LINGUIST List 11.149

Mon Jan 24 2000

Books: African Linguistics, Dictionaries

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <scottlinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. LINCOM EUROPA, African Ling: Areal and Genetic Factors in Lang Class, P. Zima (Ed)
  2. LINCOM EUROPA, Dictionaries, African Ling: Lexique Yaka - Francais; Francais - Yaka

Message 1: African Ling: Areal and Genetic Factors in Lang Class, P. Zima (Ed)

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 23:56:22 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: African Ling: Areal and Genetic Factors in Lang Class, P. Zima (Ed)


Areal and Genetic Factors in Language Classification and Description: 
Africa South of the Sahara

PETR ZIMA (ED.)
Charles University

Papers prepared by Siegmund Brauner, Norbert Cyffer, Peter
Gottschligg, Herr-mann Jungraithmayr, Robert Nicola�, Henry Tourneux,
Rainer Vossen and Petr Zima.

This is intended to be a collection of papers the origin of which is
the set of lectures given by selected scholars from different
Universities of Europe at Charles University in Prague in 1997-1998 on
present-day problems of language classification and description, with
particular attention to Africa. In these lectures, particular
attention is paid to languages, language families/or branches and
areas the status of which still remains to some extent open to
discussion, despite years of more or less concentrated and concerted
efforts.

Most such lectures were subject to further discussions in the Czech
Grant Agency Research Team 403-96- 0787 and the Groupement de
Recherche Europ�en No 1172 du Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique, Paris, and then re-written and extended for the purpose
of this volume.

It is in this context that several lectures of the above-mentioned set
are devoted to problematic languages, language branches, families and
areas of Africa south of the Sahara. This is, in fact, a region where
even today, more than two hundred years after the publication of
S.W.Koelle's Polyglotta Africana and more than thirty-five years after
the publication of J.H. Greenberg's Languages of Africa, open options
in language classification and description remain almost as frequent
as cases of the firmly and reliably established ones. That is why only
such attempts at language classification (be they traditionally
oriented or be their orientation an attempt at some sort of a new
methodological and theoretical platform) were accepted for publication
within this volume, which were based on genuine experience in
describing the languages concerned. In this respect, new
methodological and theoretical concepts originating from recent
experience with field work in Africa are also supposed to be of
crucial importance. Hence it follows that synthetic approaches to
comparative studies and/or areal classification of such "problematic"
language families/branches or areas as Chadic, Khoisan, Mande, Saharan
etc. were accepted, as well as cases of such "problematic" language
and dialect clusters as Fula, Hausa or Songhay. In this respect, the
volume may perhaps serve some of the aims of a future team work
oriented to present a sort of Introduction to African linguistics, its
pretentions being restricted, obviously, to certain language groups
and areas of Africa for the research of which the respective authors
feel competent.

While disputable cases and options concerning classification of
language families and areas of Africa south of the Sahara were in the
focus of most contributions in this volume, there was another, much
broader pretention behind the efforts to compile it. Tending to stress
either the genetic comparison of languages or their areal contrastive
confrontantion, many linguists are well aware of the fact that while
both approaches serve different purpose using different methods (which
are not to be mixed together), there is a profound link between
particular methods and areas. Or better, one could say there are links
between the historico-sociolinguistic types of language communities in
question and methods chosen to analyse them. While theories and
methods of the genetic comparison and classical language diachrony
were established and elaborated for languages with ancient traditions
of written culture (the long-lasting traditions of the existence of
written documents being at the very origins of such a historical
comparison), the situation of language communities deserving oral
cultures offered other opportunities and imposed other methods (areal
studies, mass-comparison, reconstructions, etc.).

After all, was it not the absolute faith in the validity of the
tree-like model of language development manifested by several
excellent Indo-Eurpeanists of the past generations that lead them to
the neglect of other possible models of language development? Yet, as
thorough synchronic language description of hitherto unknown areas of
Africa brought reliable comparative and genetic reconstructions, in
particular regions where no long lasting tradition of written texts
had ever existed (the Bantu and Chadic fields being only the most
obvious cases, but by far not the only ones), so did the recent
'returns' of areal and pidgin cum creole studies bring new results
even in the traditional IE fields.

Thus, much of what has been said and neglected in the period of the
neogrammarian polemics with Hugo Schuchardt in their times comes to
the front of the stage again, albeit in the new theoretical and
methodological light. It is in this sense that this volume does not
intend to re-open the past confrontations between the genetic and the
areal approach to language classification and description, but -
rather - to face the new opportunities in their combined efforts, as
they can be illustrated on data from problematic dialects, languages,
vs.language families and areas.



ISBN 3 89586 938 4. 
LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 47. 
Ca. 200pp. EUR 57.26 / USD 70 / DM 112 / pound sterling 42. 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard
no. & expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information
include shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this
series is available with special discounts offered to individual
subscribers. A free copy of LINCOM's millenium catalogue 'project
line 10' is now available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

new address!!!!

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +49 89
62269494 or +4989 3148909; 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Dictionaries, African Ling: Lexique Yaka - Francais; Francais - Yaka

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 00:03:40 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Dictionaries, African Ling: Lexique Yaka - Francais; Francais - Yaka

Lexique Yaka - Fran�ais; Fran�ais - Yaka

RUTTENBERG S.J. PIET

Le yaka, langue H31 dans la classification de M. Guthrie est parl� au
Za�re, dans la sous-r�gion du Kwango.

ISBN 3 89586 946 5. Languages of the World /Dictionaries 27. 
EUR 50.11 / DM 98 / USD 53 / pound sterling 32.

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard
no. / expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information
include shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this
series is available with special discounts offered to individual
subscribers. A free copy of LINCOM's millenium catalogue 'project
line 10' is now available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +49 89
62269494 or +4989 3148909; 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
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