Roundtable discussion: Arabic in Africa Historical and Sociolinguistic perspectives
Distinguished scholars will synthesize the various ideas and research directions which have been presented and propose the state of the art on Arabic in Africa according to their own perspective. We are honored to count among our invited Raporteurs Prof. Jeffrey Heath (University of Michigan), Prof. Fiona Mc Laughlin (University of Florida), Prof. Catherine Miller (CNRS, IREMAM) and Prof. Stephan Prochazka (University of Vienna) and to have Prof. Jonathan Owens (University of Bayreuth) chairing the discussion.
Prof. Jeffrey Heath (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Arabic in Africa: a general linguistic perspective.
Prof. Heath is a fieldwork and historical linguist. He has done fieldwork on Australian Aboriginal languages (1970's), Maghrebi Arabic (1980's), and since 1989 on languages of interior West Africa in Mali (Hassaniya Arabic, Tamashek, Bangime, and the Songhay, Dogon, and Bozo families), southwest Burkina Faso (Jalkunan, Tiefo, Viemo), and Côte d’Ivoire (Pere). His theoretical interests include functional morphosyntax, morphophonology, tonosyntax, and how languages repair themselves after disruptive sound change. His teaching interests also include cognitive linguistics and rough humor. He is the author of three books and several articles on Moroccan Arabic, and a short dictionary and text collection on Malian Hassaniya Arabic.
Prof. Fiona Mc Laughlin (University of Florida)
Arabic in Africa: the sociolinguistics of writing.
Fiona Mc Laughlin is Professor of Linguistics and African Languages, a member of the Sahel Research Group, the Center for Global Islamic Studies, and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. She works on the phonology and morphology of the Atlantic languages, the sociolinguistics of multilingualism and language contact in urban West Africa, and more recently the Sahara and the Maghreb. Her current research project is on the sociolinguistics of everyday writing in African languages. She has taught at the Université Abdou Moumouni in Niamey and the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal, and is a former director of the West Africa Research Center in Dakar. She is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Language in African Society.
Prof. Catherine Miller (CNRS, IREMAM, Aix-Marseille University)
Arabic in Africa: politics, policies and sociolinguistic perspectives.
Catherine Miller is emeritus research fellow of the French Council of Research (CNRS), IREMAM, and Aix-Marseille University in France. She is specialized in Arabic linguistics and anthropology. She has done research in Sudan, Egypt, and Morocco and she published extensively on the three areas. Her research interests are creole studies, Arabic urban sociolinguistics, Arabic dialectology, language contact and language change, ethnic and national identification processes, and cultural studies.
Prof. Stephan Procházka (University of Vienna)
Arabic in Africa – Arabic in West Asia: a comparative perspective.
Stephan Procházka studied Arabic and Turkish in Vienna, Tunis, and Istanbul. Since 2006 he holds the chair for Arabic Studies at the University of Vienna. He has published several books and numerous articles on Arabic dialectology, including comparative and syntactic studies as well as descriptions of local dialects relying on data gathered during long-term fieldwork. Currently he is the principle investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant project “What is Bedouin-type Arabic?” (2021-2026).
Prof. Jonathan Owens (University of Bayreuth)
Jonathan Owens, Emeritus Professor of Arabic Linguistics at Bayreuth University, has researched and published on many aspects of Arabic linguistics including the Classical Arabic linguistic tradition, Arabic dialectology, sociolinguistics, semantics, and the history of Arabic. He is the 2018 recipient of the Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic language award. He has published more than a dozen books and over 100 articles, as well as maintaining an extensive oral and transcriptional data bank of Lake Chad Area Arabic at the University of Bayreuth (with Dr. Jidda Hassan). His most recent book, “Arabic and the case against linearity in historical linguistics”, to appear shortly with OUP, continues his critical interpretation of the history of Arabic.