Professor Leora Bar-el's Collaborative Language Research in Tanzania

Leora's language documentation work in Tanzania

Leora Bar-el (Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Anthropology) and her colleagues at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Mkwawa University College of Education in Tanzania are working together to describe grammatical structures in the East Ruvu Bantu languages spoken in central Tanzania. Leora has twice travelled to the Morogoro region of central Tanzania to work with speakers of East Ruvu languages in the towns where the languages are spoken. These collaborative projects focus on understanding how grammatical structures in East Ruvu languages compare with the other languages of the Bantu language family. The results of these projects contribute to our understanding of how concepts are encoded in language and how languages develop. Although the covid-19 pandemic has more recently prevented travel, Leora and her colleagues continue to collaborate remotely. They have also developed creative ways to continue to conduct fieldwork and collect language data.