The Making of a Mixed Language: The Case of Ma'a/Mbugu

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John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 322 pages
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The Mbugu (or Ma') language (Tanzania) is one of the few genuine mixed languages, reputedly combining Bantu grammar with Cushitic vocabulary. In fact the people speak two languages: one mixed and one closely related to the Bantu language Pare. This book is the first comprehensive description of these languages. It shows that these two languages share one grammar while their lexicon is parallel. In the distant past the people shifted from a Cushitic to a Bantu language and in the process rebuilt a language of their own that expresses their separate ethnic identity in a Bantu environment. This linguistic history is explained in the context of the intricate history of the people. The discussion of the processes that were involved in the formation of Ma'a/Mbugu is extremely relevant for both creole studies and for contact linguistics in general.
  

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Contents

1ntroduction
1
Area clans and language preference
7
Derivation of 1nner Mbugu by dummy suffix
13
Historical and geographical background
17
Oral traditions clans
22
Some Shambaa words in Normal Mbugu
29
1nner Mbugu words shared with Taita Sagala
36
Sample of fauna vocabulary and its origin
42
Phonology
95
Mbugu consonants
96
The verb
111
The noun
163
Adjectives and other nominal modifiers
175
1n variables or other words
183
Notes on syntax codeswitching and texts
197
Notes
215

Linguistic history
51
The development of the lateral fricative hi
53
1Mb causatives in ti and their sources
64
Maa words ending in ao
71
1nner Mbugu Numerals and their origin
89
References
221
Mbugu English etymological lexicon
231
English index to the lexicon
299
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Maarten Mous is professor of African linguistics at the University of Leiden. He worked on several East African languages and is particularly interested in language description and language contact.

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