AskDefine | Define blench

Dictionary Definition

blench v : turn pale, as if in fear [syn: pale, blanch]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. to flinch
  2. to blanch

Extensive Definition

Roger Blench 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who died in January 2005, and is now a trustee of the Kay Williamson Educational Fund, which exists both to publish the unpublished material left by Kay Williamson and to promote the study of Nigerian languages.
Blench has also performed research and evaluations of international development activities worldwide, as a consultant and formerly as a research fellow of the Overseas Development Institute in London.


  • (1986) The Evolution of the Nupe cultigen repertoire. Festschrift für Professor C. Hoffman. ed. F. Rottland, Helmut Buske, Hamburg.
  • (1987b) A revision of the Index of Nigerian Languages. Nigerian Field, 52:77-84.
  • (1989a) Nupoid. In: The Niger-Congo Languages. J. Bendor-Samuel. ed. 305-322. Lanham: University Press of America.
  • (1989b) New Benue-Congo: a definition and proposed internal classification. Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 17: 115-47.
  • (1990) [w. D. Zeitlyn] A web of words. Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika, 10/11:171-186.
  • (1992) Recent research in the prehistory of Bantu languages. In: Datation et chronologie dans le bassin du Lac Tchad. ed. D. Barreteau. 147-160. Paris: ORSTOM.
  • (1993a) Recent developments in African language classification and their implications for prehistory. In The Archaeology of Africa. Food, Metals and Towns eds. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Andah, B. and Okpoko, A. 126-138. London: Routledge.
  • (1993b) Ethnographic and linguistic evidence for the prehistory of African ruminant livestock, horses and ponies. In: The Archaeology of Africa. Food, Metals and Towns. eds. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Andah, B. and Okpoko, A. 71-103. London: Routledge.
  • (1993c) Is Kordofanian the Omotic of Niger-Congo? Mother Tongue, 19, 33.
  • (1993d) An Introduction to the classification of Mambiloid languages. Journal of West African Languages, XXIII (1):105-118.
  • (1995a) A History of Domestic Animals in Northeastern Nigeria. Cahiers de Science Humaine, 31, 1:181-238. ORSTOM, Paris.
  • (1995b) The Work of N.W. Thomas as Government Anthropologist in Nigeria. Nigerian Field, 60:20-28.
  • (1995c) [with S. Longtau] Tarok Ophresiology. pp. 340-344 in Issues in African Languages and Linguistics: Essays in Honour of Kay Williamson. Emenanjọ, E.N. and Ndimele, O-M. eds. Aba, National Institute for Nigerian Languages.
  • (1995d) Is Niger-Congo simply a branch of Nilo-Saharan? In: Proceedings of the Fifth Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium. eds. R. Nicolai and F. Rottland. 83-130. Köln: Köppe Verlag.
  • (1996a) Evidence for the inception of agriculture in the Nigeria-Cameroun borderland. pp. 83-102. In The Growth of Farming communities in Africa from the Equator southwards. ed. J.E.G. Sutton. Azania special Volume XXIX-XXX. Nairobi: BIEA.
  • (1996b) Report on the Tarokoid languages. Iatiku, 3:14-15.
  • (1997a) [with K. Williamson & B. Connell] The Diffusion of Maize in Nigeria: a Historical and Linguistic Investigation. SUGIA, XIV:19-46. Köln.
  • (1997b). Language studies in Africa. In Encyclopaedia of precolonial Africa. J.O. Vogel (ed.) 90-100. Walnut Creek/London/New Delhi: Altamira.
  • (1997d) Crabs, turtles and frogs: linguistic keys to early African subsistence systems. In: Archaeology and Language, I. eds. R.M. Blench and M. Spriggs. 166-183. London: Routledge.
  • (1997e) The papers of Roland Stevenson. Nilo-Saharan Newsletter. N.S. 1:3-16.
  • (1998a) The diffusion of New World Cultigens in Nigeria. In: Plantes et paysages d’Afrique. 165-210. M. Chastenet. ed. Paris: Karthala.
  • (1998b) The status of the languages of Central Nigeria. In: Brenzinger, M. ed. Endangered languages in Africa. 187-206. Köln: Köppe Verlag.
  • (1998c) Recent fieldwork in Nigeria: Report on Horom and Tapshin. Ogmios, 9:10-11.
  • (1999a) Are the African Pygmies an ethnographic fiction? In: Central African hunter-gatherers in a multi-disciplinary perspective: challenging elusiveness. K. Biesbrouck, S. Elders & G. Rossel eds. 41-60. Leiden: CNWS.
