Yale University Commits to Expand the Study of African Linguistics

During a recent trip to Africa, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yale University President Peter Salovey announced that Yale will co-sponsor two upcoming meetings of the African Linguistics School, which is devoted to collaborative training and research on generative linguistics in Africa. The first of these Yale-sponsored meetings will take place in the Benin Republic in July 2021.

The African Linguistics School exposes young linguists in Africa to cutting edge research in linguistics with the aim of enriching linguistic theory with their insights into the languages and dialects spoken on the continent. The co-sponsorship both allows Yale to contribute to the study and preservation of African languages and fosters a deeper understanding of the shared features of all human languages.

President Salovey said, “Language is a central aspect of human life and plays a unique role in sharing knowledge, ideas, beliefs, and hopes and in building relationships. As African nations expand their global roles, Yale is committed to advancing the study of African languages, to integrating such study into contemporary scholarship, and to expanding the community of African scholars in this area of inquiry.”

Dr. Salovey added that “this initiative is part of a broad commitment across the university to build on our longstanding relationships in Africa. In partnership, African institutions and Yale are opening up avenues of discovery that could be transformative for millions of people around the world.”

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