Special Symposium: Half a Century of Comparative Chadic and Historical Hausa Studies

This month, a special symposium on “Half a Century of Comparative Chadic and Historical Hausa Studies” will take place  at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).

Over the past fifty years, Professors Herrmann Jungraithmayr and Paul Newman have been two of the foremost scholars in the area of Chadic and Hausa linguistics. In this symposium, these two scholars will give an overview of developments in these fields and offer their perspectives on unresolved questions and challenges. Jungraithmayr will present his thoughts on comparative Chadic, to be complemented by commentary and discussion by Professor Henry Tourneux of CNRS and INALCO (Langage, langues et cultures d’Afrique noire, LLACAN) in Paris. Newman will present his insights on Hausa historical linguistics, to be complemented by commentary and discussion by Professor Philip Jaggar of the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS, in London. These two papers with commentary by leading experts will be followed by open discussion with the participation of members of the audience.

Date: Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Venue: 95445 Bayreuth, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 3 (Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, BIGSAS, seminar rooms), S 17

Time: Begin 16 c.t.

Chair: Professor Roxana Ma Newman


Mega-Chad: new website and blog

Mega-Chad is an international network concerned with multidisciplinary research on the history and evolution of societies in the Lake Chad basin. The network name “Mega-Chad” evokes the maximal extension of Lake Chad several millennia ago. The network has as its aims the encouragement and support of multidisciplinary research on the societies and environments past and present of the Lake Chad basin, and the dissemination of research results.

Recently, their website has moved from Bayreuth (Afrikanistik) to London (SOAS). In addition, a new Mega-Chad blog has been launched to facilitate communicating news and discussion among the members of the Mega-Chad network.


Chadic languages on Friendfeed

Updates on FriendFeed Friendfeed is another web 2.0 style online service which enables you to keep up-to-date on web pages, photos, videos and music that others  are sharing. You can also enter or create public rooms where you can discover and discuss information among friends.

Today, using Friendfeed, I have created a public room called “Chadic Languages” where I collect information related to Chadic languages which I consider worth sharing. I know that some of you may find social software just a big hype. Anyway, have a look and if you like (or dislike) it or have questions about it, let me know. Tell your students about it, since they are much more into this type of things.

Endangered Chadic languages

On LINGUIST List, Issue 20.1386, our colleague Roger Blench asks: “Do any other linguists out there sense a worrying gap between the rhetoric concerning documentation in relation to endangered languages and the reality?” Roger reminds us that “out there, languages seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate with a complete lack of basic documentation, even where something can be achieved in a couple of days.”

Is that observation true for Chadic languages, too? Which are the most severely endangered Chadic languages?

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