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The Toura Language

Initial research on the language of the Tura was undertaken in 1964 (but see Prost 1953) in response to a request from a Tura headmaster (Nathanael TOKPA VÉ, from Kpata#) to create an orthography suitable for this heavily tonal language#.
Besides a long list of linguistic articles, some of them rather theoretical, the two book titles published so far are Bearth (1971) and Bearth (1986).
An important result from that headmaster's local initiative and the ensuing cooperative venture is an ongoing literacy program, known as Alphatoura#, under the joint responsibility of the local development NGO "Association Espoir pour le Canton Tura".
Alphatoura in turn has produced some results. Apart from individual Bible reading and the use of the Tura Bible at church servises, the following points be mentioned:



  • empowerment of women, a widely noticed phenomenon linked with women becoming literate in Tura;

  • private correspondence in Tura - particularly important in overcoming the generational communication gap between those who went to school and those, still a small minority, who are literate only in Tura;

  • the habit taken by many farmers of using the annual calendar in Tura as a guide in planning their agricultural activities.