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The chapter deals with the study of the major African languages in the countries of the Eastern African region. Much attention is paid to the dominant (national) languages such as Bemba, Chewa (Nyanja), Ganda, Nyarwanda, Shona and Swahili, which had remained at the centre of research for the past 176 years. Minority languages are ignored in this chapter; their history begins with earlier recorders (missionaries, explorers and colonial administrators) and later native linguists. This chapter is organized into convenient epochs: (1) The rise of linguistics in Eastern Africa on the basis of groundwork compiled by missionaries for the period of 100 years between 1840 and 1940. (2) Contributions of institutions on the research and documentation of East African languages, as well as the mentorship of local linguists for the period of 30 years between 1940 and 1970. During this period, colonial language centres were transformed into university institutions. (3) The third phase, from 1970s to date, comprises the emergence of the indigene academics, with some theoretically inclined research agendas, mainly on their mother tongues.