School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics & Department of Linguistics

Crossroads: Investigating the unexplored side of multilingualism


The Crossroads project, led by Professor Friederike Lüpke, is a five year project which investigates multilingualism and language contact between three languages spoken at the “crossroads” – a group of neighbouring villages in the Casamance area of Senegal, West Africa. The languages are Baïnounk Gubëeher, Joola Kujireray and Joola Banjal. Researchers are utilising a fourth language, Baïnounk Gujaher, as a control language. The results of the project will reveal through a social network study in which areas the languages influence each other least and most in structure, lexicon and speech-accompanying gesture.


Professor Lüpke is the principal investigator on the project and leads a large international and interdisciplinary team of researchers and support staff. The team consists of three post-doctoral fellows based at SOAS:

Dr Alexander Cobbinah, Dr Abbie Hantgan, and Dr Rachel Watson. A total of six PhD students work on topics related to multilingualism: Samantha Goodchild, Chelsea Krajcik, and Miriam Weidl based at SOAS, while Marguerite Dieme, Tricia Manga, and Cheikh Sadibou Sambou are based at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. Overseeing the project in Senegal as project coordinator is Dr Alain-Christian Bassène, who is also Head of Department of Linguistics at the Univeristé Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar. Anne-Laure Vieille is the overall project coordinator, based in the UK at SOAS.

Learn more about the project

Visit the Crossroads website


The project is supported by a Leverhulme Trust funding grant totalling nearly £1million. The Leverhulme Research Leadership Awards enables university researchers to investigate an innovative research question in order to establish themselves as research leaders in their field.