Part ofLanguage Documentation and Endangerment in Africa
Edited by James Essegbey, Brent Henderson and Fiona Mc Laughlin
[Culture and Language Use 17] 2015
► pp. 239–252
In discussions of language endangerment, language shift and loss due to war and displacement are seldom discussed, and the practice of carrying out documentation projects with displaced populations is often discouraged. This paper argues in favor of doing documentation work with displaced communities on the grounds that such work may be urgent, and that objections to the practice are largely unfounded when the nature of language documentation is carefully considered. It also discusses practical methodological issues for working in recent immigrant and refugee contexts based on field work on the Somali language Chimiini carried out in Atlanta, London, and Mombasa.