Innocent Masengo


Innocent Masengo holds a PhD from the Department of African Languages, Makerere University. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of African Languages, Makerere University. His teaching interests are in translation and interpretation, discourse analysis and phonology. However, his research interests span the wider areas of second and third language acquisition and multilingualism. Currently, he is researching on the status of Kiswahili language as both an acquired and learned language in Uganda. One of the strands of this research is the emergence of Kiswahili speech communities in the interior of Uganda, since, traditionally, Kiswahili was assumed to be spoken by either foreigners of Kenyan and Tanzanian roots, the armed forces as well as some Ugandans living along the border areas of Uganda.

Research Topic: 
Examining the Emergence of Swahili Speech Communities in Uganda

This study investigates the emergence of Swahili speech communities in the interior of Uganda. I will explore four sites namely Bweyale town in Kiryandongo district, Kinyara town in Masindi district, Bombo town in Luwero district and Busia border town in Eastern Uganda, sites with a significant multi-ethnic migrant and native communities have adopted Swahili as the language of wider communication. The study is exploratory in design and is aiming to profiling Swahili speakers in the four districts as well as the nature of Kiswahili spoken in Uganda. The study seeks to establish whether there is a Multicultural Ugandan Swahili variety, document its characteristics, its speakers, the time from of its emergence as well as the factors that facilitated its development. It is expected that findings from with study will inform Kiswahili language planning and implementation as the second official language of Uganda. The findings will also contribute to the ongoing national (and official) language debate in Uganda.

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