(self-designation, Barmage), people living along the banks of the Chari River, mainly in the Republic of Chad. The total population, including the linguistically related tribes of the Sara, Laka, Bongo, and others, amounts to more than 700,000 people (1967 estimate). The Baguir-mese language is related to the group of languages distributed throughout the central Sudan. Some of the Baguir-mese profess Islam; others have preserved the traditional beliefs. Their occupations are farming (sorghum, durra, and so on), fishing, and shorthorn cattle breeding.
language of the Baguirmese people. It is related to the Bongo-Baguirmi subgroup of the Central Sudanic branch of the Congo-Kordofanian languages. The language is analytic and slightly agglutinative with monosyllabic and bisyllabic roots and phonological tones. Baguirmese has sounds (ḅ. ḍ, and ẓ̌) that are not found in most of the other languages of the world. Words are formed by prefixation. There is little inflection; nouns form their plurals and locative case by means of suffixes; the verb has a prefixed conjugation for person and number, and the categories of aspect, tense, and mood (expressed analytically and partly by special forms of the subject pronouns). The language makes extensive use of syntactic words.
REFERENCESGaden, H. Essai de grammaire de la langue baguirmienne. Paris, 1909.
Tucker, A. N., and M. A. Bryan. Linguistic Analyses: The Non-Bantu Languages of Northeastern Africa. London-New York-Cape Town, 1966. Pages 59–83.
A. B. DOLGOPOL’SKII