About the author

My name is Friederike Lüpke. I am an Africanist linguist specialising in the description and documentation of West African languages, with a focus on language as social practice through history. These interests have taken me from the description of the Mande language Jalonke spoken in Guinea to research on the Baïnounk language Gujaher of Senegal. The multilingual environments in which these languages are spoken and written have led me to investigate the complex language ecologies in which these languages thrive.

This blog started as a personal pledge to create one post on an aspect of an African language for every day of 2019, the UNESCO year of indigenous languages. I was motivated by a deep sense of devaluation of my field in a higher education environment that equals value with profit. I wanted to remind myself what attracted me to the study of African languages and society and still continues to enthral me, and I wanted to share some positive excitement about knowledge. From day one, I received encouragement from friends and colleagues, and so I decided to take these posts from my Facebook page to the public domain.