Introduction to SEL


Welcome to the website devoted to documenting the endangered languages of the East African Coast, specifically the Heritage Swahili dialects and their related sister languages of Miini and Comorian.  We use the term “heritage” to mean all traditional forms of
Swahili spoken by mother-tongue speakers in coastal settlements and off-shore islands.  It does not include so-called Standard Swahili (Kiswahili Sanifu) or any of its varieties,  such as the urban dialects of Dar es Salaam or Nairobi.

A Note on Navigating the Site

In the menu bar above the banner are several drop-down menus. Each will guide the user to various components.  The first to the left, entitled “Swahili Heritage Languages” will take you to information about the project, its collaborators, and acknowledgements. These categories are hot-linked to pages within the site that will provide relevant information.  The other menu selections in the bar lead you to sub-parts of the Heritage Swahili continuum, viz. Northern and Southern Swahili as well as its closely related affines, Miini and Comorian. In turn individual languages are found within these menu selections.

Because this is a site under construction some selections have no content.

The photograph in the banner is of the ruins of the coastal town of Gedi, once an important Kenyan Swahili town.


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