Background and activities

About me

I am Professor Emeritus of Kiswahili/Swahili (language, linguistics, literature, and culture).

I hold the following degrees:

BA in French with Swahili from the University of Ghana, Ghana (1973). 

Masters in an African language (Swahili language and literature) (1976), SOAS Unversity of London.

PhD in an African language and linguistics (Swahili) (1980), SOAS University of London.

I taught  Kiswahili/Swahili from 1980 to 2018. 

I am currently doing only research work.

Research interests I

Kiswahili/Swahili language and linguistic structure, primarily its morphology and syntax, with emphasis on the following: 

Gender and noun classes in Kiswahili/Swahili and Bantu. 

The paradox of matrix NPs in Kiswahili/Swahili and syntactic theory. 

Transitivity and argument structure in Kiswahili/Swahili. 

Pronouns and pronominalization, including reflexive and reflexivization and relativization.

The paradox of Kiswahili/Swahili locative syntax in modern linguistic syntax.

Tenses in Kiswahili.

The diversity between Kiswahili/Kiswahili language structure, on one side, and linguistic, typological, documentation and, grammatical theories and models, on the other side. 

Aspects of language contact, especially lexical and grammatical borrowings.

Research interests II

Kiswahili/Swahili history, civilization, culture, and literature (both traditional and modern).

Kiswahili/Swahili in the social, cultural, educational and political development of East Africa. 

Kiswahili/Kiswahili in national and transnational language planning, education, broadcasting, and as a vehicle of wide communication (LWC) or lingua franca.

Kiswahili/Swahili as a medium for the expression of identity, as well as political, global, religious, human, children and gender rights both in Eastern African and in the diaspora.

Kiswahili/Swahili and modernity in a global world.

Current project

Tenses in Kiswahili/Swahili with particular emphasis on gaps in the their grammatical descriptions.


I was responsible for all aspects of Kiswahili/Swahilli programme and teaching from 1992-2018.

I was a member of the Programme Board for Foreign Languages in our department.

Membership of societies

Member of the Linguistic Association of Korea.

Member of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT).

Member of the Nordic Association of Linguistics.

Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Humanities (JH), University of Dodoma, Tanzania.



Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


  • Amidu, Assibi Apatewon. (2018) Locative and Non-locative in Kiswahili Bantu. A Study of Inversion, Transitivity, and Choice. 2018. ISBN 978-3-89645-713-4.
  • Amidu, Assibi Apatewon. (2013) Objects and complements in Kiswahili clauses : : a study of their mechanisms and patterns. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2013. ISBN 9783896455604.
  • Amidu, Assibi Apatewon. (2011) Reflexive and reciprocal syntax revisited : apologia for internal evidence in Kiswahili. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2011. ISBN 9783896457073.
  • Amidu, Assibi Apatewon. (2009) Matrix Nominal Phrases in Kiswahili Bantu. A Study of their Effects on Argument Syntax. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2009. ISBN 9783896455505.
  • Amidu, Assibi Apatewon. (2007) Semantic assigment rules in Bantu classes. A renalysis based on Kiswahili. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2007. ISBN 9783896457035.