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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Dr. Bebwa Isingoma

Dr. Bebwa Isingoma

Gulu University, Uganda
English Linguistics
Junior Fellow
Marie S. Curie FCFP Fellow
October 2018 - September 2019


I was born in 1968 in a remote village in the western part of Uganda. I took degree and other courses at Makerere University (Uganda), Gulu University (Uganda), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway), the Artic University of Norway (Tromso) and the University of Agder (Norway), where I obtained my PhD in English Linguistics (comparative syntax) in 2013. I am a Fellow of the African Humanities Program (American Council of Learned Societies) and had residency at Rhodes University (South Africa) in 2015. I have been a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, respectively at Gulu University (Uganda), where I have been teaching and mentoring undergraduate students of English Language and Linguistics. I have been doing research primarily in English linguistics (particularly World Englishes), but also in cognitive pragmatics, syntax and sociolinguistics. I have participated in the collection of data for the compilation of the International Corpus of English (ICE) - Uganda, whose written text component is now available at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany).

Selected Publications

  • Isingoma, Bebwa & Meierkord, Christiane. ( in press, forthcoming, 2018). Capturing the lexicon of Ugandan English: ICE-Uganda, its limitations and effective complements. In Esimaje, A., Gut, U. and Hunston, S. (eds.) Corpus Linguistics and African Englishes. John Benjamins.
  • Isingoma, Bebwa (2016). Languages in East Africa: Policies, Practices and Perspectives. Sociolinguistic Studies 10 (3), 433-454
  • Isingoma, Bebwa (2016). The Use of Ditransitives in Ugandan English. In Meierkord, Christiane, Isingoma, Bebwa and Namyalo, Saudah (eds.). Ugandan English: Its Sociolinguistics, Structure and Uses in a Globalizing Post-protectorate [Varieties of English Around the World 59] (p.201-226). John Benjamins: Amsterdam.
  • Isingoma, Bebwa (2014). Lexical and Grammatical Features of Ugandan English. English Today 30(2), pp 51-56.
  • Isingoma, Bebwa (2013) Innovative Pragmatic Codes in Ugandan English: A Relevance-theoretic Account. Argumentum, Volume 9, pp. 19-31.

FRIAS Research Project

Implicit Arguments in Ugandan Bantu Languages and British English: An Input for Syntactic Indexicality in Ugandan English

The study explicates structural differences between Ugandan Bantu languages and British English in relation to the realization of implicit arguments. As a corollary, it shows that it is these structural asymmetries that feed into the syntactic features of Ugandan English, which ultimately contribute to the distinctiveness of this L2 variety, as opposed to British English. The study thus contributes to the growing larger discourse meant to fill the gaps that had characterized World Englishes scholarship, where thorough delineations of Ugandan English had been virtually missing.