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Doris Löhr Dr. Doris Loehr
Doris Löhr

Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence


Personal Information

Doris Löhr holds a PhD in African Linguistics from Goethe-University Frankfurt.

Currently she works as academic coordinator of the unit Internationalisation & Public Engagement within the 'Africa Multiple' Cluster of Excellence at University of Bayreuth. In 2012 she became the academic coordinator and managing director of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies for the project “Future Africa - Visions in Time” (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF), a position she held for six years.

After she had received her Master degree (Magister in African Languages and Cultures, Social Anthropology, and Education Sciences) from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, she worked at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies for two years as a lecturer.

During her doctoral studies within the framework of the DFG-funded interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre SFB 268 ’History of Culture and Language in the Natural Environment of the West African Savannah‘, at Goethe-University Frankfurt, she undertook multifaceted linguistic field research in North-Eastern Nigeria and completed a grammatical description of the formerly undocumented Malgwa language (Afroasiatic language phylum, Chadic language family).

Subsequently she held the position as a lecturer and postdoctoral staff at the Institute of African Studies at Leipzig University for five years before she joined a DFG funded joint project of the Department of Asia-Africa Studies at University of Hamburg together with the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, as postdoctoral research fellow for three years. Within the general topic ’A study of Old Kanembu in Early West African Qur’anic manuscripts and Islamic recitations (Tarjumo) in the light of Kanuri-Kanembu dialects spoken around Lake Chad‘, she focussed on a linguistic description of the Kanembu varieties spoken in Nigeria, Niger and Chad.

During the last five years Doris Löhr has participated in regular advanced trainings for science managers, organised by the Zentrum für Wissenschaftsmanagement at University of Speyer, in the areas of leadership, coordination, quality management and crossmedial science communication.

Currently, she serves as a board member of African Studies Association Germany (VAD) and as chairperson of CrossArea Verband für Transregionale Studien, Vergleichende Area Studies und Global Studies e.V. Löhr is also founding member of the Fachverband Afrikanistik, a member of the Society for Endangered Languages and associated member of the Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Afrikaforschung, Goethe-University. In 2022, she was appointed as a member of the ZIAF’s Scientific Advisory Board.


Monographs/ Edited Books


African Studies Centres Around the World. A Network-Based Inventory. München: AVM.edition (Co-editor Ute Fendler), open access https://www.avm-verlag.de/res/user/avm/media/9783960915874-fendler-africanstudiescentres.pdf


Kanuri, Borno and Beyond. Current Studies on the Lake Chad Region. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe. 208 S. (Co-editors Eva Rothmaler & Georg Ziegelmeyer)


Topics in Chadic Linguistics VI. Comparative and Descriptive Studies. Papers from the 5th Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages. Leipzig, June 11-13 2009. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe. 203 S. (Co-editor Ari Awagana)


Mensch und Natur in Westafrika. – Ergebnisse aus dem Sonderforschungsbereich "Kulturentwicklung und Sprachgeschichte im Naturraum Westafrikanische Savanne". [Cultural development and language history in the West African savanna] Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. 537 S. (Co-editors Klaus-Dieter Albert & Katharina Neumann)


Die Sprache der Malgwa – Nárá Málgwa. Grammatische Erstbeschreibung einer zentraltschadischen Sprache Nordost-Nigerias. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 336 S.

Articles in Edited Books and Journals


Grammaticalized verbal forms in Kanuri/Kanembu. For Proceedings of 7th WOCAL congress, August 2012, Buea (Cameroun). (with Eva Rothmaler) Mankon, Bamenda : Langaa Research & Publishing, 2017. - p 564-591


Die Kanuri/Kanembu Manuskriptkultur / The Kanuri/Kanembu manuscript culture. In: Quenzer, J. (Ed.) Ausstellungskatalog Faszination Handschriften. 2000 Jahre Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa. Manuscript cultures, Newsletter 4. Universität Hamburg, Asien-Afrika-Institut. 61-67. (with D. Bondarev)


Differential subject marking in Kanuri: agentivity, pragmatics, and split-intransitive. In: Löhr, D., E. Rothmaler & G. Ziegelmeyer (Ed.) Kanuri, Borno and Beyond - Current Studies on the Lake Chad Region. Köln: Köppe. 27-57. (with D. Bondarev, P. Jaggar & A. Tijani).


