African linguistics in official english-speaking West Africa

Bruce Connell, Akinbiyi Akinlabi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The focus is largely on the contributions African scholars have made to the development of linguistics in the region. This cannot be done without acknowledging the contributions of non-Africans to this development. Many of the most influential African linguists received their training abroad, while other ʼnon’-African linguists spent sufficiently long periods of their careers in Africa as working linguists and training the early generation of African linguists. Language study in West Africa by African scholars predates the colonial period that established the Anglo/Francophone divide, at least in the person of Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1809-1891). Following the discussion of his work, the chapter looks briefly at other aspects of language study in Freetown, where he was situated, then to look at the true beginnings of modern linguistics in West Africa, with the contribution of the West African Language Survey, the establishment of the West African Linguistics Society/Socété Linguistique d’Afrique Oriental and the growth of linguistics departments, especially, in Ghana and Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA History of African Linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781108283977
ISBN (Print)9781108417976
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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