Two Ghanaian scholars have been supported by American Friends of SOAS (AFSOAS) to attend ELDP language documentation training at SOAS later this year.
Kenneth Bodua-Mango and Ida Sodoke Assem are graduate students who intend to pursue PhDs focusing on the documentation of Animere, a highly endangered Ghana-Togo Mountain language (Kwa; Niger-Congo). It is spoken in the towns of Kecheibi and Kunda in the Nkwanta South district of Ghana’s Oti region. It is estimated to have fewer than 30 speakers.
Kenneth Bodua-Mango is currently a part-time Tutor in Language and Linguistics at the Accra College of Education, Legon.
He graduated from the University of Ghana in 2009 with a BA degree in Linguistics. In 2010, he won a scholarship from the Norwegian Government to pursue an MPhil programme in Linguistics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and graduated in 2012. As part of the programme, he wrote a corpus-based thesis on Coordinators in Safaliba; a Gur (Mabia) language spoken in the Savanah Region of Ghana. From 2015 to 2018, he worked as an Assistant lecturer at the Department of Gur-Gonja Education, University of Education Winneba, teaching General Linguistics and Gonja.
Ida Sodoke Assem holds an MPhil in Applied Linguistics from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana and a BA (Akan) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
She conducted her undergraduate and masters research on the pragmatics of the Akan language. Ida currently works as a part-time field researcher for Associates for Change, an NGO in Accra, and has served on two of their major fieldworks in 2017 and 2019. She is also an Assistant Lecturer in Communication Studies at the University of Professional Studies, Accra.
AFSOAS is a community group, founded by SOAS alumni based in the US, and aims to create a link between SOAS and its American alumni by developing a professional, academic, career and social network of 3,500+ alumni and friends in the US.
Greg Buie, President of AFSOAS, said, “Since 2012, American Friends of SOAS has provided more than £1 million in support to the university, thanks to the generosity of American alumni and friends. Recognizing that 2019 is the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, we wanted to support the amazing work of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme in particular by providing scholarships for two individuals from Ghana to attend an intensive language documentation training program in Fall 2019. These two bright young people will help to document endangered cultural practices and everyday language use among the Animere. We are thrilled to be able to support the noble work of these two young scholars and of the ELDP in general and are grateful to all who made this opportunity possible!”
The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) trains grantees in modern language documentation theory, lexicography and dictionary making, everyday language use, as well as software training for linguistic analysis. ELDP also trains grantees in data management and the specific tools that they will need for archiving their materials with the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR).
ELDP has so far funded over 400 projects around the world and have trained over 200 grantees through annual training sessions and in-country summer schools.
(This article was originally posted on the ELDP website)