LINGUIST List 15.2005

Tue Jul 6 2004

Review: Socioling/Lang Description: Mous (2003)

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  1. Mike Morgan, The Making of a Mixed Language: The Case of Ma'a/Mbugu

Message 1: The Making of a Mixed Language: The Case of Ma'a/Mbugu

Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 23:34:05 +0900
From: Mike Morgan <>
Subject: The Making of a Mixed Language: The Case of Ma'a/Mbugu

AUTHOR: Mous, Maarten
TITLE: The Making of a Mixed Language
SUBTITLE: The Case of Ma'a/Mbugu
SERIES: Creole Language Library volume 26
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
YEAR: 2003
Announced at

Michael W. Morgan, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies

The subject of mixed languages (which Myers-Scotton (2002) proposes
calling 'split languages', to avoid the long-standing negative
connotation in linguistics of the term 'mixed language'), has been
much in vogue over the past ten years, especially in the field of
contact linguistics. This is witnessed by the discussion of mixed
languages in most general survey texts on the subject of contact
linguistics (e.g. Thomason and Kaufman, pp. 214-238; Sebba,
pp. 264-269; Myers-Scotton, pp. 246-271; Winford, pp. 168-207), and in
a growing number of articles and collections of articles dedicated
specifically to mixed languages (for example, Matras and Bakker (2003)
is a collection of ten articles on the subject).

The book under review here is a very important contribution to this
discussion. In it, a detailed description of Ma'a/ Mbugu is
presented. This description includes both the historical,
socio-cultural and socio-linguistic background, and the explication of
the lexicon and grammar of the language(s) in question. In addition to
its inherent interest for those studying mixed languages, the book
under review will also be of interest to those interested in Bantu
linguistics in general, providing a detailed treatment of a previously
under-described East African Bantu language.

The Making of a Mixed Language consists of nine chapters, plus a
variety of appended matter (maps at the beginning of the book, a
Mbugu-English etymological lexicon with English index at the end). Due
to length limitations, in this review I will spend more time
discussing the first chapters (pp. 1- 93) and less on the actual
language description (pp. 95-213; the description largely speaks for
itself. I will also have a fair amount to say about the actual
language material presented in the book, both the texts (p. 9,
p. 201-213), sample sentences and to the lexicon (231-318).

Chapter One: 
In this chapter, Mous introduces us to the Mbugu and their
language(s). As a people they speak two languages, both referred to by
the cover term Mbugu (or Mbughu). The first is Normal Mbugu (= cha
kawaida), which is very closely related to Pare (Chasu) (Smith (2003,
p. 7) gives it a lexical similarity of 72 percent) and can be
classified in the Shambala group of Bantu Zone G.20. (Aksenova and
Toporova (1990) classify it (p. 252), following Bastin 1978, as F.35,
perhaps confused by the similarity to Mbugwe, which is classified as
F.34.) The second, which is the 'mixed language' in question, is Inner
Mbugu (= cha ndani), also known as Ma'a both among the people
themselves and in the literature. Although Mous doesn't go into it
here, Smith (2003, p. 6) states that ''Ma'a is 23 percent lexically
similar to cha kawaida and 17 percent lexically similar to Pare.''
Thus, lexically at least, we are dealing with two distinct languages.

Mbugu is spoken in roughly three pockets in the Usambara mountains of
North East Tanzania, with some dialectal variation and varied
preference for Inner and Normal Mbugu. Although Mous does not give us
figures for the population, Smith (2003, p. 11) estimates, of a total
Mbugu population of around 7000, the number of Inner Mbugu speakers at
2870 and Normal Mbugu speakers at 3920. As Mous notes, speakers of
Inner Mbugu also invariably speak Normal Mbugu. In addition, Mbugu
tend to learn, in order of average proficiency, three other languages:
Shambaa, Swahili and Pare.

In this chapter Mous also gives us our first glance at the nature of
the relationship between Normal and Inner Mbugu, giving us a short
sample text in Inner Mbugu (with interlinear Normal Mbugu version),
and a discussion of the properties of the parallel lexicon. As Mous
states, the grammatical differences between Inner and Normal Mbugu are
minimal; ''Inner Mbugu is in fact a parallel lexicon to the Bantu
language (Normal) Mbugu'' (Mous 2003, p. 10).

