Professor Kemmonye Collete Monaka in the Department of English at the University of Botswana is the winner of the 2018 Endangered Languages Award. She received the award at the 20th Comité International Permanent des Linguistes (CIPL) in Cape Town, South Africa, last month.
The award was in recognition of her linguistic and sociolinguistic research on Shekgalagari, her mother tongue, and on other languages in Botswana, including Khoesan languages.
During the 20th ICL, she gave a talk on marginalised languages in the country. Together with other scholars in the institution and worldwide, her research makes a contribution in this important area of language study.
CIPL is a global organisation whose core mandate is to co-ordinate activities that seek to support and advance the development and expansion of research in linguistic science.
It also produces a comprehensive bibliography of all linguistic publications worldwide, irrespective of the language they are written in. The organisation is further committed to research on endangered languages.
One of its former presidents, Stephen Wurm, compiled some of the important works on language endangerment, including the UNESCO Atlas of Endangered Languages. Since then, and in collaboration with UNESCO, CIPL has funded summer schools and provided a significant number of small awards on language endangerment.
CIPL was established in 1928 in The Hague during the first International Congress of Linguists (ICL). In liaison with local/regional committees of linguistic research that are members of the organization, CIPL has, since its formation, been organising ICL conferences in various continents of the world every five years. In 2018 it held its first ever International Congress of Linguists in Africa.