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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Indigenous Hausa number system
Author:Yahuza Bello, Muhammad
Periodical:Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere: Schriftenreihe des Kölner Instituts für Afrikanistik
Geographic term:Nigeria
number systems
Abstract:The influence of Islam and the Arabic language on Hausa culture and language (Nigeria) cannot be overemphasized. Many Hausa words are of Arabic origin. For obvious reasons, Hausa has also borrowed many words from English. In this paper, the author shows that in spite of the vast influence of Arabic and English on Hausa language and culture, the pre-Islamic (and hence pre-colonial) Hausa society had its own unique number system. Since the language is not a written one (prior to its contact with Arabic and English), the approach is linguistic in nature - that is to say, the Hausa words for numbers are analysed. It is shown that if the number words of Arabic and English origin are expunged, the remaining ones would provide a complete and comprehensive number system. Bibliogr.