No. 10 (1989)
A Classified Vocabulary of the Turkana in Northwestern Kenya
Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
The Turkana people, Eastern-Nilotic speakers (Gregersen, 1977), live in a semi-desert in northwestern Kenya. They call themselves "Ngiturukana" and their language "Ngaturukana". Most of them live in the Turkana District, Rift Valley Province. The population of the District is about 140,000 (Kenya Population Census, 1979).
This research on their vocabulary was carried out during my anthropological survey between July, 1982 and January, 1989, around Kakuma, a small town 120 km northwest of Lodwar, the center of the District. Their vocabulary was collected on the basis of Yukawa's questionnaire (Yukawa, 1979). The main informants were Messrs. Albert Ardung, Robert Nagiro, and Lokipaka Rapo. The former two speak English and Swahili, the latter Swahili only besides Turkana. Some special terms of livestock management (Ohta, 1984; 1987) and classification of animal kingdom (Itani, 1980) have already been published.
On the Turkana people, Gulliver (1951; 1955) made a pioneering ethnographical study. On their language, studies were made by Anderson (n.d.), Heine (1980), Best (1983), Dimmendaal (1983), and Barrett (1988). Studies on the languages of neighboring ethnic groups (Kiggen, 1953a, Kiggen 1953b; Verona Fathers, 1972; Nagashima, 1983) may also be useful for those who are interested.
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