Bə́lantə́ zə́la átə yáwe ‘sending an eagle up to water’ – Multiword expressions in Malgwa. In: Löhr, D. & A. Awagana (Ed.) Topics in Chadic Linguistics VI. Comparative and Descriptive Studies. Papers from the 5th Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages. Leipzig, June 10-13, 2009. Köln: Köppe. 131-143.


Coding temporal subordination in Malgwa. In: Ziegelmeyer, G. & N. Cyffer (Ed.) Aspects of Co- and Subordination. Köln: Köppe. 101-117.


Reduction of dialectal features in Kanuri as outcome of language contact. In: Cyffer, N. & G. Ziegelmeyer (Ed.) When Languages Meet – Language Contact and Change in West Africa. Köln: Köppe. 23-41.


Lake Chad and the migratory routes to Borno: A linguistic trail? In: Tourneux, H. (Ed.) XIIIth Mega-Chad Conference “Migrations and spatial mobility in the Lake Chad Basin”, Maroua, 31.10.-3.11.2005. Montpellier/Marseille: Editions de l'IRD, collection "Colloques et seminaires". 665-681.


Loanwords in Kanuri, a Saharan language. In: Haspelmath, M. & Tadmor, U. (Ed.) Lexical borrowing in cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 166-190. (with H.E. Wolff & A. Awagana)


Loanwords in Hausa. Results from the Loanword typology project. In: Rothmaler, E. (Ed.) Topics in Chadic Linguistics V. Comparative and Descriptive Studies. Papers from the 4th Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages. Bayreuth, 30-31 October 2007. Köln: Köppe. 37-49. (with A. Awagana)


Convergence in Saharan and Chadic Tense-Aspect-Systems. Afrika und Übersee 88: 265-299. Special volume: Johannes Lukas (1901-1980) - 25th anniversary of his death. (with H. E. Wolff)


Revisiting the aspectual domain in Malgwa (Central Chadic). In: Takács, G. (Ed.) Semito-Hamitic Festschrift for A.B. Dolgopolsky and H. Jungraithmayr. Berlin: Reimer. 173-185.


Predication focus in Malgwa. In: Tourneux, H. (Ed.) Topics in Chadic Linguistics IV: Comparative and Descriptive Studies. Papers from the 3rd Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages. Villejuif, November 24-25, 2005. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe. 87-101.


Nigerian Kanuri (Sub-)Dialects Reconsidered - a Corpus-based Approach. In: Payne, D. L. & M. Reh (Ed.) Advances in Nilo-Saharan Linguistics. Proceedings of 8th Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium, University of Hamburg, Aug. 22-25, 2001. Köln: Köppe. 165-182.


Encoding Focus in Verbal Morphology: Predication Focus and the “Kanuri Focus Shift”. In: Fiedler, I. & A. Schwarz (Ed.) Papers on Information Structure in African Languages: Berlin: ZASPiL, 46: 185-209. (with H. E. Wolff)


Types, patterns and kinds of lexical distribution and their correlations. In: Ibriszimow, D. & E. Rothmaler (Ed.) Tesserae of Borno. In memoriam William Seidensticker. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter 16: 26-50. (with D. Ibriszimow)


Westwärts zieht der Wind - Migrationen im südlichen Tschadseegebiet. In: Albert, K.D., D. Löhr & K. Neumann (Ed.) Mensch und Natur in Westafrika. – Ergebnisse aus dem Sonderforschungsbereich "Kulturentwicklung und Sprachgeschichte im Naturraum Westafrikanische Savanne". Weinheim: Wiley. 169-195. (with H. Jungraithmayr & R. Leger)


The Malgwa - a historical overview and some ethnographic notes. Borno Museum Society Newsletter 56 & 57: 23-43.


Locative-directional verbal extensions and prepositions in Malgwa. In: Lébikaza, K. K. (Ed.) Actes du 3e Congrès Mondial de Linguistique Africaine Lomé 2000. [World Congress of African Linguistics 3]. Köln: Köppe. 189-206.


