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Biography of Professor Khalil Alio

Author: Dr Djimet Seli

The youngest of a family of 12 children, son of Alio and Anizela, Khalil was born on October 15, 1951 in Fort-Lamy. His father is a veteran of the French Army and survivor of the Second World War before converting to a member of the National Guard of Chad and was based in Adré.

Khalil attended primary school and then entered the Lycée National Franco-Arabe in Abéché in 1966. In high school, Khalil took an early interest in languages, particularly English, which he already mastered from high school. One day, an Australian tourist who did not speak a word of French, arrived in Abéché and it was already him that the Lycée had chosen to serve as their translator when he was still in second class. In 1973, Khalil obtained his Bac A4 series and entered the University of Chad in the English Department.

From 1975 to 1976, he studied language at the Colchester English Study Center (CESC), a branch of the University of Oxford (England) which welcomed nationals from several countries, including French-speaking African countries .

He obtained a license in 1977 and joined the Civil Service as a licensed teacher and assigned to the women's high school, now Lycée de la Liberté, and later to the Collège Sacré-Coeur in N'Djamena.

In 1978, he enrolled in a Masters in General Linguistics. He graduated top of his class and therefore benefited from a scholarship granted by the American organization USAID for the DEA in African Linguistics at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. In June 1979, he graduated and returned to Chad. From the end of 1979 to March 1980, Khalil joined the University of Chad as an assistant at the University of Chad and was appointed head of the English Department.

During the civil war of 79, Khalil took refuge in Nigeria where he found a post as Assistant at the University of Maiduguri

From 1982 to 1987, Khalil lived in Germany to do his doctorate in linguistics at the University of Marburg. Having obtained it in 1987, he returned to Nigeria, because he could no longer return to Chad because of the persecutions to which his community, the Hadjarays, were subjected by Hissène Habré

In Nigeria where he lived and taught at the University of Maiduguri, the choice fell on him to lead the External Office of the Movement for the National Salvation of Chad (MOSANAT), a rebel movement created by the Hadjerays against Hisseine Habre. This led to him being the object of permanent threats from the Director of the DDS (Department of Documentation and Security) and the Central Commissioner of the city of N'Djamena.

After the fall of Hissène Habré, Khalil finally returned to Chad and successively held the positions of Secretary General of the Chadian National Commission for Unesco, Vice-Rector of the University of N'Djamena and finally Rector .

In 2013, when he was Dean of the Faculty of Languages, Letters, Arts and Communication (FLLAC) at the University of N'Djamena, he was accused of an attempted coup and then arrested . He will be cleared and released by the court a few months later.

Became Scientific Secretary of the Letters, Humanities and Social Sciences doctoral school, he led many scientific works and accompanied students in thesis defenses.

Despite the political window that opened up to him, Khalil Alio opted instead for a career as a teacher-researcher to the detriment of politics and brilliantly achieved his goal, that of taking it to the highest level. of the rank of Full Professor in the CAMES system.

Polyglot and fluent in French, English, German, literary Arabic as well as a few African languages (Chadian dialect Arabic, Hausa, Swahili, Fulfulde), Khalil Alio was also a member of many national organizations and international.

From 1980 - 1992 he was co-responsible for the Chadian languages team

From 1980 - 2006 he was Chad's representative for the Regional Center for Research and Documentation of Oral Traditions and African Languages (CERDOTOLA), in Yaoundé, Cameroon;

And since 1987, he has been Associate Researcher at the Laboratory of Languages and Civilizations with Oral Tradition (LACITO-CNRS), Paris;

Associate researcher at the Institute of African Language Sciences at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany;

Researcher of the Mega-Chad Network: Paris – Bayreuth;

Researcher at the Chadic Word Catalog Marburg Laboratory (Germany);

Member of the Knowledge Association of Chad, N’Djamena (Chad);

Member of the Board of Directors of the Chadian Copyright Office (BUTDRA), N’Djamena, Chad;

Secretary General of the Association for the Development of Canton Bidiyo (ADECAB), (Guéra, Chad);

Secretary General then Honorary President of the Center for Research in Anthropology and Human Sciences (CRASH).

