International Research Network (IRN)

 Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics: Bridging the Red Sea Rift – ALL

Sabrina BENDJABALLAH

 

Afroasiatic languages represent an important part of the world's cultural heritage. They face two main challenges: a) language endangerment and loss, b) language variation. ALL aims at contributing the expertise of a network of specialists of Afroasiatic languages to these challenges. On the one hand ALL will focus on a specific linguistic and cultural area, characterized by a large number of undescribed and understudied languages — the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa — and will contribute to their visibility in academia, and in policy-making circles in the relevant countries. On the other hand, since five out of six Afroasiatic language families are represented in ALL, the members of the network will be able to address together language variation and topics that are relevant from a comparative perspective, in particular contact-induced linguistic change. ALL will thus provide a unique opportunity for the development of pluridisciplinary collaborative work. The activities conducted in the network are organized in two main strands of research:
1) Areal studies: the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa (coord. S. Bendjaballah);
2) Comparative studies: Language-variation, grammatical and sociolinguistic issues (coord. J. Dufour).

At an institutional level, ALL tightly brings together a) 2 UMRs based in France (UMR6310 LLING, UMR7310 IREMAM), b) 2 USRs based in the relevant geographical area (USR3141 CEFAS, USR3137 CFEE), c) leading international institutions in the Netherlands (Leiden University), the UK (SOAS University of London), and the US (Penn State University), d) individual members of additional UMRs and Yemeni scholars (PAUSE).