Gibbons Student Logan Jackonis ’17: Language and War in Africa

Logan Jackonis ’17 received a Gibbons grant this summer to assist Associate Professor of Government Ericka Albaugh map language shifts in Sierra Leone as a result of its long civil war, which lasted from 1991 to 2002. Albaugh is an expert in language politics, African politics, and comparative politics in the developing world.

Modern survey and mapping technology can help shed light on how languages evolve. In Sierra Leone, Jackonis is analyzing data to see whether people in areas that had more interaction with government soldiers, guerrilla forces, or war refugees tended to adopt the lingua franca of the country, Krio, more than areas that had less interaction with the wars’ actors.

Jackonis, a government and legal studies major, said that after taking a couple of classes with Albaugh, he’s grown more interested in Africa. He already was adept at using ArcGIS to create maps after taking a yearlong high school course in the technology.

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