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Darktongues: Fulfulde and Hausa in Finnegans Wake


Starting perhaps as early as 1927, but particularly after1932, using F.W. Taylor's A Grammar of the Adamawa Dialect of the Fulani Language (1921), and his Fulani English Dictionary (1932) and its antecedents, Joyce began working Fulfulde and Hausa languages and Fulani and Hausa history into passages in Finnegans Wake. This article examines a number of such passages using textual evidence of associations that are greater than chance, with some documentary support. One of these passages is analyzed as a direct claim for the use of Fulfulde based on its co-occurrence with Joyce's satire on Irish "eclipsis." There is also a brief examination of his associated use of Chamba/Sama and of his association of the Sama with the Same (Lapp) people (with a pun on "same").