The Vienna Yukuben Project

Field trips

Welcome to the home page of the Vienna Yukuben Project!

Funded by

This is the the main "road" from Takum (the closest town) to the Yukuben villages.

This project began on 1st July 2003 at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Vienna and has been financed for an initial 3-year period by the Austrian FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung) under project number P16496-GO3.

We hope to keep this website up to date as our research progresses. If you come across any broken links or other technical problems, please let us know.

The goals of the project are:

bulletThe acquisition of comprehensive, linguistically and culturally relevant spoken language materials for a language documentation of Yukuben; 
bulletThe analysis and description of these materials, and the
bulletconstruction of an electronic "speaking documentation" based on them. This documentation is to be made available on the internet.

In the meantime (June 2007) the project is nearing its close, and we are battling to check and organise some 150 hours of transcribed recordings. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to give a foretaste of the final electronic speaking documentation because decisions on how to implement the documentation depend on "what we've got", and we are still in the process of discovering that.

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What is Yukuben?

Yukuben is the generally accepted term (exonym) for an area, an ethnic group, and a language located mainly at the eastern edge of Nigeria (but also in the neighbouring part of Cameroon). (The term comes from Kuteb Yikuben 'wise'.) The SIL Ethnologue database classifies the language as Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Platoid, Benue, Jukunoid, Yukuben-Kuteb (language code YBL). This classification may need to be revised in view of the addition of Bezeen (see Edward Brye's Rapid Appraisal of Beezen) to "Southern Jukunoid". Also, the languages of Bete and Lufu (both unclassified in Ethnologue) are independent "Southern Jukunoid" languages. Thus instead of a "Yukuben-Kuteb" group containing Yukuben, Kuteb and Kapya, we would suggest reinstating the older term "Southern Jukunoid", containing (alphabetically) Akum, Beezen, Bete, Kapya, Kuteb, Lufu, and Yukuben. Shibong is a variety of Akum.

For the geographical location of the Yukuben area, see our maps page. (Beware that it may take a long time to load!).

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Our work has been supported and assisted by many people in Nigeria. We thank them one and all, and particularly wish to mention Mr. John Mamman (our first contact in Takum and a former Chairman of the Local Goverment), Mr. Mark Useni (Chairman of Takum Local Government), the Counsellors of the 4 Yukuben wards, and our untiring helpers Mr. Tanko Musa and Mr. Immanuel Egwu.

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For problems or questions regarding this web contact John Rennison.
Last updated: 2007-06-28.
Medieninhaber: John Rennison, Yukuben-Projekt, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Wien