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Lecture | LUCL Colloquium Series

CANCELLED | Inclusive Research on Language and History in East Africa

Friday 26 November 2021
15:30 - Walk-in and informal interactions 16:00 - Talk and Q&A 17:00 - Drinks LUCL Common Room
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


Maarten Mous, Richard Griscom, Andrew Harvey, Sara Petrollino, Christian Rapold, Ahmed Sosal.


We illustrate the intrinsic link between language and society and culture: How societal values shape language use and the semantics of even grammatical elements. The impersonal marker ta in Iraqw developed the sense of collective subject reflecting the emphasis on collectivity in the Iraqw immigrant society. We show how cultural core values are reflected in the cognitive structure of lexicon. A historical approach helps to illustrate these points as we learn in our Linguistic History of East Africa project, lheaf.org. In such research it is valuable to actively involve speakers and make them agents in research, as we experienced in our documentation projects. Moreover, we show how our Rift Valley Network opened ways for in-depth discussion on our area of research with colleagues from Tanzania across disciplines.

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