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Ancient Labels And Categories: Exploring The 'Onomastics' Of Kano

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to offer an analysis of place- names in Kano, in order to suggest that some place-names were not coined by people speaking the Hausa language. The implication is that parts of Kano at some early period were not inhabited by Hausaphones. In European onomastics, textual evidence is required from much earlier periods than is possible in northern Nigeria today. But an alternative source of data is available in the form of map names and oral place-name collecting in the field. To understand the early settlement patterns of ancient kasar Kano, the chapter requires some sense of the landscape. The largest rivers are fished, and are suitable for canoe-transport. The chapter outlines the preliminary findings on odd, possibly pre-Hausa, place-names and their distribution in kasar Kano.

Keywords: ancient labels; European onomastics; Hausa language; kasar Kano



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