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
The Ryukyu Islands in the southwest of Japan are home to 6 endangered languages. Five of them are located in Okinawa prefecture, one, the Amami language, in Kagoshima. The linguistic situation in Amami differs from that of the Ryukyuan languages in Okinawa Prefecture and these difference remain little understood. In collaboration with local researchers and activists, this symposium seeks to enhance an understanding of the peculiarities of the language ecology in Amami.