Mr. Mufwene currently works on language evolution, focusing on language speciation (including the emergence of creole language varieties, of African-American English, and of indigenized Englishes), on the phylogenetic emergence of language, and on colonization, globalization, and the vitality of languages (including language birth and death). He has also researched structural aspects of Gullah, of Caribbean English creoles (chiefly Jamaican and Guyanese Creoles), and of African American English, as well as the morphosyntax of Bantu (especially Kituba, Lingala, and Kiyansi). He was trained in lexical semantics and lexicography (the focus of his earliest scholarship), in syntax, and in language contact.
Mufwene's research in 1980s was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the National Endlowment for the Humanities. He gave lectures at the College de France in Autumn 2003 and was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Lyon, France during the 2010-2011 academic year. He has taught at some summer institutes of the Linguistic Society of America.