This is the website for an NSF-funded fieldwork project on Dogon languages of Mali, also including the Bangime language (a language isolate spoken by a culturally Dogon group). We also work on Tiefo (two endangered Gur languages of SW Burkina) and Jalkunan (endangered Mande language of SW Burkina) and have begun working on Bozo-Jenaama (Mali) and, in collaboration, on endangered Mbre (Bere) in Cote d'Ivoire.
We have operated from bases in Douentza and Sevare (near Mopti) in Mali, and (since May 2012) in Bobo Dioulasso in neighboring Burkina Faso. We are producing grammar-text-lexicon coverage of the individual languages, supplemented by geographical, ethnobiological, and video sub-projects. Our early focus was on the northern and eastern Dogon languages and we are gradually moving south and west.
The most theoretically exciting features of Dogon languages are the elaborate tonosyntax especially within NP (DP), and the consistent pattern of lexicalizing action verbs with reference to manner/process rather than result/function. The most interesting feature of Bangime is its complex system of tonal ablaut, both of nouns and verbs.