Afranaph Development Workshop at Rutgers

Ken Safir and Ron Simango
Speaker Ron Simango of Rhodes University, South Africa (left) and Afranaph Director Ken Safir (right).

The Afranaph Project Development Workshop took place on December 9, 10, and 11 at Rutgers University. Researchers based in North America, Europe and Africa came to take part and present their work.

The first day opened with an informal session about the online Afranaph database led by database designer Alexis Dimitriadis of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics and Carlo Linares, a Linguistics graduate student here at Rutgers and former graduate assistant of Ken Safir’s. Carlo and Alexis showed how to take advantage of the database when conducting research. The database is highly searchable and can be customized in order to meet individual research goals. Later in the evening, a reception was held at the Zimmerli Art Museum where the speakers and participants mingled.

Day two opened with the morning session featuring talks that focused on clause-level phenomena. Sylvester Ron Simango of Rhodes University in South Africa opened the workshop with a presentation of his work on tense and aspect in African languages. Next, Rose Letsholo of the University of Botswana, presented on the forgotten relative clause of Ikalanga. Afranaph director Ken Safir and Rutgers Lingusitics professor Mark Baker then wrapped up the morning session with a talk on clausal complementation and selection. After lunch, Patricial Schneider-Zioga of CSU Fullerton presented a talk on the typology of agreement and focus. Philip Mutaka of the University of Yaounde in Cameroon ended the day with a talk on tonal domains in Kinande.

Research assistant Jeremy Perkins (left) with speaker Ongaye Oda from Dill U, Ethiopia (right)

The final day of the workshop opened with a presentation of multi-authored work on DP-positions presented by Vicki Carstens of the University of Missouri and Michael Diercks of Pomona College. Tarald Taraldsen of the University of Tromsø in Norway then presented on the morphosyntax of Bantu nouns. The morning session finished with Ongaye Oda from Dilla University in Ethiopia speaking about anaphora in Konsa. Following lunch, Justine Sikuku of Moi University in Kenya presented his work on anaphora in a selection of African languages. Next, Dagmar Schadler presented joint work done with Eric Reuland at the University of Utrecht on body part reflexives. And after starting the day off, Vicki Carstens and Michael Diercks wrapped it up with a presentation of more multi-authored work on subjects in Bantu languages.

Following the workshop, the participants met for a fabulous banquet at Old Man Rafferty’s in New Brunswick. The Afranaph Project Development Workshop was extremely successful both at facilitating general discussion and research on anaphora in African languages and at forging ties between researchers with common academic interests.