I defended my thesis “Linguistic Landshapes. A comparison of official and non-official language management in Rwanda and Uganda, focusing on the position of African languages” in June 2010. This is a macro-sociolinguistic work where I compare and analyze language policy and language use in Rwanda and Uganda within formal domains. The work included model and method development.
Before starting my doctoral studies in 2005 at the then Department of Oriental and African Languages at the University of Gothenburg, I worked as a teacher and with non-formal adult education - in Sweden and also in African countries.
I have been awarded a two-year postdoc within the TASENE program, financed by COSTECH, SIDA and NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)/WOTRO Science for Global Development. The project is called Ngoni - Language, culture and sociolinguistic situation. It has three parts and is conducted in cooperation with Dr. Gastor Mapunda, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The project investigates the minority language Ngoni , spoken in the Ruvuma region in southern Tanzania. As a part of the project a questionnaire survey of 800 grade 1 and 5-7 pupils about parents’ language background, the pupils knowledge of Ngoni, their attitudes towards Ngoni and how the language is used within the local community is conducted. In the two other parts spoken Ngoni is documented and analyze. Stories about daily life and traditions by informants of various age groups are recorded. The linguistic analysis focuses especially on to which extent loanwords from Swahili are used, how these are integrated into Ngoni and last, but not least, if code-switching occurs. A high degree of borrowed items and code-switching may indicate that the language is endangered and that a language shift (to Swahili) may occur in the future.
I also work with a research project, financed by Birgit och Gad Rausings Stiftelse för Vetenskaplig forskning, about the Cushitic language Somali, - its use and position in Djibouti, Ethiopia and in Kenya, i.e. countries bordering Somalia and where Somali is spoken. By investigating the relationship between languages which are allowed and de facto are used in different functions in society, power structures are revealed. Which language that are given status by being appointed as official languages or medium of instruction and thus known by the elite in a society has implications on both democracy and socio-economic development.
I am responsible for the net-based course AF1100, Language and Society in Africa and lecture this term within the new Internationella språkprogrammet. Earlier, I have taught the net courses SO1101, Somali Society and Culture and SO1201, Language and Society. Together with Harbi Abdillahi Amir I have developed contract education about Somali culture (courses and lectures). For several years I also taught part of the course Afrikastudier at Global studies, University of Gothenburg.
Box 200, 405 30 Götborg
+46 (0) 31 786 1814