"History of Samori Toure": Notes on Amadu Kurubari's narrative of 1899/1990 from Delafosse’s 1901 Jula Grammar

At the turn of the 19th century in what is now southern Côte d’Ivoire, a West African trader sat down with the French colonial officer and linguist, Maurice Delafosse. “This White man, while residing in Kofidugu, beseeched me to tell him a tale: the tale of Alimami Samori Ibn-Lafia. I told it to him.”

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The expression "Pin ni pan" in Bambara and Maninka

With the expression pínní pán' it seems that we have a similar case where words featuring the expressive element of /p/ are used idiomatically to refer to denotationally unspecified actions associated with effort. The closest parallel that comes to mind in English is an expression like "blah-blah-blah" though it isn't grammaticalized in the same way or to the same extent.

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Manding Language and Translation in Khalil Fofana's book, "Samori"

So I've recently been indulging in some reading about Samori Touré -- a Manding-speaking West African that at one point controlled a sizable portion of West Africa near the end of the 19th century. Without getting into the details of his mixed legacy as both a colonial resistant and brutal conqueror, I want to focus on some Manding excerpts in Khalil Fofana's 1998 book "L'Almami Samori Touré: Empereur".

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