The Crossroads project, led by Professor Friederike Lüpke, was a five year project that ran from January 2014 to December 2018 at SOAS, University of London. The project investigated multilingualism and language contact between three languages spoken at the “crossroads” – a group of neighbouring villages in the Lower Casamance area of Senegal, West Africa. The languages associated with these villages are Baïnounk Gubëeher, Joola Kujireray and Joola Banjal. Researchers were utilising the setting in which a fourth language, Baïnounk Gujaher, is spoken, as a basis for comparison in capturing the linguistic and social dynamics shaping imaginations and use of language in this area of the Upper Guinea Coast of West Africa
The project revealed in which areas the languages influence each other least and most in structure, lexicon and speech-accompanying gesture. We also investigated the ideologies that underlie the complex multilingualism at the Crossroads.
The project was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Leverhulme Research Leadership Award totalling nearly £1million. These awards enable university researchers to investigate an innovative research question in order to establish themselves as research leaders in their field.