Khalil Alio: Sússúnà – Contes Bidiya (Guéra, Tchad) [PDF]


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303 pp.

Text language: French

The Bidiya language is one of the eastern Chadic languages (B.1) and belongs to the Dangla-Migama group. It is spoken by approximately 13,000 people on the westside of the Abu-Telfan mountains to the south of Mongo, in the Republic of Chad. After having published a grammar (1986) and a dictionary (1989), the author now offers a text collection of 15 stories with a free French interlinear translation. The division into numbered phrases within the free French translation helps to recognize the narrator’s speech rhythm during the narrative performance.

Khalil Alio, whose mother tongue is Bidiya, recorded the texts himself in the linguistic area between August and September of 1983, translated them and commented on them afterwards. The main text is preceded by an introductory abstract. In this text collection the reader finds examples of different narrative genres like fables (3, 7, 10), magic stories (1, 2, 6, 13), myths and legends (5, 9, 11). In the first place the narrations are meant to entertain the audience, in the second they lay claim to social ethics and educational purposes because of their moral contents. This is obtained by a strong polarization of the characters involved – heroes versus villains –, where good triumphs over evil.