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Introducing New Staff 17

Research on Fula and West Atlantic languages

DIALLO, Abdourahmane
(Visiting Associate professor, February 2012)

I am Associate Professor at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt. I first worked at the University of Conakry in Guinea until 2000. I obtained my first PhD thesis as an exchange student at the Language Department of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco and attended a second PhD and a Habilitation on linguistics at the Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Germany. My fields of Interest are research on sociolinguistics, description and teaching of Fula and West Atlantic Languages. In my PhD theses I investigated (i) on the language contact between Fula and Arabic and (ii) the Grammar of the Fuuta Jaloo variety of Fula. The Topic of the habilitation is the contact between Mande and Atlantic Languages spoken in Guinea. It is an analysis of phonological, morphological and syntactic adjustments in Fula and its neighboring Mande languages. The main findings from this work are: on the one side, the considered Mande dialects (kakkaɓe, Jalonka and Jaxanka) are strongly restructured in the sense of simplification and somewhat pidginization; on the other side, Fula lost very significant typological features like the consonant alternation on verbs and generates an extension feature for focus sentences.

My current research focuses on Fula dialectology in general and the main interest thereby is a contrastive description of morphological and syntactic structures between the dialects of Fuuta Jaloo (mainly spoken in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau) and Maasina (spoken in Mali). Beyond this description of structures (focusing mainly the sentence structure), I will investigate the language mechanisms (local use of images, metaphors and idiomatic expressions features) which may lead to some communicative gaps between the speakers of both varieties. The topic is of a significant pragmatic concern as well for the current social context of the West African integration project as for the arising possibilities of communication and exchange beyond political boundaries of single states.

Selected Publications :


DIALLO A. 2000. Grammaire descriptive du pular du Fuuta Jaloo. Schriften zur Afrikanistik. Band 3. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. 2001. Etude de l’intégration morphologique et phonologique des emprunts arabes en pular de Guinée. Schriften zur Afrikanistik. Band 5. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. (in print). Contact between Mande and Atlantic Languages: the case of Fula and Mande Varieties in Guinea. Nouvelles Etudes Guinéennes, Band I Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. (in print). Conservation linguistique en Afrique, le cas de la Guinée, (Matériaux de recherche sociolinguistique). Paris : Karthala.


DIALLO A. & S. ERMISCH, 2012 „Konstituentenfokus im Fula des Fuuta Jaloo“; Rainer Voßen (ed.): Beiträge Orientalistentag Marburg Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln

DIALLO A. 2010. “Morphological consequences of Mande borrowings in Fula: the case of Pular, Fuuta-Jaloo”. Journal of Language Contact – Thema 3: 72-85.

DIALLO A. & R.-J. ANYANWU. 2008. “Rhythmic Units and Stress / Word Accent Mobility in Fula”. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag,17: 65 - 90.

DIALLO A. 2007. Le Kakkaɓe entre Pidgin et Langue Minoritaire. Contact des langues et des populations : Etudes de cas dans lʹespace africain. Journées d’études du 6-7 avril. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. 15 S.

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