  • (1999b) Hunter-gatherers, conservation and development: from prejudice to policy reform. Natural Resource Briefing Paper 43. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • (1999c) The westward wanderings of Cushitic pastoralists. In: L’Homme et l’animale dans le Bassin du Lac Tchad. C. Baroin & J. Boutrais eds. 39-80. Paris: IRD.
  • (1999d). General introduction. In: Archaeology and Language, IV. eds. R.M. Blench and M. Spriggs. London: Routledge.
  • (1999e) The languages of Africa: macrophyla proposals and implications for archaeological interpretation. In: Archaeology and Language, IV. eds. R.M. Blench and M. Spriggs. London: Routledge.
  • (1999f) Language phyla of the Indo-Pacific region: recent research and classification. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Bulletin, 18: 59-76.
  • (1999g) Field trip to record the status of some little-known Nigerian languages. Ogmios, 11:11:14.
  • (1999h) Recent fieldwork in Ghana: Report on Dompo and a note on Mpre. Ogmios, 11:14-15.
  • (2000a) with K. Williamson. Niger-Congo. In: African languages: an introduction. B. Heine & D. Nurse eds. 11-42. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • (2000b) Combining different sources of evidence for the history of African livestock. In: The origin and development of African livestock. R.M. Blench & K.C. MacDonald eds. 18-27. London: University College Press.
  • (2000c) Revising Plateau. In: Proceedings of 2nd WOCAL, Ekkehard Wolff & O. Gensler eds. 159-174. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
  • (2000d) Transitions in Izere nominal morphology and implications for the analysis of Plateau languages. In: A. Meißner & A. Storch (eds.) Nominal classification in African languages. Frankfurter Afrikanische Blätter, 12:7-28.
  • (2001a) Types of language spread and their archaeological correlates: the example of Berber. In: Origini, XXIII: 169-190.
  • (2001b) Nupe children’s songs and singing games. In: Von Ägypten zum Tschadsee: eine linguistische Reise durch Afrika. D. Ibriszimow, R. Leger & U. Seibert (eds.) 67-77. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag.
  • (2002) Besprechungsartikel. The classification of Nilo-Saharan. Afrika und Übersee, 83:293-307.
  • (2003a) Why reconstructing comparative Ron is so problematic. In: Topics in Chadic Linguistics. Papers from the 1st Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Language Family (Leipzig, July 5-8, 2001). H. Ekkehard Wolff (ed.) 21-42. Köln: Rudiger Köppe.
  • (2003b) Plural verb morphology in Vagla. Cahiers Voltaïques / Gur Papers VI (2003): 17-31. Bayreuth.
  • (2004a) Archaeology and Language: methods and issues. In: A Companion To Archaeology. J. Bintliff ed. 52-74. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • (2004b) The εBoze [Buji] language and the movement for literacy. Ogmios, #24:11-12.
  • (2004c) The situation of endangered languages in the Sudan and some notes on Kufo. Ogmios, #24:10-11.
  • (2004d) with J.G. Nengel. Notes on the Seni people and language with an addendum on Ziriya. Ogmios, #24:12-13.
  • (2005a) From the mountains to the valleys: understanding ethnolinguistic geography in SE Asia. In: The peopling of East Asia. Sagart, L. Blench, R.M. & A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds.) 31-50. London: Routledge.
  • (2005b) Fruits and arboriculture in the Indo-Pacific region. BIPPA, 24:31-50.


  • 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. 0-415-11786-0
  • 2005. L.Sagart, Blench, R.M. & A. Sanchez-Mazas eds. The peopling of East Asia. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32242-1

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ache, agonize, ail, anguish, avoid, blanch, bleach, blink, boggle, cringe, decolor, decolorize, demur, dodge, draw back, duck, evade, fade, fall back, falter, feel pain, feel the pangs, fight shy of, flinch, funk, grimace, hang back, hang off, have a misery, have qualms, hesitate, hold off, hurt, jib, make bones about, pause, pound, pull back, quail, recoil, reel back, retreat, scruple, sheer off, shoot, shrink, shrink back, shy, shy at, sidestep, smart, squinch, start, start aside, start back, stick at, stickle, strain, suffer, swerve, thrill, throb, tingle, turn aside, twinge, twitch, waver, weasel, weasel out, white, wince, writhe
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