ALL (Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics: Bridging the Red Sea Rift) aims at contributing the expertise of a network of linguists to two selected issues:

  1. language endangerment and loss
  2. language variation

The network focusses on Afroasiatic languages, which represent an important part of the world’s cultural heritage, with i) the languages with the longest written tradition, ii) ca. 375 living langages and iii) ca. 350 million speakers in North, West, Central, and East Africa, in the Middle East, and with scattered communities in Europe, and in the United States.

The network gathers:

  • specialists of various families of the Afroasiatic phylum
  • formal linguists and specialists of language description
  • linguists and sociolinguists.

1. ALL focusses on a specific linguistic and cultural area, characterized by a large number of undescribed and endangered languages — the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. The aim of ALL is to improve our knowledge of the Afroasiatic langages spoken in the region, and hence to be in a better position to address a wide array of general issues concerning (1) and (2) above. In addition ALL will contribute to the visibility of these languages in academia, and in policy-making circles in the relevant countries. More information here

2. Variation in human languages is pervasive, but not arbitrary: the features of languages pattern into clusters that define typological classes. ALL will address variation from two complementary perspectives: (a) one internal to the grammatical systems ; (b) the other historical, social and geographic, focussing on the relationship between language contact and language change, and on the relationship between variation and practices and repertoires of the speakers. More information here