The Malgwa in Maiduguri. In: Kawka, R. (Ed.) From Bulamari to Yerwa to Metropolitan Maiduguri - Interdisciplinary Studies on the Capital of Borno. Köln: Köppe. 127-143.


Saharanisch. In: Mabe, J. E. (Ed.) Afrika-Lexikon. Ein Kontinent in 1000 Stichwörtern. Stuttgart, Wuppertal: J.B. Metzler, Peter Hammer. 532.

Ostsudanisch. In: Mabe, J. E. (Ed.) Afrika-Lexikon. Ein Kontinent in 1000 Stichwörtern. Stuttgart, Wuppertal: J.B. Metzler, Peter Hammer. 708-709.


Masakwa from a linguistic point of view. In: Kahlheber, S. & K. Neumann (Ed.) Man and environment in the West African Sahel –- an interdisciplinary approach. Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268, 17. Frankfurt. 85-103.


Historical implications of a linguistic environment – towards a systemic approach. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium 1999. Berichte des SFBs 268, 14. Frankfurt. 179-190. (mit D. Ibriszimow, R. Kawka, C. Mtaku, R. Vogels & I.M. Waziri).


Traces of a lost gender distinction? A Study of Malgwa (Central Chadic) zoonymes. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter 11: 145-155.


Sprachkontakte bei den Malgwa (Gamergu) in Nordostnigeria. In: Fiedler, I., C. Griefenow-Mewis & B. Reineke (Ed.) Afrikanische Sprachen im Brennpunkt der Forschung. Linguistische Beiträge zum 12. Afrikanistentag Berlin, 3.-6.10.1996. Köln: Köppe. 251-269.


The development of Kanuri orthography from 1854 until the present. In: Cyffer, N. & Th. Geider (Ed.) Advances in Kanuri scholarship. Köln: Köppe. 77-113.


Masakwa dry season cropping in the Chad basin. In: SFB 268 (Ed.) Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereiches 268, Vorträge Internationales Symposium, Frankfurt/Main 13.12.-16.12.1995. Frankfurt. 349-356. (with B. Zach, H. Kirscht, K. Neumann, E. Platte)

Doris Löhr

Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence

Research Interest


  • West Africa
  • Lake Chad region (Nigeria, Niger, Chad)


  • Areal linguistics (language and migration, language contact), Endangered languages
  • Chadic (Afroasiatic) and Kanuri/Kanembu (Nilosaharan) grammars
  • The use of African languages in the social media

Selected Papers:

  • Collaborative interdisciplinary research projects as catalysts for research on
    African languages - lessons learned?” – Invited Keynote at the conference of the Language Association of Eastern Africa, “Enhancing Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research on Languages in Eastern Africa”,  in Nairobi & virtually, 13th August 2021
  • “The use of African languages in the social media and their impact on
    socio-cultural trends and developments”, paper at the Workshop “Future Africa – Visions in Time”, organised by the Bayreuth Academy and Centro de Estudos
    Afro-Orientais (CEAO), Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Salvador de Bahia, 25-26.4.2019.
  • ”Current African Studies in Germany: How can Prospective Africanists be
    Prepared to Encounter and Study “Africa Multiple”?”, paper at the Joint
    Conference Seoul/ Hankuk IAS-HUFS and IAS- Universität Bayreuth, “African Studies: 'The Different and The Similar- Africa in an Ever-changing, Multi-faceted
    and Multi-layered World”, South Korea, 25.-28.10.2018.
  • “Networking in African Studies“, paper at the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) Second Biennial Conference, “African Studies and Global Politics”,  IAS University of Ghana, Accra, 12-14.10.2017.
Doris Löhr

Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence

Dr. Doris Loehr
Academic Coordinator / Ressort Internationalisation & Public Engagement in the Cluster of Excellence "Africa Multiple"

Office: Nürnberger Str. 38 ZAPF Gebäude 3, Room 3.3.10

Phone: (+49) 921 / 55-4794
E-mail: Doris.loehr@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Dr. Doris Löhr

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