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The scribes of the Soninke Islamic manuscripts and their networks

Ogorodnikova, Darya

West African Islamic manuscripts with the main texts in Arabic and annotations in Soninke were most probably used for educational purposes. It is evidenced by references in the margins, indicating teachers, students and also some scholarly centres located in the greater Senegambia region and Guinea. This information allows us to understand the links between the manuscripts and to reconstruct the networks of scholars involved in the production and circulation of these manuscripts. I will present preliminary results of this reconstruction and discuss some linguistic features of Soninke used as the language of annotations. I will demonstrate that scribal choices of spelling were possibly conditioned by specific linguistic background of scribes and scholars.


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