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5 March 2015
Applied African Sociolinguistics

Applied African Sociolinguistics: Contributions to development and conflict management in Africa (?)  

Presenter: Prof. em. Dr. phil habil. H. Ekkehard Wolff, Leipzig University, Germany Topic Synopsis: The lecture is for those in the fields of Development Studies, Economics, Social Sciences, Political Sciences,

Linguistics and related disciplines in order to introduce the developing field of Applied African Sociolinguistics under the more recent “language as resource” paradigm. The lecture provides a historical overview of

how the autonomous academic discipline of African Linguistics began with the invention of “Afrikanistik” in

colonial Germany at the end of the 19th century. It describes the coming of age of sociolinguiscs in the African

context, and deals with significant paradigmatic changes from past to present, including an outlook regarding

present and future challenges and perspectives for “Applied African Sociolinguistics”.

The spotlight will be turned on three recent core issues of Applied African Sociolinguistics:

  •  Language and the UN Millennium Development Goals (by 2015)
  • The role of the language factor in education in Africa
  • Peace building and conflict management by language policy.

Brief Biography:

Prof. Wolff, former Chair of African Linguistics at Leipzig University (1994 – 2009), is an expert of high international

standing on African languages and their roles and functions in society. Apart from the German Universities

of Hamburg and Leipzig, he has taught at Anglophone and Francophone African universities in Nigeria,

Niger and Ethiopia. Recently he has been Visiting Professor to the NRF Chair and African Languages

Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Date: Thursday, 5 March 2015

Time: 12:30 to 14:00

Venue: SOG Building 1G

For more information: Natalie Seymour or Priscilla Kippie Tel: 021 959 3864/58