Ernest François Maurice Delafosse

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Delafosse, Ernest François Maurice


Born Dec. 20, 1870, in Sancerre, in the department of Cher; died Nov. 23, 1926, in Paris. French linguist and historian.

In 1921, Delafosse became a professor at the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales in France. His works in the study of the languages, history, and ethnology of the peoples of the western Sudan served as the basis for all subsequent research. His linguistic work in African studies (descriptions of the languages of the Mande, Mandingo, Bambara, Fulani, and other groups) is of great scientific importance. It was Delafosse’s theory that all the African languages had a common origin. The theory is now accepted only insofar as it concerns the Bantoid and Bantu languages.


Manuel dahoméen. Paris, 1894.
Essai de manuel de la langue agni. Paris, 1900.
Les Noire s de l’Afrique. Paris, 1922.
La Langue mandingue et ses dialectes, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1929-55.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.