XL, 455 pp.
2 b/w photos
Text language: English
Among the Afro-Asiatic language phylum, consisting of the Chadic, Semitic, Omotic and old Egyptian languages, Tangale represents a western Chadic example. There are about 150,000 speakers, mostly living in Gombe state, northeast Nigeria. Historically and politically the Tangale are subdivided into a western and an eastern group. The folk tales contained in this anthology are drawn from the eastern Tangale, living in the vicinity of the town of Kaltungo.
The texts were recorded during field study sojourns in Kaltungo in 1982/83 and fully transcribed and translated into English with the help of a number of native speakers. For better clarity, the texts are divided into phraseological segments. Some of the examples contain song elements performed by the narrator. These parts often employ an enigmatic or formulaic mode of language, unlike the rest of the story. In other respects, the language style of the selected examples is typical for African folk tales in general, namely direct, realistic, pragmatic and without frills.
The narratives are drawn from the following genres: fables and animal stories, legends, magic fairy tales, trickster stories and monster tales, and stories dealing with social intercourse and activities.