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Full-Text Articles in African Languages and Societies

Resisting The Search For An Elusive Linguistic Purity In Language Description: A Case Study Of Èdó And Moba Color Terms, Cedar Lay Jan 2019

Resisting The Search For An Elusive Linguistic Purity In Language Description: A Case Study Of Èdó And Moba Color Terms, Cedar Lay

Linguistics Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This paper critically examines the elusive concept of a pure linguistic form and how attempts to discover and analyze such a form have come to underscore many of the contentious and problematic areas within language description research. I argue that this pure form of a language is an imagined, idealistic form exclusive of sociocultural interactions and influences that leads us to incomplete and misleading interpretations of language data. I first discuss the ways in which a search for purity has manifested itself in multiple domains of linguistic research, from language revitalization projects seeking to reinvigorate an “ancestral code” (Woodbury 2005 ...


Who And What Is Amazigh? Self-Assertion, Erasure, And Standardization, Alexis Colon Oct 2018

Who And What Is Amazigh? Self-Assertion, Erasure, And Standardization, Alexis Colon

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

This research focuses on the identity of the indigenous peoples of Morocco, or the Amazigh. While this culture has endured different iterations of colonization, self-assertion and activism in favor of preserving culture and improving conditions for Amazigh can often be viewed as controversial to the elites of Morocco. This controversy, however, does not stop Moroccans from proclaiming their Amazigh background or portraying their culture. This paper aims to describe qualitative data taken from numerous interviews on the subject of self-identification of Amazigh and different hopes and expectations for the continuation of the language and culture of Amazigh among common peoples.


Let's Speak Bolom! The First Sherbro Primer: A Graphic Introduction To The Sherbro Language Of Sierra Leone, George Tucker Childs, Abdulai Bendu Jun 2018

Let's Speak Bolom! The First Sherbro Primer: A Graphic Introduction To The Sherbro Language Of Sierra Leone, George Tucker Childs, Abdulai Bendu

The Sherbro Language and Culture of Sierra Leone

The Sherbro wring system uses a number of non‐English symbols that are explained in Appendix A at the end of the book. They are the standard symbols used in wring all other Sierra Leone languages (including Krio). The first obvious difference from English is that the symbols used to represent Sherbro vowels have quite different pronunciations from the leers used to represent vowel sounds in English. Other differences are relatively minor.

The book is organized as follows. After these prefatory remarks appears the text itself, which is divided into three sections and a set of appendices.

The first section ...


The Language Agenda In Post-Colonial African Music, Quintina Carter-Enyi Mar 2018

The Language Agenda In Post-Colonial African Music, Quintina Carter-Enyi

Africana Digital Ethnography Project

For post-colonial African musicians, decolonization became an imperative. For musicians, singing in one’s native language was no longer merely creative expression, it took on a more significant role in decolonizing the African continent. This was also the case for composers, particularly those who traveled abroad to study in conservatories and universities in the United Kingdom or the United States of America.

In Decolonising the Mind, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o makes a case for African literature to be written in African languages. He also points out that singers and musicians have resisted mental colonization by retaining indigenous musical practices and ...


Editor's Introduction, Mathew Schmalz Dec 2017

Editor's Introduction, Mathew Schmalz

Journal of Global Catholicism

An overview of African Catholicism. Part Two: Retrospect and Prospect, third issue of the Journal of Global Catholicism. A summary of the work of Bradford Hinze, Mary Gloria Njoku, Matthias Scharer, Mary Sylvia Nwachukwu, and Bernhard Udelhoven. Among the topics considered: African ecclesiology, African wellness and quality of life in Africa, interreligious dialogue in Africa, African Biblical scholarship, witchcraft and the Catholic Church.


