Langues et civilisations
à tradition orale

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Intranet Lacito français


The LACITO in a nutshell


logo« Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale»
a research unit of French CNRS

LACITO is a research center based in Paris, a member of the national network of CNRS departments. Ever since its foundation in 1976, LACITO has been specializing in the description, documentation and analysis of under-documented languages of the world.
The members of LACITO carry out linguistic and anthropological fieldwork on all continents, and have studied more than 200 languages over the years. This interactive map will allow you to explore these languages one by one, with links to freely accessible audio archives, and much more. [The key to the map's symbols can be found here.] aa See more about LACITO 




Events and activities


• Upcoming or past conferences


Diversité des langues et changement historique [Language diversity and historical change] - Langues océaniennes [Oceanic languages] - Langues tibéto-birmanes [Tibeto-Burman languages] - Linguistique historique et comparatisme austronésien [Historical linguistics and Oceanic comparative studies] - Typologie et dialogue : la structuration informationnelle des questions et des réponses - Typologie et diversité des langues [Typology and language diversity] aa See more


Exhibits and posters for the general public

Lectures and talks

Video – movies, lectures and talks video



Hot from the press


Dictionnaire du monzombo (langue oubanguienne de Centrafrique et des Congo) nouveau

Outre son intérêt comme langue oubanguienne de moyenne importance (12000 locuteurs environ) le monzombo présente pour les linguistes un intérêt majeur. Si on le compare aux langues qui ont avec elle la parenté la plus proche, le ngbaka et le gbanzili, un ammuïssement des consonnes intervocaliques, k, t, l, a abouti à un phénomène de transphonologisation tel que les trisyllabes sont devenus dissyllabes, voire monosyllabes, […]etcSee more in French


Information Structure in Lesser-described Languages nouveau
Studies in prosody and syntax

Evangelia ADAMOU, Katharina HAUDE, Martine VANHOVE (eds)

The articles compiled in this volume offer new insights into the wealth of prosodic and syntactic phenomena involved in the encoding of information structure categories. They present data from languages which are rarely, if ever, taken into account in the most prominent approaches in information structure theory, and which belong to[…]etcSee more


Non-Canonical Gender Systems
Sebastian FEDDEN, Jenny AUDRING, and Greville G. CORBETT (eds)

Grammatical gender is famously the most puzzling of the grammatical categories. Despite our solid knowledge about the typology of gender systems, exciting and unexpected patterns keep turning up which defy easy classification and straightforward analysis. Some of these question, stretch, or even threaten to cross the outer boundaries of etcSee more


Epistemic Modalities and Evidentiality in Cross-linguistic Perspective
Zlatka GUENTCHÉVA (ed.)

This volume explores phenomena which come under the heading of epistemic modalities and evidentiality in more or less well-known languages (Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, Hungarian, Tibetan, Lakandon and Yucatec Maya, Arwak-Chibchan Kogi and Ika). It reveals cross-linguistic variations in the structuring of these vast fields of enquiry […]etcSee more


Oralité, information, typologie. Hommage à M.M. Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest
AMON Marri & Julia Marie-Ange (dir.)

Multilinguiste de terrain, enseignante passionnée, femme militante, traductrice primée, M.M. Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest ne pouvait que recevoir l'hommage du présent volume à son travail de haut niveau. Les nombreux domaines auxquels elle continue de consacrer ses recherches concernent essentiellement la typologie cognitive et informationnelle, […]etcSee more in French


Standardizing Minority Languages.
Competing Ideologies of Authority and Authenticity in the Global Periphery

Pia LANE, James COSTA & Haley DE KORNE (eds)

This volume addresses a crucial, yet largely unaddressed dimension of minority language standardization, namely how social actors engage with, support, negotiate, resist and even reject such processes. The focus is on social actors rather than […]etcSee more


etc Latest books and article/book's chapters





jmctDu terrain au cognitif – Linguistique, ethnolinguistique, ethnosciences –
À Jacqueline M.C. Thomas
[From fieldwork to cognition – Linguistics, ethnolinguistics, ethnosciences –
For Jacqueline M.C. Thomas
(editors) E. Motte-Florac & G. Guarisma

French presentation translated into English:
[Jacqueline M.C. Thomas, ethnolinguist and founder of the LACITO, has untiringly worked to establish the importance of not separating a language from the community speaking it. "Linguistic studies are meaningless unless they are based on very sound knowledge of the culture in which the languages are spoken". She further insists that "to study a society means to perfectly master the language(s) it speaks".
Based on examples garnered from across the globe, this Festschrift testifies to the multiplicity of ways in which the complexities of language and discourse can be broached […] ]
etcSee more

Contact us
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Happy New Year 2019!


photo Lacito pictures
(Photographs © Lacito)


hypothesesLes carnets du Lacitohypotheses

see more here

photo PANGLOSS - The Oral Archives

North Vanuatu texts, see here

A noterLatest news

brevesNos collègues à l'honneur


Wednesday 16 January 2019
(à partir de 18h),
Soirée en l'honneur et autour de Simha Arom (emeritus at CNRS)
à l'École normale supérieure, salle Dussane, 45 rue d'Ulm, Paris.
aa See more

brevesSeminar TACOL
"Terrains, analyse
et comparaison des langues

On Friday 25 January 2019 14.30,
talk by Yann Le Moullec (PhD Student at Inalco) on "Comment lever la barrière de la langue ? Problème de communication chez les Zuruahá d'Amazonie brésilienne"
(Lacito, room 311)
aa See more

"Structures du lexique :
Typologie et dynamiques

Wednesday 30 January 2019 14.30, talk by Claire Moyse-Faurie
& Anne-Laure Dotte on
"Toward a cross-linguistic typology of 'eating' in Kanak languages"
at Lacito (room 311)
aa See more

brevesSeminar "Indexicalités
langagières et sociales"


Thursday 14 February 2019 11.00
Talk of Boukary Boro 
(Ouagadougou University)
on "Indexicalités dans les noms de combat des jeunes lutteurs san
(Burkina Faso)", Villejuif (buld.D, Conference room)
aa See more in French

expositions40 photos for Lacito's 40th birthday
aa See more

expositions10 exhibits recommended by the Lacito which retrace...
...30 years of fieldwork devoted to the study of languages and the peoples who speak them. aa See more

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