Description: "From 1925 to 1944, he worked for the administrative service of the northern provinces of Nigeria. He researched the local languages, and assisted George Percival Bargery to compile the latter's monumental and authoritative Hausa-English Dictionary (1934). In his Principles of Hausa (1934), he simplified Bargery's six-tone system to the correct three-tone system for Hausa.
In this period, he also published The Grammar of Tiv (1933) and The Principles of Idoma (1935), the first detailed linguistic description of an eastern Kwa language. Abraham's grammars and dictionaries represented major descriptive and analytical contributions to the study of African languages. In 1941-2, he taught Hausa to soldiers in the Royal West African frontier force. Later in World War II, he served in Ethiopia, teaching Amharic and Somali; he was also based in Kenya, South Africa, France, and Italy, and with the British military mission in Moscow, being promoted to major.
In 1945 Abraham was awarded a Leverhulme research fellowship to research the languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea (including Amharic and Ge'ez). In 1946 he failed to succeed Bargery as lecturer in Hausa at the School of Oriental and African Studies. However, in 1948 he was appointed to a new lectureship in Amharic; he also taught Tigrinya and began research into Berber, Oromo, and Somali. His Dictionary of Hausa was published in 1949 and The Principles of Somali in 1951. He retired in 1951. In 1952, Abraham embarked on a study of Yoruba. His Dictionary of Modern Yoruba appeared in 1958." [Excerpt from this Wikipedia Page]
Topics: Hausa, languages, Yoruba
Discipline: Anthropology, Linguistics
Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria
Nature of Collection: Physical collection located at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)