Opportunities for Giving to CU Linguistics

Languages of Africa

Most languages of Africa remain undescribed, and many are also endangered. Research efforts in the CU Linguistics department have produced first ever grammars of the following endangered languages: Kuteb (a Niger-Congo language spoken in Nigeria), Pero, Mupun (West Chadic languages spoken in Nigeria), Mina and Hdi (Central Chadic languages spoken in Cameroon), East Dangla (an East Chadic language spoken in Chad). Researchers in this area also study languages that, although not endangered, have structural properties of great theoretical interest. These include  Lele (an East Chadic language spoken in Chad), Hausa, the lingua franca of Northern Nigeria, and Gidar (Northern Cameroon). In current work, CU Linguistics professor Zygmunt Frajzyngier and Research Assistant Professor Dr. Erin Shay, along with student collaborators, are creating grammars of two Central Chadic languages, Wandala and Giziga, and a Hdi dictionary in collaboration with a native speaker, Roger Prafé. The study of these languages reveals structures and functions that challenge much of our current thinking about language universals. Donations to this area will underwrite graduate-student research trips to Africa.

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