African Studies Seminar: Language change & evolution: dynamism of Sheng, a variety of Kenyan Swahili
21 November 2019, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm
The UCL African Studies Seminar welcomes Chege Githiora (SOAS Languages, Cultures and Linguistics) for the fourth seminar of this autumn term: ‘Language and State Identity: The Case of Swahili in Kenya and Tanzania’. Seminars will take place every other Thursday this term.
This event is free.
Hélène Neveu Kringelbach
IAS ForumGround floor, South Wing, UCLLondonWC1E 6BTUnited Kingdom
Languages evolve and change through internal dynamics, and through contact with others, and Swahili is no exception. In fact, Swahili has undergone dramatic changes over the centuries with influences from Persian, Arabic, English, German and Portuguese. Sheng, a variety of Kenyan Swahili carries on these dynamics by adopting modern varieties of English, indigenous Kenyan languages and morphosyntactic restructuring. In this presentation I discuss how Sheng has continued this trajectory, propelled by a richly multilingual dynamics of Nairobi city, to morph into a national vernacular and identity marker.
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This seminar series is convened by the African Studies Research Centre/IAS:
- Dr. Hélène Neveu Kringelbach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Prof. Megan Vaughan (email@example.com)
- Dr. Keren Weitzberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the Speaker
Chege Githiora is Professor of Linguistics and African Languages at SOAS. He is author of Sheng: Rise of a Kenyan Swahili Vernacular (James Currey, 2018), and Afro-Mexicans: Discourse of Race and Identity in the African Diaspora (AWP 2008), among other publications.