Producing "Fabulous": Commodification And Ethnicity In Hair Braiding Salons, Sylviane Ngandu-Kalenga Greensword Nov 2017

Producing "Fabulous": Commodification And Ethnicity In Hair Braiding Salons, Sylviane Ngandu-Kalenga Greensword

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

Black women wearing fabulous braids are a striking feature of the Afro-diasporic cultural landscape. However, the braiders and salon owners who enable this aesthetic engineering are seldom acknowledged. This dissertation investigates the experience and role of Caribbean and West and Central African women in the hair braiding industry, a rapidly growing business in the U.S. I address the complexity of these women’s multiple social roles and the multiple consciousness (King, 1988) associated with their demographic characteristics (color, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and immigrant status). The commonalities between the braiders and their mostly African American customers contrast vividly with their ...


Melodic Language And Linguistic Melodies: Singing In Tone Languages, Aaron Carter-Enyi Nov 2017

Melodic Language And Linguistic Melodies: Singing In Tone Languages, Aaron Carter-Enyi

Africana Digital Ethnography Project

Approximately 60% of the world’s languages are tonal, wherein alterations of pitch change the meaning of words. Two-syllable words in Yorùbá can have as many as five separate meanings, and single- syllable words in Mandarin up to four. Among tone-language speakers, acute pitch sensitivity is developed at an early age as part of language acquisition. The result is that speakers of tone languages are generally more sensitive to pitch than stress-language speakers. For speakers of stress languages, it is difficult to conceive of this other aurality, in which sound is perceived in a different way. But music holds the ...


Maps For Sherbro Area, George Tucker Childs Oct 2017

Maps For Sherbro Area, George Tucker Childs

The Sherbro Language and Culture of Sierra Leone

Maps pertaining to Sherbro language and culture.


Perspectives On Language From Street Produce Vendors In Cape Town: An Examination Of Education, Trading, And Development In The Informal Sector, Hannah Oldham Oct 2017

Perspectives On Language From Street Produce Vendors In Cape Town: An Examination Of Education, Trading, And Development In The Informal Sector, Hannah Oldham

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

Language is vital for the functioning of societies, from education to economic interactions. Language of education presents challenges in Africa due to colonial linguistic legacies and the diversity of indigenous African languages. While education trains learners for work in the formal economy, the South African formal cannot absorb all the available labor. The informal economy therefore provides vital work and income to millions of South Africans and immigrants. Language use in the informal sector was studied, including the education and work traders had before working as street produce vendors.

Six interviews were conducted: two near the Cape Town taxi rank ...


Ron Daise Reads De Nyew Testament, Luke 2:1-5, Aaron Carter-Enyi, Corrie Claiborne, Samuel Livingston, Ronald Daise Aug 2017

Ron Daise Reads De Nyew Testament, Luke 2:1-5, Aaron Carter-Enyi, Corrie Claiborne, Samuel Livingston, Ronald Daise

Africana Digital Ethnography Project

Cultural preservationist Ron Daise reads a passage from the Gullah Sea Island Creole Translation of the New Testament. He then reads the parallel passage in the King James Version. Ron and his wife, Natalie, worked on the translation of the Bible into Gullah.


Patwa Is A Language; No Ifs, Buts Or Maybes, Rashana Lydner May 2017

Patwa Is A Language; No Ifs, Buts Or Maybes, Rashana Lydner

Senior Honors Theses

Is Patwa a language? Linguistically speaking, Jamaican Creole is seen as a language. However, culturally there are many misconceptions about the status and importance of the language. This research focuses on a linguistic analysis of Jamaican Creole. Firstly, it emphasizes the diachronic linguistic aspects of the language, examining the origins of the language. British English played a very influential part in the development of Jamaican Creole as well as the Niger-Congo languages from West Africa. One sees how historically intertwined the Creole is with the context of slavery and the formation of other Creole languages across the colonial world. Secondly ...


Reaching For The Heart: An Analysis Of Language As A Weapon Of Empathy For Three Capetonians, Sarah Mcdonald Apr 2017

Reaching For The Heart: An Analysis Of Language As A Weapon Of Empathy For Three Capetonians, Sarah Mcdonald

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

In this paper, I examine the role that cross-cultural language study plays in the lives of three Capetonians in order to explore its capacity to foster empathy between people of different backgrounds. Framed in the context of South African history and modern academic discourse around language use in educational and public spaces in the country, I present the stories of my three interviewees and analyze particular experiences that they relayed in order to trace trends of empathy and understanding through their language use.

