Miracle Oppong Peprah

Burak (glottocode: bura1271) is a Niger-Congo language of the Bikwin-Jen group (Kleinewillinghöfer 2015; Norton & Othaniel 2020) spoken in Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State, Nigeria. The name Burak is used in reference to both the language and the speakers. The speakers refer to their language as ɲwá búːrák‘the Burak language’. According to the official census, there were 20.196 Burak people in 2006.

The Muri Mountains with Burak at their feet

Traditional houses (Burak)The chief's palace (Burak)

The Burak are grouped into five clans: Salo, Daha, Meyi, Wawo, and Dagong. The Burak claim to have migrated to their current location from a place called Lokina, a mountainous settlement located somewhere around the Gomu Hills east of the Gongola River. The Burak are farmers with guinea corn being the major crop they cultivate and their staple food, complemented with groundnuts, millet, maize and beans as is typical in the region.

Burak celebrationsBurak celebrations

Before Miracle Oppong Peprah began her work on Burak in 2022, very little was known about the language. Thus, Kleinewillinghöfer (2015) and Norton & Othaniel (2020) both provide short wordlists. Miracle’s project is funded by the Thèses internationales programme of CNRS. Miracle has had the pleasure of working with many members of the Burak community, especially with Gondak Garbah (the district head of Burak), Augustine Bades, Liman Lura, and Cain Stephen Simon.

Elicitation session (Burak)Elicitation session (Burak)Miracle and the Chief of Burak