Roger Blench

Roger Marsh Blench (born 1953) is a British linguist, ethnomusicologist and development anthropologist. He has an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and remains based in Cambridge, England. He actively researches and publishes, although he works as a private consultant rather than in academia.

Roger Marsh Blench
Born (1953-08-01) August 1, 1953
Alma materCambridge University (Ph.D.)
Scientific career
FieldsHistorical linguistics, African languages, Southeast Asian languages, Anthropology

A noted expert in African linguistics,[1] Blench's main area of linguistic interest is the Niger–Congo language family, although he has also researched the Nilo-Saharan and Afroasiatic families. He has also written about other language families and endangered languages. Additionally, Blench has published extensively on the relationship between linguistics and archaeology, principally in Africa but more recently also in East Asia. Blench is currently engaged in a long-term project to document the languages of central Nigeria.

Blench collaborated extensively with the late Professor Kay Williamson, who died in January 2005, and is now a trustee of the Kay Williamson Educational Fund, which exists both to publish the unpublished material left by Kay Williamson and to promote the study of Nigerian languages. A series of publications supported by the trust is under way with Rüdiger Köppe Verlag in Cologne.

Blench has also conducted research and evaluations of international development activities worldwide, as a consultant and formerly as a research fellow of the Overseas Development Institute in London.


  • David Henry Crozier; R. Blench; Keir Hansford (1992). An index of Nigerian languages. Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council. Language Development Centre, University of Ilorin. Dept. of Linguistics & Nigerian Languages, Summer Institute of Linguistics. Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 0-88312-611-7.
  • Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew, eds. (Aug 28, 1997). Theoretical and Methodological Orientations. Archaeology and language. 1. London ; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415117607. LCCN 96044969. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  • Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew, eds. (1998). Archaeological Data and Linguistic Hypotheses. Archaeology and language. 2. London ; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415117615. LCCN 96044969. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  • Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew, eds. (1997). Artefacts, Languages and Texts. Archaeology and language. 3. London ; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415100542. LCCN 96044969. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  • Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew, eds. (1999). Language Change and Cultural Transformation. Archaeology and language. 4. London ; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415117860. LCCN 96044969. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  • 2000. Blench, R. M. & MacDonald, K. C., eds. The Origin and Development of African Livestock. London: University College Press.
  • Laurent Sagart; Roger Blench; Alicia Sanchez-Mazas (2005). The Peopling of East Asia: Putting Together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-32242-3.
  • Blench, Roger (2006). Archaeology, language, and the African past. Altamira Press. ISBN 978-0-7591-0465-5.
  • Sanchez-Mazas, Alicia; Blench, R. M. et al., eds. 2008. Human Migrations in Continental East Asia and Taiwan: matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics. London: Routledge.


  1. Hewson, John (2007). Blench, Roger (ed.). "Archaeology, Language, and the African Past". Canadian Journal of African Studies. Review. 41 (3): 574–579. JSTOR 40380107.
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