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Dr Saudah Namyalo

Project: A comprehensive bilingual talking Luruuli/Lunyara-English dictionary with a descriptive basic grammar for language revitalisation and enhancement of mother-tongue based education

The Luuri-Nyara people have been struggling for their right to be recognized as a distinct tribe with a distinct language and culture during the last years (Nakayiza, 2012). As part of this struggle, they have instituted kingdoms known as Buruuli and Bunyara Kingdoms. They are also making attempts to teach their children Luruuli-Lunyara at home. Cultural groups have been formed and are working towards language and cultural revitalization. Despite these initiatives, there is a need to develop their language through documentation and description so that it can be used in education especially in the mother-tongue based education programme.

This project will contribute towards the revitalisation of the endangered and mainly oral Luruuli/Lunyara language. Luruuli/Lunyara (ISO 639-3: ruc) is a Bantu language of the Niger-Congo family, spoken in the central region of Uganda. It is one of the most endangered indigenous languages of Uganda and will face extinction if not timely documented. The contribution towards the revitalisation of Luruuli/Lunyara will be achieved through writing a bilingual corpus-based Luruuli/Lunyara-English dictionary. It will be made available as a printed version, an online talking dictionary and a dictionary app for mobile devices. Since Luruuli/Lunyara is not described yet, the dictionary will include a grammar sketch with an overview of grammatical aspects of Luruuli/Lunyara necessary for compiling a dictionary.

In addition, the project will undertake capacity building efforts among Luruuli/Lunyara community members and Makerere University staff. This will be achieved by offering training to community members in basics of recording and digitalization skills, transcription, dictionary making techniques as well as basics of computer literacy necessary for lexicographic work.

In order to enhance literacy in Luruuli-Lunyara and since this language is still oral, the project will develop and standardise the orthography and this will be adopted in the dictionary writing process. For this orthography to be acceptable and to ensure that it is used in future, community involvement will be central in the process. The tested orthography will then be forwarded to the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), which is the regulating body for all curricula in the country.

more information about Dr Namyalo's project

CV Dr Namyalo

2006–2010:PhD Linguistics
1997–1999:Post graduate diploma in translation and interpretation
1995–1998:MA (Arts)

BA/Education (Luganda & History)


detailed CV Dr Namyalo

Post-Doc Partner

Dr Namyalo's Post-Doc partner is Dr Zarina Molochieva at University of Kiel in Germany.