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Research Associate

Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa,
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
3-11-1 Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi,
Tokyo, 183-8534, Japan

Email: m.furumoto[at]

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Research interests: Linguistics, Swahili dialects, Zanzibar, Language documentation

Description and documentation of Swahili dialects in Zanzibar

In the coastal areas of Eastern Africa, there are several similar language varieties regarded as local dialects of Swahili. My research concerns such Swahili dialects spoken in the Zanzibar Archipelago in Tanzania. While these regional Swahili dialects seem to be similar to Standard Swahili, they also have features which are distinct from the standard variety of the language. My study aims to reveal their typologically remarkable characteristics while describing the comprehensive linguistic system of each dialect.
My interests include functional development of linguistic forms (such as grammaticalisation).Therefore, a large part of my work focuses on in-depth description of functional/semantic aspects of the dialects in addition to their formal features.
In order to collect linguistic data, I have been working on recording of narratives. Currently, I am thinking about how I can and should share these materials, including traditional stories and knowledge, with other researchers as well as local communities.

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