A Linguistic Geography of Africa (Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact)

A Linguistic Geography of Africa (Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact)

Language: English

Pages: 390

ISBN: 0521182697

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

More than forty years ago it was demonstrated that the African continent can be divided into four distinct language families. Research on African languages has accordingly been preoccupied with reconstructing and understanding similarities across these families. This has meant that an interest in other kinds of linguistic relationship, such as whether structural similarities and dissimilarities among African languages are the result of contact between these languages, has never been the subject of major research. This book shows that such similarities across African languages are more common than is widely believed. It provides a broad perspective on Africa as a linguistic area, as well as an analysis of specific linguistic regions. In order to have a better understanding of African languages, their structures, and their history, more information on these contact-induced relationships is essential to understanding Africa's linguistic geography, and to reconstructing its history and prehistory.

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nouns, nouns headed by adpositions, peripheral partici- pants introduced by verbal derivations, topicalized and/or focused participants, and S and A before the verb may be covered by the accusative. The accusative is the morphologically unmarked form in type 1 languages; in type 2 lan- guages, both cases are morphologically marked. 8.2.2 Case studies In order to illustrate how marked-nominative systems work, I will now present data from two typologically contrasting and genetically

encountered: the first two terms are equally well motivated from an etymological point of view, but their choice departs from current practice, according to which nominative applies to the designation form of nouns in systems in which this form is also used for A and S, whereas absolutive applies to the designation form of nouns in systems in which this form is also used for O and S; the choice of accusative is consistent with the syntactic distribution of case forms in systems of the

York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Brugnatelli, Vermondo (ed.) 1994. Sem, Cam, Iafet: Atti della 7a Giornata di Studi Camito-Semitici e Indoeuropei. Milan: Centro Studi Camito-Semitici. Burns, Rebecca 1987. The verbal suffix /E/ in Kru. Paper read at the 17th Conference on African Linguistics, Bloomington, Indiana. Buth, Randall 1981. Ergative word order – Luwo is OVS. Occasional Papers in the Study of Sudanese Languages 1: 74–90. Bynon, James (ed.) 1984. Current Progress in

indicated by white circles, black circles, and black squares, respectively inside these zones: Santa Dan (Mande, Coˆte d’Ivoire), Bench Gimira (Omotic, southwest Ethiopia), and perhaps Mbembe (Cross River, Cameroon). Three of the areas with four or five tone levels are genetically heterogenous. In the Ivorian zone, such systems are found in three families in contact: Kru, southeastern Mande, and Kwa. In the Nigerian–Cameroon zone, such systems are found in several distantly related

languages. 170 Tom Gu¨ldemann Table 5.8 Minimal-augmented pronoun systems across African lineages Stock Language or Family group (branch) Area Kordofanian – Heiban, Moro (Heiban) Nuba Mountains Bongo-Bagirmi A Central Sudanic Mbay (Sara-Bagirmi); South Chad; Central Gula, Furu (Kara) African Republic, North DRC Adamawa-Ubangi C N. Niger-Congo Dii (A.), Belanda Cameroon, South Sudan Viri (U.) Benue-Congo D N. Niger-Congo Ghomala, Ngiemboon, Southwest Cameroon

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