LINGUIST List 10.781

Thu May 20 1999

Books: African Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Maureen Burke, Bantu Historical Linguistics
  2. Maureen Burke, Ikalanga Phonetics & Phonology
  3. LINCOM EUROPA, Afroasiatic linguistics: Ge`ez
  4. LINCOM EUROPA, Interlanguage / African linguistics: Swahili among the Maasai

Message 1: Bantu Historical Linguistics

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 11:56:48 -0700
From: Maureen Burke <>
Subject: Bantu Historical Linguistics

Hombert, Jean-Marie (Universite Lumiere Lyon2); Larry M. Hyman (University
EMPIRICAL PERSPECTIVES; ISBN: 1-57586-204-2) (paper), 1-57586-203-4
(cloth); 598 pp. CSLI Publications 1999: email:

This collection brings together most of the world's leading Bantuists, as
well as some of the most promising younger scholars interested in the
history, comparison, and description of Bantu languages. The Bantu
languages, numbering as many as 500, have been at the center of
cutting-edge theoretical research in phonology, morphology, syntax and
semantics. Besides the issues of classification and internal sub-grouping,
this volume treats historical and comparative aspects of many of the
significant typological features for which this language group is known:
vowel height harmony, noun classes, elaborate tense-aspect systems, etc.
The result is a compilation that provides the most
up-to-stand understanding of these and other issues that will be of
interest not only to Bantuists and historical linguists, but also to those
interested in the phonological, morphological and semantic
issues arising within these highly agglutinative Bantu languages.
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Message 2: Ikalanga Phonetics & Phonology

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 11:56:48 -0700
From: Maureen Burke <>
Subject: Ikalanga Phonetics & Phonology

Mathangwane, Joyce T. (University of Botswana); IKALANGA PHONETICS AND
342 pp. CSLI Publications 1999:

This book is the first comprehensive study of the sound system of Ikalanga,
a Bantu language of the Shona group, and its distribution in the phonology.
Using both phonetic factors and typological evidence from other languages
of the world, Bantu as well as non-Bantu, the book provides a careful and
elaborate study on different phonological processes such as High Vowel
Frication (spirantization), palatalization, velarization, aspiration and
depressor consonants and tones, all of which are of great interest to
linguists in general. It further considers how these different processes
produced certain sound changes diachronically some of which are still
manifested as active morphophonemic alternations in this language today.
These morphophonemic alternations are found in such morphological processes
as diminutive formation, causativization, and passivization. Its inclusion
of the two appendices on verb paradigms and a lexicon respectively makes it
a very useful source of information for comparative Bantuists.

CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
Fax (650) 725-2166
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Message 3: Afroasiatic linguistics: Ge`ez

Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 21:42:08 +0200
Subject: Afroasiatic linguistics: Ge`ez

Ge'ez (Classical Ethiopic)
Stefan Weninger, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen

Ge'ez, a South-Semitic language, is the classical tongue of Ethiopia.
Extinct as a spoken language since the 10th century, it is still used by
the Ethiopian church, and still influencing the modern languages of
Ethiopia. In this regard it's comparable to the Classical tongues of
Europe, Latin and Greek. After Egyptian and Meroitic it is one of the
oldest attested languages of Africa.

The present volumne contains: A short outline of the problems connected
with Ge'ez pho-no-logy; the basic structures of the morphology, with
special reference to the verb; the principles of Ge'ez syntax; a sample
text, thoroughly analyzed in interlinear translations. Comparative
charts of the nomenclature of the verbal stems, a chapter on reseach
tools and literature and an ample bibliography should function as a
helpful guide to Ge'ez -studies for the non-specialist and faciliate
reference. The second revised and enlarged edition takes account of new
findings, the bibliography is updated and more examples are given.


	Abbreviations and signs	
0.	Preliminaries	
0.1.	Aim and Scope	
0.2.	Naming and Affiliation	
0.3.	Location and History 	
0.4.	Contact Situation and Transmission	
1.	Script and Phonology	
1.1.	The Alphabet	
1.2.	Phonology	
1.3. 	An Example for the Script and the Traditional Pronunciation	
2.	Morphology	
2.0.	The Root	
2.1.	Nominal Morphology	
2.2.	Verbal Morphology	
2.3.	Prepositions	
3.	Syntax	
3.1.	Noun Phrase	
3.2.	Clause Structure	
3.2.1.	Nominal Clauses	
3.2.2.	Verbal Clauses	
3.3.	Word Order	
4.	Sample Text: From the Life of St. Jared, the Musician	
5.	Research Tools and Literature	
	Comparative Chart of Verbal Stem Nomenclature	

ISBN 3 89586 604 0 (2nd revised edition). 
Languages of the World/Materials 01. 
Ca. 60 pp. USD 31.50 / DM 49.30 / \163 18.30. 

Still available: 1st edition: 
ISBN 3 929075 04 0. 
Ca. 50pp. USD 31.50 / DM 49.30 / \163 18.30. 1993.

Info: LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; 
FAX : +49 89 3148909;;
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Message 4: Interlanguage / African linguistics: Swahili among the Maasai

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 12:01:06 +0200
Subject: Interlanguage / African linguistics: Swahili among the Maasai

Ursula Drolc, Universit\228t Bayreuth

Research on second language acquisition has already become a
well-established topic in Europe and America. However, there are only
few studies dealing with second language acquisition in Africa despite
the fact that major languages like Swahili are mainly acquired as second
languages. The study is an investigation of the interlanguage Swahili of
speakers who have the Eastern Nilotic language Maa as their first
language. They have acquired and are acquiring Swahili informally.
Interlanguage is considered to be the result of a creative learning
process that has to be analysed as an independent linguistic system. As
interlanguage is characterised by high variability the data base
consists of several texts of Maa speakers whose linguistic systems
represent different levels of grammatical complexity. A functional
approach has been used for the linguistic analysis. For each text a
grammatical description of its specific linguistic features is provided.
Finally, there is a statistic comparison of morphological and syntactic
features of all the texts. The conclusion discusses the relationship
between pidginization and second language acquisition and attempts to
answer the question whether the investigated variety of Swahili can be
classified as a pidgin language.

ISBN 3 89586 088 3. 
LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 35. 
240 pp. USD 70 / DM 112 / pound sterling 42.

Info: LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; FAX
+49 89 3148909;;
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If you buy one of these books please tell the publisher or author that you saw it advertised on the LINGUIST list.

The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1999 Contributors

  • Arnold Publishers
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cascadilla Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Elsevier Science, Ltd.
  • Finno-Ugrian Society
  • Indiana University Linguistics Club Publications
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Lincom Europa
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguisticsi
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
  • Vaxjo:Acta Wexionesia