Dr Serge Sagna

Lecturer in Linguistics

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I am a Lecturer in Linguistics at The University of Manchester. Prior to this post, I held three postdoctoral research positions at The University of Manchester (Language documentation and description), the University of Surrey (Linguistic typological research), and the University of York (Child language acquisition).

I was one of the first two, and the first African PhD graduate of the Endangered Languages Academic Programme at SOAS, University of London.

I currently teach Language Policy and Planning, and Societal Multilingualism. I have previously taught other courses, including Linguistic Typology, Linguistic Field Methods, Language Documentation, and an Introduction to African Languages.

I conduct academic research and publish in several areas of linguistics including the following:

  • Endangered languages and language documentation
  • Multilingualism
  • Child language acquisition
  • Linguistic typology, with a particular focus on Niger-Congo noun class systems
  • Anthropological linguistics

I am currently developing a new research programme in Language Policy and Planning, especially on developing African languages for Education.

I produce research engagement educational material for primary school children, for example, numeracy booklets in Eegimaa, a minority and endangered language of Senegal. For adults, I have produced preventative health booklets on HIV/AIDS and Malaria. Since 2015, I have been running a radio programme in Eegimaa to raise awareness on health, education, socio-economic development, as well as to contribute to the revitalisation of the language.

I did my primary education in French, a language that none of the pupils understood. I am a strong supporter of “Mother Tongue” education, and I strongly believe that general linguistics is indispensable for a successful implementation of such a programme which is promoted by many states and international organisations.

Areas of expertise

  • P Philology. Linguistics - Multilingualism, Child language acquisition, Linguistic typology, Language documentation and description, Language Policy and Planning

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