The CRASH precisely, he is the only Chadian of the 5 founding members that they were. Indeed, Professor Khalil's plurilingualism and his humble character have made him a point of attraction for many Western researchers who are interested in research topics on Chad. From his meetings with Western colleagues was born the idea of creating an independent research center that could accommodate and guarantee the independence of researchers in their work. It is thus under the influence of the 4 other Dutch, German and American colleagues, all anthropologists, that the CRASH heard Center de Recherches en Anthropologie et Sciences Humaines was created in 2005 and recognized in 2007, of which Khalil immediately became the Secretary General. Very quickly, the same year, the CRASH found the means to undertake training for young Chadian researchers in doctorates, the first recipients of the scholarships being Dionra Laguerre, for the Netherlands, Hoinathy Remadji for Germany and Djimet Seli for the Netherlands, then others for other horizons.

In the wake of its objectives, CRASH collaborated with the University of N'Djamena in the creation of the Department of Anthropology, of which Professor Khalil remained the solid sponsor until his death. The CRASH, seen from afar, only looks like an anthropology research center, but in truth, it is a multidisciplinary center. This is why for a few years, he has been welcoming Florian Lionnet who is a linguist and who is doing his research on endangered languages in southern Chad.

Professor Khalil Alio, the man who dedicated his life to teaching, passed away on October 30, 2022. He had a very winding journey through the chaotic evolution of Chad.

Some scientific work by Pr Khalil Alio

  • Alio, Khalil. 1986. Attempt to describe the Bidiya language of Guéra (Chad). Phonology – Grammar. (Marburger Studien zur Afrika- und Asienkunde, Serie A, Afrika, 45) Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.

  • Alio, Khalil. 1987a. Fixed and productive extensions in bidiya. In Chad Studies: Classes and Verbal Extensions, ed. by Herrmann Jungraithmayr and Henry Tourneux, pp. 43-47. Paris: Geuthner.

  • Alio, Khalil. 1987b. Verbal classes in bidiya. In Chad Studies: Classes and Verbal Extensions, ed. by Herrmann Jungraithmayr and Henry Tourneux, pp. 11-15. Paris: Geuthner

  • Alio, Khalil. 1988a. Borrowing and integration into bidiya. In The environment and people: comparative and historical research in the Lake Chad basin. Proceedings of the 2nd Mega12 Chad colloquium, ed. by Daniel Barreteau and Henry Tourneux, pp. 265-73. Paris: ORSTOM.

  • Alio, Khalil. 1988b. The conjugation of bidiya (Chadic language of Guéra, Chad) and the integration of verbal borrowings from French and Arabic. Cahiers du LACITO3: 81-93.

  • Alio, Khalil. 1988c. Transitivity and suffix conjugation in bidiya. In Chadic Studies: Transitivity and Diathesis, ed. by Herrmann Jungraithmayr and Henry Tourneux, pp. 21-31. Paris: Geuthner.

  • Alio, Khalil. 1998. Multilingualism and Cultures of Chad. Chadian Linguistics Works 2: 35-43.

  • Alio, Khalil. 2004. Preliminaries to a study of the Kajakse language of Am-Dam, Toram of Salamat, Ubi of Guéra and Masmaje of Batha-Est (Chad). In Egyptian and Semito-Hamitic (Afro-Asiatic) Studies: In Memoriam W. Vycichl, ed. by Gábor Takács, pp. 229-85. Leiden: Brill.

  • Alio, Khalil. 2008. Language contacts and cultural contacts in the regions of Abou-Telfane and Bahr Signakha (Guéra, Chad). In Semito-Hamitic Festschrift for A. B. Dolgopolsky and H. Jungraithmayr, ed. by Gábor Takács, pp. 1-18. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.

  • Alio, Khalil. 2009. Comparative remarks on consonantism between bidiya and dangaléat. Lingua Posnaniensis51: 7-18.

  • Alio, Khalil, and Herrmann Jungraithmayr. 1989. Lexicon bidiya. A Central African language (Republic of Chad) with a grammatical introduction. (Frankfurter wissenschaftliche Beiträge / Kulturwissenschaftliche Reihe, 16) Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann

Pr Khalil Alio


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