Felix Ameka - Biography#

Felix K. Ameka is presently Professor (by special appointment) and the CIPL (International Committee of Linguists)/CIPSH (International Committee of Philosophy and Humanities) Chair of Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Diversity in the World at Leiden University.

He received his BA (Hons) from University of Ghana, Legon (1980), and MA (1986) and PhD (1991) from the Australian National University, Canberra. His thesis started a new genre in language description and was the runner-up for the 1991 ANU University Medal.

He was a long-standing (17 years) research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, and a visiting fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU, and various universities in Norway, Germany, the USA, Australia and Ghana.

Ameka has authored a monograph, (co-)edited 4 authoritative books and 6 special issues of journals. In addition, he has published around 30 journal articles and 50 book chapters

His work on interjections is seminal. He also led a large-scale semantic typology project on locative predication, and has pioneered the application of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage to Ewe and African languages. His current projects include: (i) a collaborative documentation of Gbe and Ghana-Togo Mountain languages in their multilingual multilectal ecologies; (ii) areal semantics of Volta Basin languages; and (iii) an international collaborative project investigating the linguistics of the conceptual divide and communication in development practice.

Ameka has (co-) supervised over 100 Masters and Bachelor (Honours) theses in different sub-disciplines of linguistics and other disciplines such as ethno-musicology, education, and art history. In addition, he has been the primary supervisor of 15 PhD Theses and 10 as secondary supervisor. Six of the primary students were awarded cum laude (distinction) and one was awarded the Max Planck Society Medal for being the best thesis in the Humanities Section of the Max Planck Society. Four of these students are now full professors in Europe and the US. He has been an external Examiner for over 50 PhD theses, half for Universities outside The Netherlamds.

Ameka is co-Editor of the Journal of African Languages and Linguistics. He has also been Guest (co-)Editor for the Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of West African Languages, Language Typology and Universals (STUF), Linguistics, and Linguistic Typology. He is President of the World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL), and serves on the Council of the West African Linguistics Society, and has served on committees of the LSA and of the Association for Linguistic Typology.

Ameka is an Advisor to the virALLanguages project aimed at explaining COVID-related information in languages around the world.

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