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Tucker, Archibald Norman

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 PP MS 43
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Tucker, Archibald Norman
Date(s): Created 1898-1970s
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 9 boxes
Name of creator(s): Tucker | Archibald Norman | 1904-1980 | linguist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Archibald Norman Tucker was born in Cape Town on 10 March 1904. He was educated at South African College School. He obtained his MA from the University of Cape Town in 1926, his PhD from the University of London in 1929, and later also his DLit, in 1949.

He worked as Linguistic Expert of non-Arabic languages for the Sudan Government from 1929 to 1931. In 1932 he became Reader at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He was an active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and a Conscientious Objector during World War II.

Much of his language work was concerned with orthographic research, which he undertook in both Uganda and Kenya (on Ganda and Kikuyu respectively). He organised and directed an orthography conference in Western Uganda in 1954, and, prior to that, in 1949-1951, he supervised a Bantu line expedition in the Belgian Congo for the International African Institute. Archibald Tucker was married. He died on 16 July 1980.

His publications include Suggestions for the Spelling of Transvaal Sesuto (1929); The Eastern Sudanic Languages, Vol. 1 (1940); Swahili Phonetics (1942); M. A. Bryan & A. N. Tucker, Distribution of the Nilotic ad Nilo-Hamitic Languages of Africa (1948); A Maasai Grammar with Vocabulary (1955); Linguistic Survey of the Northern Bantu Borderland, Vol. 4 (1957); A. N. Tucker & M. A. Bryan, Linguistic Analyses: The Non-Bantu Languages of North-Eastern Africa (1966); The Comparative Phonetics of the Suto-Chuana Group of Bantu Languages (1969); A Grammar of Kenya Luo (Dholuo) (1994); and Tribal Music and Dancing in the Southern Sudan (Africa), at Social and Ceremonial Gatherings.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1898-1970s, of Archibald Tucker, chiefly relating to his language work on both East African and Bantu languages. Miscellaneous material includes press cuttings (1898-1902) chronicling the Boer War and papers on the Ozuitem Ibo people of Owerri Province.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Material on a large number of West African and Bantu languages and dialects.

System of arrangement:

The collection of papers is arranged in two sections - the first is language material, listed alphabetically by language name, and the second, miscellaneous items of social and political concern. There is an index in the handlist, which gives cross-references for language names (largely referring to dialects).

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Internal transfer in 1992.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds other papers on African languages, including those of Malcolm Guthrie (Ref: PP MS 27), Peter Hackett (Ref: MS 380514) and Alice Werner (Ref: MS 380393).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
16 May 2000

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