Emmanuel Nikiema

Associate Professor, French Studies (on leave)
Language Studies

Emmanuel Nikiema, Associate Professor of French and Linguistics, completed a PhD in Linguistics at the Université du Québec à Montréal (1992); he joined the University of Toronto in 1994 after a two-year research fellowship at Laval University. He has served as visiting scholar and invited professor at several institutions, including the University of Chicago (2000), the CNRS (2001) and the Université de Provence in France (2002), Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan, 2007) and Chonbuk National University (South Korea, 2011). Prof. Nikiema’s current research focuses on syllabic representations and the phonology of Creole languages; he has published a monograph on French phonology and morphology (Brousseau & Nikiema 2001) and several articles in major linguistic journals such as Lingua and the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. He is currently Associate Editor of Mosaic (a refereed journal for language teachers) and serves as reviewer and/or member of editorial boards of numerous linguistic journals.


  • PhD, Linguistics, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • MA, Linguistics, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Maîtrise ès-Lettres, Université de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
  • Licence ès-Lettres, Université de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

Areas of Teaching and Research Interests

  • Linguistic theory and descriptive analyses
  • Phonology and morphology of Creole, Romance and African languages
  • Theory of the syllable and licensing mechanisms

Selected Publications

Articles & Book Chapters

  • Ndayiragije, J., Nikiema, E., & Bhatt, P. (2012). The Augment in Kirundi: When Syntax Meets Phonology. In M. Marlo, N. Adams, C. Green, M. Morrison, & T. Purvis (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Context (pp. 112–121). Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville: MA.
  • Brousseau, A.-M., & Nikiema, E. (2006). From Gbe to Haitian: The multi-stage evolution of Syllable Structure. In Jourdain, Lefebvre, & White (Eds.), L2 Acquisition and Creole genesis, Dialogues (pp. 295–330). John Benjamins.
  • Bhatt, P., & Nikiema, E. (2006). Empty positions in Haitian Creole Syllable Structures. In P. Bhatt & I. Plag (Eds.), The structure of Creole words: segmental, syllabic and morphological aspects (pp. 85–105). Tubingen: Niemeyer.
  • Nikiema, E., & Bhatt, P. (2004). R Diphthongs in French Lexifier Creoles: Evidence from Haitian, Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, 24, 45–64 
  • Bhatt, P., & Nikiema, E. (2003). Empty Nuclei in Haitian Creole. In S. Burelle & S. Somesfalean (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2002 Annual Conference of the Canadian Linguistic Association (pp. 28–41)Montreal: Editions de l’ACL.


  • Nikiema, E. (Ed.). (2020). Second Language Pedagogies: From Theory to Practice vol. 1. Soleil Publishing. 160 pages.

Selected Grants, Fellowships and Awards

  • SSHRC Research Grant, Co-investigator, 2007–2010, Word building in Mitchif
  • Interdisciplinary Team Research Grant, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Co-investigator, 2002
  • Research Fellowship, French CNRS, 2000
  • SSHRC Research Grant, Co-investigator, 1999–2002