/Arabic in the Western and Central Sudan, roughly speaking before 1300.
2. The early Islamic period roughly from about 1300 to 1500 with strong impact of early Arabo-Islamic culture across the Sahel zone south of the Sahara desert either directly or via intermediary languages.
3. The medieval contact period between 1500 and about 1880 in which Hausa becomes a strong source of interference, and possible other indigenous Chadic languages in Borno.
4. The modern colonial and postcolonial period beginning with the advent of colonialism (British in Nigeria, some German in former German Cameroon, and French in modern Niger and Chad) and lasting until the present day. Besides the (ex-)colonial languages English and French, Hausa as the most important lingua franca in the area continues to have an impact on Kanuri, and so does Arabic, whether via Hausa or not, in terms of reference to the “modern world”.
The identification of loanwords in Kanuri is usually possible with a high degree of confidence for most of the semantic fields of the LWT list.
1. Very little evidence for borrowing
2. Perhaps borrowed
3. Probably borrowed
4. Clearly borrowed
Data were taken from various published sources. When insufficient and for cross-checking, the lexical data were complemented by direct elicitation from one of the contributors to the LWT project, Dr. Elhaji Ari Awagana, a native speaker of the Manga variety in Niger.
Bender, M. Lionel. 1996. The Nilo-Saharan Languages – A comparative essay. München: LINCOM.
Since the first serious written data on Kanuri can be dated back only to the 1850s, no date is given.