African Languages

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African Languages

LING 28370 / LING 38370, Tu/Th: 2:00-3:20, Autumn

Instructor: Fidèle Mpiranya (fmpiranya@uchicago.edu)

One third of world languages are spoken in Africa, making it an interesting site for studying linguistic diversity and language evolution. This course presents the classification of different African language families and explains their historical development and interactions. It also presents the most characteristic features of African languages, focusing on those that are common in Africa but uncommon among other world languages. Additionally, the course addresses the issue of language dynamics in relation to socioeconomic development in Africa. Using living audio and written material, students will familiarize themselves with at least one language of their choice. This is a general introduction course with no specific prerequisites.