In this brief overview to this parallel lexicon, Mous gives numerous
sets of examples. Although the individual items in the parallel
lexicons are distinct, there are important, structural correlations
between the two. Thus, parallel nouns normally belong to the same noun
class; verb derivations are generally parallel in both languages. In
examining the parallel lexicon, Mous feels, we must not ignore the
role of conscious lexical manipulation in the emergence of Ma'a and
the parallel lexicon. He states that ''[t]he strategies ... used in
the formation of Inner Mbugu are common strategies for conscious
lexicon creation'' (p. 12): borrowing from a wide range of languages,
the use of archaic words, truncation of a word with added dummy suffix
-e, substitution of remarkable sounds, metathesis, circumlocution, and
semantic extension. The purpose it would seem, according to Mous is
''to make a language that sounds different for identity purposes''
(p. 12).

Mous also gives us in the first chapter a survey of earlier
descriptions and discussions of Ma'a (starting in 1885 with a short
word list), a description of the sources of his data (three fieldwork
periods in 1992-1993), and an overview of his aims and new insights in
this book. The first aim is the presentation of new data, which as I
discuss later is one of the major plusses of the book. A second aim is
to show the intrinsic relationship between the mixed language and the
normal Bantu language. The nature of this relationship has often been
ignore, due to the two languages being studied in isolation from each
other. In previous works (Mous 2001), Mous has argued that the two
languages Ma'a/Inner Mbugu and Normal Mbugu are (ethno)-registers of
the same language. The relationship is one of common grammar and
parallel lexicon; in terms of grammar Inner Mbugu might be said to be
parasitic on Normal Mbugu (NOT Mous' characterization). A third aim of
the book is the recognition of a variety of lexical sources of the
Inner Mbugu lexicon. Previous studies have assumed a simplistic,
Cushitic-only source. Mous' significant contribution to our
understanding, however, is to show the presence of a significant
contribution from Maasai, the presence of MULTIPLE Cushitic source
languages (rather than a single, proto-Ma'a language), in addition to
a variety of Bantu sources. Finally, Mous attempts to show
correlations between clan settlement, language knowledge, route of
migration and dialect differences in Ma'a.

Chapter Two:
In this chapter Mous gives us the historical and geographical
background of the Mbugu people and language(s). This background is
based on a collation of oral histories, historical information from
the parallel lexicon, a comparison of Inner Mbugu lexical items with:
Shambaa/ Shambala, Pare, Mbugwe, Taita Bantu (Sagala and Davida),
Maasai, Gorwaa (and Iraqw), and Old Kenyan Cushitic (Eastern Cushitic
and Dahalo), and a reconstruction of a chronology through a study of
lexical domains. Mous closes the chapter with a reconstruction of
possible scenarios: 1) the parallel lexicon developed in the Usambaras
when two groups, one speaking Mbugu-Pare and the other speaking a mix
of Maasai, Gorwaa, etc. come together and form one people due to
cultural similarities. 2) The parallel lexicon developed shortly after
their stay among the Maasai, with a large portion of the population
already being Mbugu-Pare speakers who remember words from an ancestral
Old Kenyan Cushitic language, but with a sizeable minority from
Gorwaa, fusing to form a servant group of the Maasai. This scenario is
felt by Mous to be more likely, and stays close to the oral
histories. 3) A once Cushitic-speaking group in the Pare mountains
shifted to Pare. Part of this group left for the Maasai plains, where
they formed a servant group of the Maasai and the parallel lexicon
emerged shortly thereafter. There was also an influx of Gorwaa. Those
that remained in the Pare mountains shifted completely, and then moved
to the Usambara mountains. Later the Maasai plains group also moved to
the Usambara mountains and merged with the other group there. Normal
Mbugu began to influence lexical restructuring in Inner Mbugu. The
presence of a majority of Normal Mbugu- speaking women among the
Maasai-dominated group determined the grammar, but language loyalty to
Inner Mbugu remained high.

Chapter Three:
In this chapter Mous reconstructs the linguistic history of Ma'a,
based largely on the synchronic situation. What little evidence we
have from the history of Ma'a/Mbugu, shows that little has changed in
the language situation: earlier text (there is only one: Copland
(1933/34)) and word-lists show few differences from present-day
Ma'a. This is true not only of the lexicon but also of the phonology.