Through my discussion of this qualitative data, I reach the conclusion that language can be an effective ...


"Ewondo In The Classes, French For The Masses." Mother-Tongue Education In Yaoundé, Cameroon., Parker Henry Apr 2017

"Ewondo In The Classes, French For The Masses." Mother-Tongue Education In Yaoundé, Cameroon., Parker Henry

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

Cameroon is home to over two hundred eighty native languages coming from three language families, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries on Earth. Despite this, native languages hold very few domains in Cameroonian society. In recent years, several experimental programs have begun to implement native languages in schools citing that children learn best in their mother tongue. Among these include ELAN-Afrique, an initiative put forth by La Francophonie with the main aim of helping students better learn French by way of their mother tongue. This paper seeks to differentiate the benefits prescribed or expected by overhead actors ...


Sherbro Dictionary, George Tucker Childs Feb 2017

Sherbro Dictionary, George Tucker Childs

The Sherbro Language and Culture of Sierra Leone

Sherbro Dictionary


Generating Amharic Present Tense Verbs: A Network Morphology & Datr Account, T. Michael W. Halcomb Jan 2017

Generating Amharic Present Tense Verbs: A Network Morphology & Datr Account, T. Michael W. Halcomb

Theses and Dissertations--Linguistics

In this thesis I attempt to model, that is, computationally reproduce, the natural transmission (i.e. inflectional regularities) of twenty present tense Amharic verbs (i.e. triradicals beginning with consonants) as used by the language’s speakers. I root my approach in the linguistic theory of network morphology (NM) and model it using the DATR evaluator. In Chapter 1, I provide an overview of Amharic and discuss the fidel as an abugida, the verb system’s root-and-pattern morphology, and how radicals of each lexeme interacts with prefixes and suffixes. I offer an overview of NM in Chapter 2 and DATR ...


Language, Rhetoric, And Politics In A Global Context: A Decolonial Critical Discourse Perspective On Nigeria’S 2015 Presidential Campaign, Yunana Ahmed Jan 2017

Language, Rhetoric, And Politics In A Global Context: A Decolonial Critical Discourse Perspective On Nigeria’S 2015 Presidential Campaign, Yunana Ahmed

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

In this dissertation, I conceptualize a rhetorical and linguistic analysis of politics from a decolonial framework (Mignolo, 2011; Smith, 2012). My analysis draws on classical rhetoric (Aristotle, 2007), cultural rhetoric (Mao, 2014; Powell, et al., 2014; Yankah, 1995), and linguistics (Chilton, 2004) to reveal the different ways ideological and hegemonic struggles are discursively constructed in Nigerian political campaign discourse. The data for this study come from two speeches delivered by former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 electoral campaign. This includes his declaration-of-intent speech and his speech marking the commencement of his formal campaign activities. My research demonstrates ...


Busy Intersections: A Framework For Revitalization, George Tucker Childs Jan 2017

Busy Intersections: A Framework For Revitalization, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

This paper reports on the applicability of a pedagogical model for use in West Africa drawn from adult literacy practices in the United States. It proposes bridging the gap between linguists, teachers, and community organizers, and building on the ethnographic skills of language documenters. One increasingly important goal of language documentation has been “creating and mobilizing documentation in support of pedagogy” (Nathan and Fang 2009:132) or even as a “social movement” (Dobrin and Berson 2011). A documentary perspective is here synthesized with an adult literacy one, fitted to the context of West Africa, to offer some guidelines for revitalization ...


The Knowledge Of Ideophones In Multilingual Contexts: A West African Pilot Study, George Tucker Childs Dec 2016

The Knowledge Of Ideophones In Multilingual Contexts: A West African Pilot Study, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

This presentation examines the ubiquity of multilingualism and its somewhat uncertain characterization; the claim for linguistic repertoires vs. languages; how to evaluate and document a linguistic repertoire, economically and expeditiously; ideophones as functionally areal but formally local, thus a control for borrowings; and, is there any sharing in highly multilingual areas? Are ideophones less local than has been empirically shown?


