African Linguistic Atlas Project


The number of African languages has been estimated at 2035 (Grimes, ed. 1996). However, this number is not steady because some languages are becoming extinct for various reasons. Thus, in order to gain updated knowledge about African languages and their dialectical variations, which can inform corpus and status planning for multilingual education in Africa in line with the goals of the second decade of education for the continent, ACALAN intends to undertake a project aimed at producing a linguistic Atlas for Africa.

The project will take into account linguistic atlas already produced by some African Union member states and regional centres such as CERTODOLA.

Because of the nature of the project and bearing in mind that some member states are in the process of producing Linguistic atlases in their domain, ACALAN with the assistance of the African Union will be do everything facilitate the collection of linguistic information from the member states, classify them, map out abridged version of the atlas, and then publish a comprehensive linguistic atlas for the whole continent.

The Project will be divided into three parts:

  1. Collection of existing linguistic information from member states in collaboration with CERDOTOLA, CICIBA and the various RECs.
  2. Classification of information collected from the member states will be the second phase
  3. Pilot/ abridge map will be produced for verification by the RECs and the Language Centers in collaboration with the VCBL Commissions for inputs before the final production of an authentic map for the continent.