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Language Documentation and Conservation

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Book Review

Publication Date



Endangered languages -- Africa, African languages, Linguistic change, Language obsolescence


Repertoires and Choices in African Languages (RCAL) will interest not only Africanists but also specialists in other geographical areas and those generally concerned with language endangerment and language documentation. In short, this is a timely book for readers of this journal. The authors, Friederike Lüpke and Anne Storch, are two of the finest scholars working on African languages today and two of the most reflective thinkers in this field. The breadth and depth of their research records (they call themselves, somewhat modestly, ‘fieldworkers’) are both exemplary, and together constitute a whole that any two other scholars would find difficult to replicate. Moreover, their ideological orientation brings to bear a critical perspective that has been largely absent from research on the continent. Importantly, they stimulate us to become reflective practitioners with regard to both language documentation and revitalization. Africanists, as well as researchers in other parts of the world, would do well to follow the lessons of the essays contained in RCAL.


Originally appeared in Language Documentation and Conservation, volume 9, pages 229-236. Maybe found at

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