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SIL Electronic Survey Reports 1999-008
Northern Songhay languages in Mali and Niger
Rueck, Michael J.
Inherent intelligibility between Tadaksahak (Dausahaq), Tasawaq (Ingelsi), Tagdal and Tabarog was measured using the Recorded Text Test developed by the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Language attitudes of the speakers of the Northern Songhay varieties in Niger were also investigated using group interview schedules and by observation.
It was found that Tagdal and Tabarog are mutually intelligible and that speakers of both of these varieties consider that they speak the same language, for which all accept the name Tagdal. Also, Tadaksahak is not inherently intelligible to speakers of Tasawaq or Tagdal, and Tasawaq and Tagdal are not mutually inherently intelligible either. Although many speakers of Northern Songhay languages are bilingual to some extent, it is pragmatic concerns which drive them to use languages of wider communication and they reserve a more positive attitude toward their own languages.
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