The Knowledge Of Ideophones And Multilingualism: A West African Pilot Study, George Tucker Childs Dec 2016

The Knowledge Of Ideophones And Multilingualism: A West African Pilot Study, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Expressive language such as ideophones and mimetics have provided an important index of social and cultural features. On the continent of Africa, where the word category is generally known as ideophones, such words appear in every major phylum and in most families. They even appear in the continent’s pidgins and creoles, thus representing a language function of some considerable areality. The one place they do not appear, however, is in the colonizing languages when they have not been appropriated by local communities. When the European languages become every day varieties, however, ideophones are regularly used just as they would ...


What Is The Difference Between “Muslim” And “Islamic”?, Ahmed E. Souaiaia Nov 2016

What Is The Difference Between “Muslim” And “Islamic”?, Ahmed E. Souaiaia

Ahmed E SOUAIAIA

Social labels and categories are exercise in control. They describe opponents, create boundaries, exclude social groups, justify discrimination, and promote persecution. They are imbued with sociopolitical power. Muslims used labels, internally for the first time, during the formative period of the community to privilege the elite and marginalize dissenters. They called those who challenged the established order, Khawarij [Outsiders]. Today, Muslims living in Western societies are often labeled radical Islamic extremists. But aside from this politically charged phrase, even common adjectives, such as Islamic and Muslim, are misused. So in what contexts should these adjectives be appropriately used and why ...


The Definite Article In Mel, George Tucker Childs Sep 2016

The Definite Article In Mel, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

As a function word, the definite article is subject to some attrition in the course of language change, usually originating in a a form with fuller phonetic substance such as a demonstrative, e.g., Greenberg 1978. This generalization holds true for the Mel languages, spoken in the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. These languages were formerly part of the southern branch of Atlantic but are now thought to constitute an independent, e.g., Segerer Forthcoming. The reconstructed form of the Mel definite article is likely *lɛ (tone uncertain). In some dialects of Bom-Kim and the Dema dialect of ...


Nonstandard Languages: The Outcasts Of The Language Revitalization Movement, Whitney Snowden Nov 2015

Nonstandard Languages: The Outcasts Of The Language Revitalization Movement, Whitney Snowden

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis compares the failures of the creolization movement with the success of the language revitalization movement and seeks to determine which elements are missing from the former to make it as successful as the latter. Education policy, identity, and language ideology are all examined as contributors to the future success of creole inclusivity in education and society, as well as the potential benefits such a movement would include. Specifically examined are Siegel’s research on creole education and Armstrong’s work on language ideology.


The Language Ecology Of Sierra Leone, George Tucker Childs Oct 2015

The Language Ecology Of Sierra Leone, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Many of Sierra Leone’s indigenous languages are robust and enjoy some support on the national level. Mende and Temne, for example, receive government support in terms of materials having been created for developing literacy in those languages. Other Sierra Leone languages receive support in nearby countries, e.g., Mandingo (Malinké) and Kisi in Guinea. Three languages in Sierra Leone, however, receive no such support and will likely disappear in a generation, namely, the three South Atlantic languages Mani (Bullom So), Kim (Krim) and Bom (Bum). A fourth language belonging to the same group, Sherbro, the subject of an upcoming ...


The Independent Press After The "Moroccan Spring", Hamza Tayebi Jul 2015

The Independent Press After The "Moroccan Spring", Hamza Tayebi

Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Multidisciplinary Studies

The wave of Arab Spring that started in Tunisia and Egypt arrived to Morocco in 2011 paving the way to unprecedented organized mass-protests all over the country. Among the demands raised by the 20 February Movement protesters was the demand for free and independent media outlets, especially the press. King Mohammed VI, the Commander of the Faithful and the highest authority in Morocco, promised in a televised speech on March 9th to introduce "radical" and "genuine" constitutional reforms that would democratize the country. In fact, King Mohammed VI has so far succeeded in calming down and co-opting the demonstrations, but ...


