Project Statistics

  • Sessions: 355
  • Audio recordings: 1239
  • Video recordings: 272
  • Annotations: 99
  • Images: 293

Last update: 2020-7-21


Project summary

This corpus constitutes a rich and diverse multimedia collection of Gyeli/Kola language use, centering around culturally relevant activities of Central African “Pygmy” forest foragers in Cameroon. It includes a wide variety of text genres, such as natural conversations, procedural texts, folk narratives, interviews, music and dance, and elicitation and experimental data. The collection encompasses video and audio recordings of diverse topics and everyday situations of language use, for instance hunting, building traps and traditional huts in the rain forest, collecting wild honey, skinning and preparing hunted animals, making musical instruments, traditional music and dances, healing ceremonies, and conversations about changes in the environment and lifestyle.

Data was collected in 2010-2014 by Daniel Duke (PhD student at Leiden University), Nadine Grimm (née Borchardt, PhD student at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin at the time), Maarten Mous (PI, Leiden University), Emmanuel Ngue Um (Researcher, Université de Yaoundé I), and Christopher Lorenz (student of image composition and cinematography at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg at the time). The team concentrated on different Gyeli/Kola dialects that emerge through contact with different neighboring languages:

  • Daniel Duke: Gyeli dialect in the Kwasio contact zone
  • Nadine Grimm: Gyeli dialect in the Bulu contact zone
  • Emmanuel Ngue Um: Kola dialect in the Basaa contact zone

Christopher Lorenz supported video recordings in all contact zones in his role as cameraman.

The deposit process is still in progress.


Grimm, Nadine. Under review at Language Science Press. A grammar of Gyeli. (recipient of the Panini Award 2019 of the Association for Linguistic Typology).

Grimm, Nadine. Bare nouns and reference tracking in Gyeli (Bantu). Submitted. In Armoskaite, Solveiga & Martina Wiltschko (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Determiners, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grimm, Nadine. Implosives in Bantu A80? The case of Gyeli. (2019) In Clem, Emily & Peter Jenks & Hannah Sande (Eds.), Theory and Description in African Linguistics. Proceedings of the 47th Annual Conference of African Linguistics. pp. 135-153. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Grimm, Nadine. (2014) Color categories in language contact: “Pygmy” hunter-gatherers and Bantu farmers. In Carpenter, Kayla et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 38, 31-45, Berkeley Linguistic Society, Berkeley, CA.

Acknowledgment and citation

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Grimm, Nadine and Emmanuel Ngue Um and Daniel Duke. 2020. A documentation of the Bagyeli/Bakola forest foragers of Cameroon. Nijmegen: MPI, The Language Archive. URL: Accessed on [insert date here].