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Central Sudanic Arabic Scripts (Part 2): Barnāwī

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image of Islamic Africa

This article describes and analyzes barnāwī, the Arabic script of Borno (northeastern Nigeria) and most ancient prototype of what we define as the Central Sudanic family of scripts. Barnāwī shows paleographic features that clearly set it apart from some other West African Arabic scripts, thereby confirming the inadequacy of the label sūdānī, which often surfaces in literature to collectively brand a variety of scripts used in different regions of West Africa. A paleographic analysis of barnāwī also suggests that its origins predate the development of the maghribī script in North Africa in the twelfth century.

Affiliations: 1: UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN

10.5192/215409930402195
/content/journals/10.5192/215409930402195
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/content/journals/10.5192/215409930402195
2013-06-03
2018-04-26

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