Central Sudanic Arabic Scripts (Part 2): Barnaīwi

Andrea Brigaglia, Mauro Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article describes and analyzes barnwī, the Arabic script of Borno (northeastern Nigeria) and most ancient prototype of what we define as the Central Sudanic family of scripts. Barnwī shows paleographic features that clearly set it apart from some other West African Arabic scripts, thereby confirming the inadequacy of the label sūdnī, which often surfaces in literature to collectively brand a variety of scripts used in different regions of West Africa. A paleographic analysis of barnwī also suggests that its origins predate the development of the maghribī script in North Africa in the twelfth century. 2.3 header.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-223
Number of pages29
JournalIslamic Africa
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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