Fallou Ngom

Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Studies Center
Fallou Ngom
Email: fngom@bu.edu
Web: http://www.bu.edu/anthrop/people/faculty/f-ngom/
Office phone: 617-353-7035
Office number: ASC 507
Office address: African Studies Center, 232 Bay State Road,
Boston, MA 02215

Maîtrise, Grammar and Linguistics, Université Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis, Senegal
MA, Grammar and Linguistics, University of Montana
MA, French (Linguistics), University of Montana
PhD, French Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Prof. Ngom's current research interests include the interactions between African languages and non-African languages, and Ajami literatures -- records of West African languages written in Arabic script. He hopes to help train American scholars to have direct access to the wealth of knowledge still buried in West African Ajami literatures and the historical, cultural, and religious heritage that has found expression in this manner. Another area of Ngom’s work is language analysis in asylum cases, a subfield of the new field of forensic linguistics. His work in this area addresses the intricacies of using knowledge of varied West African languages and dialects to evaluate the claims of migrants applying for asylum and determine if the person is actually from the country that he or she claims.

In November 2017, Prof. Ngom was awarded the African Studies Association's Melville J. Herskovits Prize for his book, Muslims beyond the Arab World: The Odyssey of Ajami and the Muridiyya, which was deemed to be the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English during the preceding year. See https://www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/2017/11/20/ngom-wins-asa-melville-j-herskovits-prize/.


Spring 2018

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AN 524

Seminar: Language and Culture Contacts in Contemporary Africa

web A1 Ngom MWF 10:10-11 PLS 102
Concepts and theoretical approaches to study language variation and change in sociolinguistics/linguistic anthropology. This course examines internal and external factors that trigger language variations and changes and the social attitudes associated with them. The nexus between diachronic and synchronic changes will also be reanalyzed in light of the Labovian variationist model. While the course will focus on language variations and changes in Africa, it will draw from existing literature to provide students with a strong foundation on the scholarship in the field of contact linguistics, language variation and change, types of variations, the relationships between these variations and gender, ethnicity, religion, youth culture, and globalization. It will conclude by introducing students to the new field of forensic linguistics (the interface between language, crime and law). Using actual cases from the US and Europe, the use of linguistic features as evidence in criminal investigations, in authorship disputes, and in asylum cases will be examined. The course will consist of lectures and class discussions, practical exercises dealing with issues on language variation and change and their various implications in the 21st century. The course will provide students with the tools necessary to plan and execute studies on language variation and change in the world's speech communities. [Prereq: CAS AN 351 or consent of instructor]

Spring 2019 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 641


A1 Ngom MWF 10:10-11 TBA
Sociolinguistics, broadly construed, is the investigation of relations between linguistic phenomena and human social life. This course covers several recent theoretical approaches to the study of language and society: variational sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, and international sociolinguistics. Also covered are development of pidgins and creoles, multilingualism, language choice, and other aspects of language and culture. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or AN 351 Language, Culture, and Society; or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 341; Also offered as CAS AN 521]