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Roger Blench (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.

His 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. He has published extensively on the relationship between linguistics and archaeology, principally in Africa, but more recently also in East Asia. He is currently engaged in a long-term project to document the languages of Central Nigeria.

He 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who died in January 2005, and is now a trustee of the Kay Williamson Educational Fund, which exists both to publish the unpublished material left by Kay Williamson and to promote the study of Nigerian languages.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 Rudiger Koeppe Verlag in Cologne.

Roger 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.


  • 1992. Crozier, D.H. and Blench, R.M. An Index of Nigerian Languages. Abuja: Language Development Centre, Ilorin: University of Ilorin, Dallas: SIL. ISBN 0-88312-611-7
  • 1997. Blench, R.M. & M.Spriggs eds. Archaeology and Language I: theoretical and methodological orientations. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11760-7
  • 1998. Blench, R.M. & M.Spriggs eds. Archaeology and Language II: correlating archaeological and linguistic hypotheses. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11761-5
  • 1999a. Blench, R.M. & M.Spriggs eds. Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts, languages, and texts. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-10054-2
  • 1999b. Blench, R.M. & M.Spriggs eds. Archaeology and Language, IV: language change and cultural transformation. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11786-0
  • 2000. Blench, R.M. & K.C. MacDonald eds. The origin and development of African livestock. University College Press, London.
  • 2005. L.Sagart, Blench, R.M. & A. Sanchez-Mazas eds. The peopling of East Asia. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32242-1
  • 2006. Archaeology, Language, and the African Past. AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-759-10465-4
  • 2008. Alicia Sanchez-Mazas, Blench, R.M., Ross, M.D., I. Peiros & Marie Lin eds. Human migrations in continental East Asia and Taiwan. Matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics. London: Routledge.

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