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Dr. Billian Otundo

Dr. Billian Otundo Dr. Billian Otundo
Dr. Billian Otundo

Short Bio

Billian K. Otundo is a postdoctoral researcher at the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence and pursuing habilitation at the Department of English Linguistics/Englische Sprachwissenschaft at the University of Bayreuth, where she attained her doctorate as a Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) fellow. Her doctoral dissertation (Otundo 2018) focused on ethnically-marked varieties of Kenyan English(es).

Cooperation researcher (2021): University of Cologne. Awarded funding by TWAS-DFG, The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries, and she investigated intonation in advice-giving in Kenyan English and Kiswahili (e.g, Otundo & Grice 2022).

Research fellow (2020/2021): University of Bayreuth, Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence. Awarded funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to investigate student teachers’ attitudes toward translanguaging in learning spaces vis-à-vis social life (forthc.).

Lecturer of linguistics (2019-2021): Moi University. Here, she also served as the English programme coordinator.

Postdoctoral researcher (2018-2019): Radboud University. A collaborative project of Radboud University and Leiden University in The Netherlands and Moi University in Kenya. Awarded funding by NWO-WOTRO, Science for Global Development. She researched public narratives utilised by Kenyan community-based organisations advocating for land rights (e.g., Otundo & Nangulu 2022; Otundo et.al 2018 & 2019).

Otundo is well-networked internationally through numerous conference visits in European and African countries and has since engaged in publications on new research topics, among them also a joint project with the University of Bayreuth on code-switching in the speech activity of advice analysing radio phone-in programmes in Kenya and Cameroon (Otundo & Mühleisen 2022). Yet another new research topic is within the decolonisation of higher education in Africa where she reflects together with a colleague at Collège Montmorency in Canada, on the paradoxes around the imaginations of the African reader-writer who uses borrowed ex-colonial European languages (Otundo & Dodonou 2021). On education matters, she has also recently addressed the barriers to implementing the Education Article of the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in Kenya (Otundo 2022).

As a researcher, Otundo has engaged a mix of quantitative and qualitative data and is experienced in analysis with Praat, SPSS, R-Programming, and MAXQDA among others. Her main research interest is in multilingualism, sociolinguistics, prosody, and education in sub-Saharan Africa.

Selected Publications

  • Otundo, Billian and Susanne Mühleisen. 2022. Code-switching and advising in multilingual African situations: An analysis of radio phone-in programmes in Kenya and Cameroon. Journal of the Language Association of Eastern Africa (vol 1), (1): 1-15.
  • Otundo, Billian and Martine Grice. 2022. Intonation in advice-giving in Kenyan English and Kiswahili. Speech Prosody 2022: 150-154.
  • Otundo, Billian. 2022. Barriers to the implementation of the Education Article of the UNCRPD in Kenya. In Jeff Grischow & Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy (eds). Disability Rights and Inclusiveness in Africa: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, Challenges and Change. London: James Currey Publishers. 103-129.
  • Otundo, Billian and Anne Nangulu. 2022. `They’re plotting against us`: Public narratives utilised by Kenyan community-based organisations advocating for land rights. Journal of the Language Association of Eastern Africa (vol 1), (3): 1-17.
  • Otundo, Billian and Tsevi Dodounou. 2021. Borrowed languages in Africa: A reflection on the reader-writer imaginary. In Irina Turner, Emnet, Tadesse & Abrahim Brahima (eds). Decolonization in Higher Education. Routledge Publishers. 177-192.
  • Otundo, Billian. 2020. Manifestation of mother tongue in intonation of English: evidence from Lubukusu. The International Mother Language Day Conference Proceedings (vol 2): Kakamega: MMUST Publishers. 48-69.
  • Otundo, Billian. 2018. Exploring Ethnically-Marked Varieties of Kenyan English: Intonation and Associated Attitudes. Berlin: LIT Verlag.
  • Otundo, Billian. 2017. Implicitation in the Translation of Ernest Hemingway’s `Hills like White Elephants ́ from English into Lubukusu. In Uchenna Oyali (ed.). Perspectives on Translation Studies in Africa. BIGSAS Working Papers (vol 14). Bayreuth: University of Bayreuth, Institute of African Studies. 36-51.

To access the lecture by Dr. Otundo, please click here

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