SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Pathways of change at the northern Bantu borderlands

‘Pathways of change at the northern Bantu borderlands’, examines language contact and grammatical change in a subset of East African Bantu languages. Rangi, Mbugwe, Gusii, Kuria, Ngoreme and Suba-Simbiti all exhibit post-verbal auxiliary placement in restricted syntactic contexts. This feature is unusual from both a typological and comparative perspective since auxiliary-verb order predominates in VO languages and East Africa Bantu languages. The project examines to what extent this feature (and others) can be considered to be the result of contact-induced language change, or whether it is more appropriately through of as reflecting language-internal processes of grammaticalisation.

This project runs from October 2014 to October 2017 and is supported by the British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (Hannah Gibson, pf140037).

Contact Information

For further information contact Hannah Gibson at