Current research projects
My research is primarily concerned with the ways in which languages vary from each other and how they change over time and space. I’m particularly interested in what happens in areas in whihch multiple languages come into contact: how do the languages influence each other? What changes? What stays the same.
I am currently involved in the three following externally-funded projects:
‘Eroding dichotomies: description, analysis and publishing in African linguistics’ (January 2020-December 2020) Funded as part of the British Academy Writing Workshops scheme. This is a joint project with Dr David Barasa, Professor Lutz Marten and Dr Kristina Riedel.
‘Variation in Sesotho and Setswana as spoken in the Free State’ (January 2019-20). Funded by the British Academy Newton Mobility Scheme. This is a joint project with Dr Kristina Riedel of the University of the Free State, South Africa.
‘Bringing the outside in: Merging local language and literacy practices to enhance classroom learning and achievement’ (May 2019-August 2021). This is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund and is a joint project with Professor Nancy Kula, Dr Tracey Costley, Dr Mompoloki Bagwasai, Dr Gastor Mapunda, Dr Joseph Mwansa.
I am also a named researcher on the project ‘Typological study of micro-variation in Bantu’ (Phase 2) which is under the direction of Dr Daisuke Shinagawa at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Much of my research examines languages spoken in East Africa. I have spent about a year in the Kondoa District of central Tanzania, working with speakers of the Bantu language Rangi. My home for this time was the beautiful collection of villages around a lake called Haubi.
I have also done work on the Bantu languages Simbiti, Ngoreme and Kuria from the town of Musoma, nestled between Lake Victoria and the Serengeti National Park.
I was an affiliated researcher on the Leverhulme-Trust-funded project Morphosyntactic variation in Bantu: Typology, contact and change run by Lutz Marten at SOAS from September 2014-March 2018.
I am also involved in the project Linguistic Variation as an Indicator of Historical Relations and Language Contact: A Comparative grammar of four Mara Bantu languages (Tanzania). This project is funded by the Kone Foundation and is based at Helsinki University under the guidance of Professor Lotta Aunio.