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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Typological Study of Microvariation in Bantu (Phase 1)

Typological Study of Microvariation in Bantu (Phase 1)


  • Bantu
  • Morphosyntax
  • Semantics
  • Microvariation


  • Sub-Saharan Africa



About the Project

Project term: April, 2016–March, 2019

One of the most important topics in Bantu language studies in the last decade has been microvariation. In this project, researchers in Bantu language descriptive studies (mainly Japanese Bantuists) first reorganize their research outputs according to the new framework, i.e., by parameters proposed in studies of microvariation and also develop our discussion on the languages of the study. Second, the project will make our research outputs available to many Bantuists worldwide, enabling us to join the discussion to propose new analysis parameters in cooperation with overseas Bantuists.

Yuko ABE, Project Coordinator (Associate Professor, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University)



  • Yuko ABE (Tokyo Woman’s Christian University)


  • Honoré WATANABE
  • Daisuke SHINAGAWA

Joint Researchers

  • Maya ABE
  • Yuko ABE
  • Koen BOSTOEN
  • Makoto FURUMOTO
  • Masaaki KADOYA
  • Shigeki KAJI
  • Tosirou KAMIYA
  • Junko KOMORI
  • Nancy C. KULA
  • Seunghun LEE
  • Yuka MAKINO
  • Lutz MARTEN
  • Yukiko MORIMOTO
  • Katsuhiko SHIOTA
  • Motomichi WAKASA
  • Nobuko YONEDA



The 3rd meeting

  • International Workshop on Bantu Micro-variations
  • Date/Time: 3 March 2017 (Fri.) 10:30–18:00 (open meeting), 4 March 2017 (Sat.) 10:30–18:00 (closed meeting), 5 March 2017 (Sun.) 10:30–18:00 (closed meeting)
  • Venue: Room 304, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • Jointly sponsored by Linguistic Dynamics Science 3 (LingDy3) and JSPS Program for Advancing Strategic International Networks to Accelerate the Circulation of Talented Researchers, “A collaborative network for usage-based research on lesser-studied languages”
  • 3 March
  • 10:30–13:00 Marten, Lutz, Hannah Gibson and Rozenn Guerois (SOAS, University of London)
    “Basic concepts and perspectives on micro-parametric approach to Bantu morphosyntax [interim]”
    14:30–16:00 Bostoen, Koen (Gent University)
    “Micro-variation and historical reconstruction in the West-Coastal Bantu languages”
    16:15–17:45 Gastor Mapunda (University of Dar es Salaam)
    “An Account of Contact-Induced Language Instability in the Tanzanian Ngoni Language”
    17:45–18:00 All members & Discussants: Kumiko MIYAZAKI (State University of Zanzibar), Sayaka KUTSUKAKE (Osaka University)
    Questions and Answers, Discussion
    Yuko ABE (ILCAA Joint Researcher, ILCAA Research Associate)
    Closing remarks.
    18:30–20:30 Reception.
  • 4 March
  • All members
    “Workshop based on Parameters of Bantu morphosyntactic variation: Master list”
  • 5 March
  • All members
    “Workshop based on Parameters of Bantu morphosyntactic variation: Master list”

The 2nd meeting Report (Japanese)(114KB)

  • Date/Time: 17 December 2016 (Sat.) 13:00–18:00
  • Venue: Room 302, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • All members
    “Presentations on 19 Microvariation parameters of the working language(s) by each participant”
    “Report on Microvariation Workshop at University of Dar es Salaam”
    Daisuke SHINAGAWA (ILCAA) and Yuko ABE (ILCAA Joint Researcher, ILCAA Research Associate)
    “Introduction to up-dated Parameters on Microvariation and bussiness meeting on International Workshop of Bantu Microvariation on March 3-5”

The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(2.3MB)

  • Date/Time: 17 April 2016 (Sun.) 11:00-17:00
  • Venue: Room 301, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • All members
    Kickoff mieeting
    Yuko ABE (ILCAA Joint Researcher, ILCAA Research Associate)
    “Introduction to Microvariation study”
    “A Case study of Bantu Microvariation parameters: some examples”
    Commentator: Yukiko MORIMOTO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Humboldt University)

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