Steve Nicolle
Associate Professor, Program Director for MLE
Office 314, CanIL Harvest Centre, Langley/BC
+1 (604) 513-2129 ext. 3935

Department(s) or Program(s)


Steve Nicolle spent 15 years (1999-2013) in east and central Africa with SIL International, and was involved in linguistic research and Bible translation into over 60 languages. He regularly leads linguistic training events in various countries in Africa and elsewhere, and also shares his passion for language with students at TWU and ACTS. He is director of the MA in Linguistics & Translation program and author of over 60 academic publications.

Research & Scholarship


D.Phil. Linguistics (University of York, UK) 1997

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (UK teaching qualification) in English as a Second/Foreign Language (University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK) 1993

B.A. Linguistics with Philosophy (University of York, UK) 1992

Awards & Honors

Guest editor, Studies in African Linguistics special issue on conditional constructions in African languages (2017)

Keynote speaker, 6th International Conference on Bantu Languages (Helsinki, Finland, 2016)

Recent Publications

In press Narrative discourse. In: Lutz Marten, Nancy C. Kula, Jochen Zeller & Ellen Hurst (eds.) The Oxford Guide to the Bantu Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2017 Sequentiality and conditionality as temporal and logical contingency: Clause combining in Digo (Bantu E.73). CanIL Electronic Working Papers 3:77–95.

2017 Conditional constructions in African languages. Studies in African Linguistics 46:1–15. (Introduction to special issue of SAL on conditional constructions in African languages.)

2017 Narrative discourse analysis and Bible translation: Training materials based on Acts 16:16–40. (SIL Forum for Language Fieldwork 2017–001.)

2016 Variation in the expression of information structure in eastern Bantu languages. In: D. Payne & M. Bosire (eds.) Proceedings of ACAL 46. Berlin: Language Science Press.

2016 Review of E.C. Traugott & G. Trousdale (2013) Constructionalization and constructional changes, and P. Petré (2014) Constructions and environments. Studies in Language 40:457–467.

2016 Review of A.D.M. Smith, G. Trousdale & R. Waltereit (eds.) (2015) New directions in grammaticalization research. Journal of Linguistics 52:228–232.

2015 Diachronic change in procedural semantic content. Cahiers de Linguistique Française 32: 133–148.

2015 A comparative study of eastern Bantu narrative texts. SIL Electronic Working Papers 2015–003.

2015 Digo narrative discourse. SIL Language and Culture Documentation and Description 26.

2014 Discourse functions of demonstratives in eastern Bantu narrative texts. Studies in African Linguistics 43(2):125–144.

2013 A Grammar of Digo (a Bantu language of Kenya and Tanzania). Dallas: SIL International.

2012 (with Joseph Mwalonya, Alison Nicolle & Juma Zimbu). Mgombato: Digo–Swahili–English Dictionary. 2nd edition. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.

2012 Semantic-pragmatic change in Bantu ‑no demonstrative forms. Africana Linguistica 18:193–233.

2012 Diachrony and grammaticalization. In: Robert Binnick (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect, 370–397. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012 Review of C. Breul & E. Göbbel (eds.) (2010) Comparative and contrastive studies of information structure. Studies in Language 36:928–937.

2012 Review of K.R. Coventry, T. Tenbrink & J.A. Batemen (eds.) (2009) Spatial language and dialogue. Functions of Language 19:89–95.

2011 Pragmatic aspects of grammaticalization. In: Heiko Narrog & Bernd Heine (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization, 401–412. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2011 (with Thomas G. Matthews & Catherine Rountree) Implicit aspects of culture in source and target language contexts. Journal of Translation 7:21–48.

2009 Go-and-V, come-and-V, go-V and come-V: A corpus-based account of deictic movement verb constructions. English Text Construction 2:185–208.

Affiliations & Memberships

Association of Contemporary African Linguistics (2015 – present)

Linguistics Association of Great Britain (1994 – 2014)

Royal African Society (2002 – 2013)


  • African Languages
  • Language Change
  • Text Linguistics
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Translation

Courses Taught

LING 4/691 Discourse Analysis

LING 4/593 Semantics & Pragmatics

LING 555 Historical & Comparative Linguistics