Alexandre François

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Alexandre François is a French linguist specialised in the description and study of the indigenous languages of Melanesia. He belongs to LACITO, a research centre of the CNRS dedicated to linguistics and anthropology.

He has done linguistic fieldwork essentially in the northern islands of Vanuatu, known as the Torres and Banks Islands, an area where seventeen languages are still spoken. He has published descriptive accounts of Mwotlap (2001, 2003), the language with most speakers in that area.

In 2002 he published a monograph description of Araki, a highly endangered language spoken on an islet south of Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu).

In 2005, he took part in a scientific expedition to Vanikoro (Solomon islands), whose objective was to understand the wreckage of the French navigator La Pérouse in 1788.[1] As a member of a multidisciplinary team, he recorded the oral tradition of the Melanesian and Polynesian populations of this island, concerning popular representations of this historical event. On that occasion, he also documented the three languages spoken on Vanikoro.


  1. ^ See press release in The Times, 13 May 2005.

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