Documenting Fading Words: the Linguistic and Cultural Meanings of Agricultural Terms in Tafi (tcd)


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Linguistics


The project seeks to document and undertake a lexical cultural study of agricultural terms used in Tafi (tcd), a Southern Ghana-Togo Mountain language of West Africa, related to rice, yams, cassava, maize and cocoa. Due to a decrease in intergenerational transmission of the language and cultural practices of agriculture, knowledge of this domain is disappearing. The project will record words and texts, analyse their linguistic and cultural meanings using ethnographic and lexicographic methods and tools. Outcomes of the research include a multimedia lexical database of agricultural terms and specific publications on ways of talking about modes of planting, tending and harvesting various crops as well as the cultural semantics of ‘red-rice’ and yam. Thematic dictionaries for community use on the five crops will also be produced.