Russell Schuh is Professor in the Dpeartmetn of Linguistics. He received a BA in French from University of Oregon, a MA in French from Northwestern University, and MA and PhD in Linguistics from UCLA. His research and publication is descriptive and historical comparative work on African languages. His specialty is the Chadic family of languages, spoken in Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, and east-central Chad Republic. Schuh’s concentration has been on languages of the West Branch of Chadic, which are all spoken in northern Nigeria and which include Hausa, the largest natively spoken language in sub-Saharan Africa.
Schuh I was born was a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Niger Republic where he worked in adult literacy and was able to apply linguistics through work on both the Hausa and Tamazhaq languages. Following the Peace Corps he came to UCLA where he completed the PhD in Linguistics, which included a year of field work in northern Nigeria on a Chadic language called Ngizim. In the mid 70's, he spent two years again in northern Nigeria as a researcher in the Centre for the Study of Nigerian Languages, working on a number of languages.
He came to UCLA in 1975, where he remained with the exception of one year as a Visiting Professor, teaching Hausa and linguistics at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1982-83). He has served as Director of the Education Abroad Program in Togo and was Chair of the UCLA Linguistics Department for five years, 1989-94.
Since 2000, he has returned to his Nigerian research roots in Potiskum, Nigeria, supported by three grants from the National Science Foundation. He has been working on six languages of the Chadic family spoken in Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria in collaboration with his former UCLA PhD student, Alhaji Maina Gimba.