SOAS University of London

Linguistic Variation, Language Contact and the New Comparative Bantu

Lutz Marten
Professor Lutz Marten

Date: 18 April 2013Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 18 April 2013Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Inaugural Lecture

Synopsis: Bantu languages are the most well-known group of African languages with a scholarly tradition dating back to the 17th century. Yet despite longstanding efforts, an internal classification of Bantu languages into distinct sub-groups has not been established. This lecture sketches a different way of looking at the relation between Bantu languages by focussing on structural properties, morphosyntactic comparison and an explanation which involves the use of many Bantu languages in multilingual contexts.

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Professor Lutz Marten's Inaugural Lecture: Linguistic Variation, Language Contact and the New Comparative Bantu


Biography: Lutz Marten is Professor of General and African Linguistics and holds a joint appointment in SOAS’s departments of Linguistics and African Languages and Cultures. His work focuses on the linguistic description and analysis of Bantu languages such as Bemba, Herero and Swahili, and he has conducted several fieldwork projects in Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia. He is particularly interested in the relation between structural aspects of language and the dimensions of meaning and use in which they are embedded.

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