Lotta Aunio

Senior researcher

Researcher info


University of Helsinki


Department of World Cultures/Faculty of Humanities

Contact information


Bantu languages language contact Language Development Linguistic variation Southern Ndebele Tanzania

Research projects

  • Project date 1.1.2016–1.12.2019
  • Head of research Lotta Aunio
  • Language n/a

The project Linguistic Variation as an Indicator of Historical Relations and Language Contact: A comparative grammar of four Mara Bantu languages (Tanzania) provides a description of four minority Bantu languages spoken in the Mara region of Tanzania. The aim is especially to study the effects of language contact in the region and its implications for historical-comparative research within Bantu as well as more generally in historical linguistics.


Hannah Gibson, Antti Laine, Tim Roth

  • Project date 1.9.2014–1.8.2018
  • Head of research Prof. Axel Fleisch
  • Language n/a

Compared to other official languages of South Africa, with 700,000 speakers S. Ndebele is a small language. Its speakers live close to major cities like Pretoria and Johannesburg and commonly use various other languages. Still, S. Ndebele speakers have been able to maintain their language. We want to find out how this works, and whether we can learn from this as a model for increasingly multilingual everyday lives that we live as Europeans.


PhD Lotta Aunio, PhD Thera Crane, MA Stephan Schulz