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The Encyclopaedia of Literature in African Languages

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Claire Wheeler.

The Encyclopaedia of Literature in African Languages (ELLAF) project focuses on oral and written literature in African languages. The ELLAF project proposes the creation of a website presenting and analysing literary texts in African languages, in order to make a wide range of these written or oral texts, in Sub-Saharan African and Malagasy languages, available to enthusiasts, students and specialists from around the world. The project aims to build up a research database based on literary works produced in their original languages, translated into French and/or English and presented in their linguistic, social and cultural contexts.The website signifies the creation of new tools for presenting and analysing textual data, centred on written/oral African literature in African languages regardless of their sociolinguistic status. This presentation favours research through various fields (language, author, literary genre, predefined keyword and/or full text keyword) using a cross-disciplinary and comparative method. It provides access to, for example: every text from a particular literature, the same genre found in several literatures, one theme in several literatures, a figurative element in several genres, notional degrees not necessarily made explicit by lexical occurrences. The material available here is ready for teaching straight away in regards to the transmission of factual knowledge: presentation of a language, overview of literature, contextualisation of literary production, bibliographic data. Furthermore, the bringing together of oral and written literary texts is not only of interest in a practical and documentary sense, but equally from a theoretical point of view.

This talk is part of the World Oral Literature Project series.

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