It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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In the case of an unknown language the first requisite of scientific decipherment is the absence of philological theory. When we have satisfactorily deciphered the language we can compare it with other languages and determine its philological connexions, but the decipherment must come first. […] As far back as 1907, in my article on the “Cuneiform Tablet from Yuzgat”, I had already sketched the outlines of the nominal declension and verbal conjugation in Hittite and identified the chief personal and demonstrative pronouns.
But my materials were scanty, consisting only of the mutilated “Yuzgat” tablet and the two Arzawan letters, and my sketch of the grammar can now be enlarged and corrected (adapted from the introductory chapter). (re-edition. Originally published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1925. Written in English).