Lotta Aunio, PhD – University Lecturer in Bantu Languages, Department of Languages, University of Helsinki

Lotta Aunio (formerly Harjula) is he University Lecturer in Bantu languages at the Department of Languages. Aunio’s work has focused on descriptive work on Bantu languages as well as theoretical advances on Bantu prosodic systems both in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Rasmus Bernander, PhD – Postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki

Rasmus Bernander is a Postdoctoral researcher. He holds a PhD in African Languages from the University of Gothenburg, the topic of his doctoral thesis being aspects of grammaticalization of TAM, modality and negation in the Tanzanian Bantu language Manda. His research interests include Bantu languages, field linguistics and language description with a specific focus on variation and change. Aside from the Mara project, he is currently involved in two book projects, where his contributions – co-authored with Hannah Gibson and Maud Devos – investigate the expression of both negative and affirmative existentials across Bantu.

Timothy Roth, MA – PhD candidate, Department of Languages, University of Helsinki

Tim Roth is a PhD candidate in African Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is also a linguistics consultant for the Uganda-Tanzania Branch of SIL International. Tim became an SYLFF fellow in 2014, and received an SRA grant in 2015 to conduct fieldwork. His current research interests include Bantu languages, historical/comparative linguistics, TAME (tense-aspect-modality-evidentiality), and cognitive linguistics. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation, The Vká formative in Western Serengeti Bantu. His master’s thesis dealt with historical linguistics and phonology in relation to Wungu, a language in southern Tanzania.

Antti Laine, MA – PhD candidate, Department of Languages, University of Helsinki

Having finished his MA thesis in general linguistics, on the Isenye vowel system (Isenjen kielen vokaalijärjestelmä), at the Department of Modern Languages (University of Helsinki) in 2016, Antti Laine is now a PhD candidate at the Department of Languages, preparing a dissertation on morphosyntactic variation in Ikoma, Isenye, Nata and Ngoreme. Aside from Bantu linguistics, Antti has a keen interest in linguistic typology, historical linguistics and language contact, as well as Afro-Asiatic languages.

Hannah Gibson, PhD – University of Essex

Hannah Gibson is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Essex. Prior to joining Essex, she was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Researcher in the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Linguistics Department at SOAS University of London.

Much of her research to date has focused on the morphosyntax of the Bantu languages of East Africa. Her doctoral thesis constitutes the first description of a number of features of the morphosyntax of Rangi – a Bantu language spoken in central Tanzania. The thesis also provides a formal analysis of auxiliary placement in Rangi from the perspective of the Dynamic Syntax theoretical framework.

She has worked on projects examining the effects of language contact in the central region of Tanzania and the Lacustrine area near the Tanzania/Kenya border (funded by the British Academy), as well as a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project examining the auxiliary systems of the Tanzanian languages Simbiti and Ngoreme.

Hannah is also an affiliated researcher on the Leverhulme Bantu morphosyntactic variation project based at SOAS under the guidance of Lutz Marten.