Busy Intersections: A Framework For Revitalization, George Tucker Childs Feb 2015

Busy Intersections: A Framework For Revitalization, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Slides from a presentation given to the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC4), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. 26 Feb – 1 Mar., 2015.


Glocal English: The Changing Face And Forms Of Nigerian English In A Global World, Farooq A. Kperogi Jan 2015

Glocal English: The Changing Face And Forms Of Nigerian English In A Global World, Farooq A. Kperogi

Farooq A. Kperogi

Glocal English compares the usage patterns and stylistic conventions of the world’s two dominant native varieties of English (British and American English) with Nigerian English, which ranks as the English world’s fastest-growing non-native variety courtesy of the unrelenting ubiquity of the Nigerian (English-language) movie industry in Africa and the Black Atlantic Diaspora. Using contemporary examples from the mass media and the author’s rich experiential data, the book isolates the peculiar structural, grammatical, and stylistic characteristics of Nigerian English and shows its similarities as well as its often humorous differences with British and American English. Although Nigerian English ...


Synthesis Before The Proto-Niger-Congo Inflectional Verb: Evidence From The Peripheral South Atlantic Languages, George Tucker Childs Sep 2014

Synthesis Before The Proto-Niger-Congo Inflectional Verb: Evidence From The Peripheral South Atlantic Languages, George Tucker Childs

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

This paper contributes to the understanding of Proto-Niger-Congo (PNC) verb structure. It supports the contention in Nurse 2007 that PNC verbs were likely more analytical than synthetic in nature. It does so by illustrating several paths of grammaticalization (and cliticization), in a set of several far-west Atlantic languages, geographically distant from the Niger-Congo core.


Beyond The Ancestral Code: Towards A Model For Sociolinguistic Language Documentation, George Tucker Childs, Jeff Good, Alice Mitchell Jun 2014

Beyond The Ancestral Code: Towards A Model For Sociolinguistic Language Documentation, George Tucker Childs, Jeff Good, Alice Mitchell

Applied Linguistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Most language documentation efforts focus on capturing lexico-grammatical information on individual languages. Comparatively little effort has been devoted to considering a language’s sociolinguistic contexts. In parts of the world characterized by high degrees of multilingualism, questions surrounding the factors involved in language choice and the relationship between ‘communities’ and ‘languages’ are clearly of interest to documentary linguistics, and this paper considers these issues by reporting on the results of a workshop held on sociolinguistic documentation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over sixty participants from Africa and elsewhere discussed theoretical and methodological issues relating to the documentation of language in its social ...


Reference And Pedagogical Resources For 'Standard' Somali, Christopher Green, Michelle E. Morrison, Nikki B. Adams, Erin Smith Crabb, Evan Jones, Valerie Novak Jan 2014

Reference And Pedagogical Resources For 'Standard' Somali, Christopher Green, Michelle E. Morrison, Nikki B. Adams, Erin Smith Crabb, Evan Jones, Valerie Novak

Electronic Journal of Africana Bibliography

This annotated bibliography compiles and accounts for the current state of knowledge on Somali, with a particular focus on characteristics of the ‘standard,’ northern variety of the language. The purpose of undertaking this work is to complement our own ongoing descriptive work on Somali with the goal of producing a comprehensive, contemporary reference grammar for the language. We include in this bibliography all published materials (e.g. journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings) on standard Somali known to us, as well as a number of unpublished materials (e.g. conference talks, theses, dissertations) to which we have been able to ...


[Sabbatical Report], Elizabeth Winkler Apr 2013

[Sabbatical Report], Elizabeth Winkler

Sabbatical Reports

I am working to develop a English-Kpelle dictionary database for use in the electronic world as well as various paper dictionaries to be published and used primarily in Liberia. I input over 2200 entries into a database. Entries include information about pronunciation, meaning, grammar, spelling, etymology and related words. This database will be uploaded to the website as well as formatted for paper publication of the dictionaries.