Language Decline and Death in Africa: Causes, Consequences and Challenges

Author: Herman M. Batibo

Related Formats:
Paperback, Hardback
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm
Price: £15.00
Price: $25.00
Price: €20.00

The aim of this book is to inform both scholars and the public about the nature and extent of the problem of language decline and death in Africa.  It resourcefully traces the main causes and circumstances of language endangerment, the processes and extent of language shift and death, and the consequences of language loss to the continent's rich linguistic and cultural heritage.  The book outlines some of the challenges that have emerged out of the situation.

This is an excellent introduction to the topic of endangered languages in Africa. 

Linguist List 16.3542

Dr. Herman M. Batibo is Professor of African Linguistics at the University of Botswana, Southern Africa. He was born in Mwanza, Tanzania, in 1947. He obtained his PhD at the University of La Sorbonne, Paris, in 1977. His other major publications include Le kesukuma: phonologie et morphologie ([1977] 1985), La Tanzanie: L'ujamaa face aux réalités (edited with Denis Martin, 1989), The Role of Language in the Discovery of Cultural History (1996), The State of Khoesan Languages in Botswana (edited with J. Tsonope, 2000), Botswana: The Future of the Minority Languages (edited with Birgit Smieja, 2000). Professor Batibo is currently the President of the Standing Committee of the World Congress of African Linguistics.


1: The languages of Africa; 2: Patterns of language use in Africa; 3: African languages as a resource; 4: The minority languages of Africa; 5: The endangered languages of Africa; 6: Language shift and death in Africa; 7: Language maintenance; 8: Language empowerment measures

References/ Index/ Appendix

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