Projects in 2020

Archiving the original data

Voodo temple near Bohicon Benin (1976)

The recording of the stories as well as the original transcriptions and the translations are preserved in order not to get lost in time. The  data are  be accessible for research purposes in a structured way. The original sound files , as well as the original transcriptions and the translations are stored at the facilities of a specialized institute. In the mean time, the corpus is completed with additional analytical data and annotations The corpus and nalytical data will be accessible on line for research and educational projects after approval of the foundation. The data have been available from  January 2015.

Annotation of the data
Marjolijn Aalders Grool has analyzed the narrative discourse has explained  the meaning of the stories. See “Verbal art of the Fon (Benin)”, Ruediger Koeppe Verlag, Cologne 2013. Nonetheless, it is clear that matching the stories to the local knowledge of both the language and the culture will provide a wealth of new insights and links to present day practices. Researchers  of the University of Abomey-Calavi have been invited to annotate the existing body of data. Present day software tools allow structured annotations of each of the utterances within a story. Annotation includes linguistic analyses, ethnographic annotations and translations of the utterances.The annotations haven been accessable from  January 2015 and updatded in January 2019.

The translation and publication of the Fongbe stories in French

setting during a storytelling performance (Abomey)

Since French is the official language of Benin, the Fongbe stories should be published in French, together with the original Fongbe texts. This publication can be the basis of new research projects and projects (not yet defined). The translations of the utterances can be added to the annotations during the annotation phase or can be added in a separate process. The publication should contain the integral Fongbe text and its translation into spoken French that should reflect the features of the performed discourse. This  should result in a book of about 700 pages. This publication will form the basis for new projects, both scientific and educational. The project is still open (January 2020).

New projects

The Verbal art Foundation has transformed into a small charity that focusses on Vodun Verbal art of the Fon people of Benin. The foundation is ready to support new research initiatives and publications. The foundation will give access to the archived corpus of Vodun stories for new research projects.

New projects that involve active participation of the foundation  must be funded by third parties. The foundation can and will support the funding process.

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