Case in Africa

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OUP Oxford, Jun 12, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 368 pages
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This book provides a typological overview of the different manifestations of grammaticalized case systems in African languages. After defining and distinguishing case systems, Christa König begins a thorough analysis of case in roughly 100 African languages and reveals several features, such as tone as a marker for case and the marked-nominative system, which are rare phenomena in other languages of the world. Wherever possible, the author takes into account data from her own substantial and highly regarded field research. The book provides answers to questions such as the following: What is the relationship between definiteness and case. Are case phenomena areally or genetically motivated? Why are case distinctions neutralized in nearly all case languages with verb initial or verb medial word order? Which grammaticalizations appear with case? What is the relationship between topics and nominative cases, or focus and accusative cases?
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Accusative
36
3 Ergativity
95
4 Markednominative
138
5 Special phenomena
204
6 Conclusions
283
Appendix I Case in Africa
290
Appendix II Genealogical overview of case languages in Africa
292
Terminology
302
References
309
Author Index
325
Language Index
329
Subject Index
335
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About the author (2008)

Christa König is a Lecturer in African cultures and languages at the Centre for African Studies, University of Frankfurt. She has taught at the universities of Cologne, Zurich, and Gwangjuk (Korea), and has carried out field research in East Africa and Namibia; she is presently working on the Khoisan language !Xun. Her book publications include Aspekt in Maa (1994) and Kasus im Ik (2002).

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