Hausa Grammar: With Exercises, Readings and Vocabulary

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Charles Henry Robinson (1861-1925) was a Cambridge scholar who, during the 1890s, published several books on the language, literature and culture of the Hausa people. Hausa is an African language originating in Niger and northern Nigeria and spoken widely in West and Central Africa as a lingua franca. Published in 1897, Robinson's Grammar was written to serve the needs of missionaries, colonial staff and army officers who wished to communicate with the local people, but made no claim to be definitive or comprehensive. Until the twentieth century Hausa was written in an Arabic script, examples of which are given, while the exercise sections of the grammar are transliterated for students unfamiliar with Arabic. The vocabulary, mainly relating to agriculture, trade and domestic life, was chosen to suit the practical needs of Robinson's intended audience, and reveals much about colonial life in West Africa as well as providing linguistic information.