Papers of Professor David Whitehorn Arnott

Scope and Content

Papers, 1950s-1980s, of Professor David Arnott on West African languages, comprising papers, including notes and questionnaires, from his study leave (1955-1956) spent travelling from Nigeria through Niger, Dahomey (Benin), Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), French Sudan (Mali), Senegal and Gambia to Guinea and Sierra Leone; copies (photocopied and photographic) of manuscripts; translations and transcriptions; transcriptions of language recordings; seminar and conference papers; teaching material; offprints of articles by Arnott; typescripts or corrected proofs of articles; and reviews of books by other authors. The papers relate largely to Nigeria but also to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal, relating mainly to Fulfulde, Fula and Fulani (language of the Fulani people of West Africa), and also to Tiv and to Hausa poetry and songs. The subjects include literature, including poetry (religious and non-religious), oral literature and folklore, proverbial lore, Islamic influences on African literary cultures, grammar, including morphology, verbal and nominal systems, nouns, vocabulary, and the distribution of dialects.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Whitehorn Arnott was Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Publications include: The nominal and verbal systems of Fula (1970); supplementary bibliography in Diedrich Hermann Westermann and Margaret Arminel Bryan's The languages of West Africa (1970).

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Various deposits, presented by D. W. Arnott between 1982 and 1995.

Other Finding Aids

Box lists, prepared by the depositor

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies also holds miscellaneous letters and notes of Arnott among the papers of Malcolm Guthrie (Ref: PP MS 27) and Frederick Wiliam Parsons (Ref: PP MS 50). The Africa Department of SOAS holds sound recordings on African languages deposited by Arnott.