An Introduction to African Languages
John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 265 pages
This book introduces beginning students and non-specialists to the diversity and richness of African languages. In addition to providing a solid background to the study of African languages, the book presents linguistic phenomena not found in European languages. A goal of this book is to stimulate interest in African languages and address the question: What makes African languages so fascinating? The orientation adopted throughout the book is a descriptive one, which seeks to characterize African languages in a relatively succinct and neutral manner, and to make the facts accessible to a wide variety of readers. The author's lengthy acquaintance with the continent and field experiences in western, eastern, and southern Africa allow for both a broad perspective and considerable depth in selected areas. The original examples are often the author's own but also come from other sources and languages not often referenced in the literature. This text also includes a set of sound files illustrating the phenomena under discussion, be they the clicks of Khoisan, talking drums, or the ideophones (words like English lickety-split) found almost everywhere, which will make this book a valuable resource for teacher and student alike.
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African languages African linguistics African tone Afrikaans Afroasiatic areal Atlantic languages Bantoid Bantu languages Benue-Congo Blench Cameroon Cavalli-Sforza Chadic Childs clicks consonant alternation creole Cushitic discussed distinctions downdrift English example Fanagalo Figure focus Fula function gender genetic grammatical grammaticalization Greenberg Hausa Heine high tone historical hlonipha ideophones Igbo inflectional Isicamtho Kanuri Khoisan languages Kisi Kru languages language classification language spoken lexical Liberia Ma'a Maddieson Mande languages Mandinka marked marker Mbugu Mchombo morphemes morphology nasal negation Niger-Congo Nigeria Nilo-Saharan Nilotic noun class pattern phonetic phonological phyla phylum pidgin plural prefix prenasalized referenced represent segmental semantic sentence serial verbs social Songhay South Africa speakers speech structure Sudanic suffix Swahili syllable syntactic syntax Table Tanzania tense tonal Traill Tsotsitaal typically typological varieties velar verb extensions verbal vowel harmony West Africa widely spoken Williamson Wolof word order Xhosa Zulu