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25.07.2008 General News

W.A. Linguistics Experts Learn About Documentation

By Times Reporter - newtimesonline.com
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A 10-day school on documentary linguistics for 30 participants from English and French speaking West African countries is being held at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

The event is a prelude to the 26th West African Languages Conference to be organised under the theme: "Languages Documentary in Supports of West Africa Languages," at the university next week.

The school is aimed at equipping participants with knowledge and skills that would assist them to document local languages of the various participating countries towards the development of the West African sub-region.

Topics to be discussed include ethnography in language documentation, meaning and translating in documentation, audio-recording techniques, phonetics data and analysis, sociolinguistic survey, grant application writing, general issues and contextualised linguistic practices.

Opening the school, Professor Felix K. Ameka, a Ghanaian lecturer at the Linden University in the Netherlands, urged the participants to take the forum seriously so that they could come out with meaningful ideas to enable them to document local languages of the various countries.

He expressed the hope that at the end of the school, participants would be able to impart the knowledge and skills acquired to other experts in linguistics.

Prof Ameka, who is also leader of the facilitators, commended the government for introducing the education reform and suggested that Ghanaian languages should be used as medium of teaching in basic schools in the country.

Mr Nsoh Avea, a Senior Lecturer of UEW, and local chairman of West Africa Linguistics Society, urged participants to take the programme seriously to enable them to acquire enough knowledge to enhance their work.

The participants are from Cote d' Ivoire, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, the Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, Togo, Chad, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Niger.

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