This volume brings together a number of important perspectives on language documentation and endangerment in Africa from an international cohort of scholars with vast experience in the field. Offering insights from rural and urban settings throughout the continent, these essays consider topics that range from the development of a writing system to ideologies of language endangerment, from working with displaced communities to the role of colonial languages in reshaping African repertoires, and from the insights of archeology to the challenges of language documentation as a doctoral project. The authors are concerned with both theoretical and practical aspects of language documentation as they address the ways in which the African context both differs from and resembles contexts of endangerment elsewhere in the world. This volume will be useful to fieldworkers and documentalists who work in Africa and beyond.
1. Introduction (by Essegbey, James); 2. Language endangerment and documentation; 3. Unintended consequences of methodological and practical responses to language endangerment in Africa (by Ameka, Felix K.); 4. Different cultures, different attitudes: But how different is "the African situation" really? (by Dimmendaal, Gerrit J.); 5. Ideologies and typologies of language endangerment in Africa (by Lupke, Friederike); 6. The role of colonial languages in language endangerment in Africa (by Connell, Bruce); 7. Can a language endanger itself?: Reshaping repertoires in urban Senegal (by Mc Laughlin, Fiona); 8. "Is this my language?": Developing a writing system for an endangered-language community (by Essegbey, James); 9. Development, language revitalization, and culture: The case of the Mayan languages of Guatemala, and their relevance for African languages (by Rohloff, Peter); 10. Some challenges of language documentation in African multilingual settings (by Ngue um, Emmanuel); 11. How to document particular domains or use documentary data to address specific issues; 12. Folk definitions in linguistic fieldwork (by Dingemanse, Mark); 13. Out of context: Documenting languages in immigrant and refugee communities (by Henderson, Brent); 14. Archaeological inspiration and historical inference: Directions for Edoid linguistic studies (by Schaefer, Ronald P.); 15. Describing endangered languages: Experiences from a PhD grammar project in Africa (by Seidel, Frank); 16. Index; 17. Language index