21st COE Program Seminar
Public Seminar on African Area Studies

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2005 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University,
Seminar Room (#207) on the East Building, 2nd Floor.
(46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)

  1. Title :"Past, Present and Future of the Languages of Tanzania (LOT) Project"

    Speaker :Prof. Daniel Mkude(University of Dar Es Salaam/ILCAA)
  2. The Languages of Tanzania Project seriously began in 2001. The project
    has two broad objectives:

    • To produce an atlas of the languages of Tanzania showing geographical location, number of speakers and genetic classification;
    • To produce a series of descriptive studies documenting the grammar and vocabulary of those languages.

    The rationale for the project was, and still is, the realization that, as a result of the successful establishment of Swahili as the national and official language, other ethnic languages have become so marginalized that they may face rapid extinction. The project purports to document them for historical and scholarly purposes before they disappear completely.

    The project is set to run for nine years, divided into three phases of three years duration each. It is now in its second phase. The first phase dealt mainly with piloting for the project and documenting around ten languages of the Lake Victoria zone. For practical implementation purposes the country is divided into five zones.

    Constraints so far faced include shortage of pertinent skills, expertise, equipment and financial resources. In order to overcome some of these problems the project has a training component which covers a variety of programs including training to PhD level. It is hoped that the training will generate enough skills and interest to sustain the project for many years to come. The project also solicits links and cooperation with outside scholars and institutions. So far it has established cooperation with the University of Gotenberg in Sweden.

  3. Title :"Revisiting the sociolinguistic aspects of Lingala, on the basis of recent linguistic materials"

    Speaker :Prof. Motingea Mangulu(Universite Pedagogique Nationale Kinshasa -Binza (RDC)/ILCAA)

Lingala, the vehicular language of the western part of the Democratic Republic Congo and North of Congo-Brazzaville, is also spoken more or less in Central African Republic, South of Sudan, Angola and Gabon. Because of its apparently simplified structure, the most attention paid to this language has been only from scholars who were interested in the study of the phenomena of creolization and pidginization. Not being linked to any specific tribe, Lingala was seriously attacked by the Missionaries of the S. Heart established in the Mongo area. Owing to this fact, its history and that of Mongo have become inseparable. Nevertheless, Lingala is making its own language policy:

The purpose of this presentation is to review the sociolinguistic aspects of Lingala on the basis of recent linguistic materials from different languages spoken in the area. I also try to detect the hidden reasons of non-commitment to the language planning by the Congolese Governments and finally think about some ways that can help the young generation of urban centers of the west of the country to be educated in their mother tongue.

Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
TEL:075-753-7821 FAX:075-753-7810


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