For example, the lateral fricative (hl), uncommon in East Africa but
characteristic of Southern Cushitic, is the most characteristic sound
of Ma'a. Various word lists from the period 1885-1965 use various
orthographies, but in general we see consistent attestation of a(t
least one) lateral fricative. This may have been inherited from a
former Cushitic language: for some items Mous gives a Dahalo or Iraqw
source with lateral fricative. In addition, in the earlier word lists
we have evidence of a second lateral affricate (which Mous argues is
due to the influence of Gorwaa/Iraqw), which at present has merged
with the fricative. At present the lateral fricative is used as a sign
of Ma'a identity, which has lead to introduction into lexical items
without etymological laterals.

Another feature of Inner Mbugu, operating in the process of deriving
lexical items from Normal Mbugu, is the truncation rule. Forms often
occur with and without truncation. This variation is attested by
truncated forms in the earlier documents which now exist only in
untruncated form. Mous argues that the truncation rule is another
example of a typical lexical manipulation rule, and thus unsuitable as
a chronological landmark in the history of Ma'a.

Remnants of non-Bantu grammar in Ma'a are of particular importance for
any theorizing as to the model of emergence of the mixed language
Ma'a. Elements of Cushitic grammar in Inner Mbugu are crucial for
proponents of gradual bantuization (such as Thomason). As for syntax,
Inner Mbugu syntax is identical to Normal Mbugu syntax; that leaves
morphology. Apart from closed classes of function words (pronouns,
demonstratives, etc.), which Mous class as lexicon rather than
grammar, we have few non-Bantu structural elements. Even for the
closed classes of function words, while the forms in the Ma'a parallel
lexicon are clearly non-Bantu and in many cases indications are
towards Cushitic, the system (e.g. the distinction of three rather
than four degrees of demonstrative distance, the lack of a gender
distinction in pronouns) is clearly Bantu. In addition, none of the
non-Bantu elements is fully productive in Ma'a. Also, non-Bantu
elements could be either retentions or innovations; a theory of
gradual bantuization would require that they be retentions - and that
they be from one and the same source language (the original
proto-Ma'a). Of the previously proposed Cushitic elements, Mous
argues that they fall into several groups: Falsely claimed Cushitic
grammar: 1) elements which are in fact Bantu in origin (e.g.
amplification suffix -sha also found in Shambaa; the so-called
directional preposition he, which is in fact the normal reflex of
Bantu locative class 16 in Pare as well as Normal and Inner Mbugu), 2)
elements that are typological (e.g. the considerable use of adjectives
when in fact the number of adjectives is similar in Normal Mbugu, as
well as in Bantu Pare; the presence of a typical Southern Cushitic
five-term color system as opposed to the Bantu three-term system, when
in fact the extra two terms are not necessarily color terms: the term
given as 'yellow' meaning 'young, unripe' and the term for 'green'
occurring as the root for 'grass', and the former also occurs in
Normal Mbugu and appear to be non-Cushitic in origin), and 3) ghost
Cushitic grammar (e.g. left-over Cushitic gender marking,
juxtaposition of possessor following the possessed -- neither is
attested in Mous' data).

In addition, we have in Ma'a a number of other possible non-Bantu
structural elements: 3) non-agreement of some modifiers
(demonstratives, and possessives when they immediately follow the
noun, which are deviant from the Bantu standard, but not necessarily
attributable to a Cushitic source), 4) instability of certain
noun-class prefixes for certain nouns (optional application of noun
prefix to some nouns of non- Bantu origin, and Mous argues that noun
prefixes are the last feature added to the parallel lexicon), 5)
presence of a verb 'to have' (though Mous argues that the Inner Mbugu
verb lo 'to have' -- of unclear and apparently non-Cushitic origin --
and the Normal Mbugu preposition na 'with' are not really that
different as they might seem, both being used, for example, with the
locative class he to express 'there is'), 6) recurrent endings in
nouns and verbs (these include: a) the causative suffix -ti, which is
the non-Bantu element most closely approaching productivity, b) a
number (about eight) of Non-Bantu disyllabic noun endings with
high-tone -e-, some of which seem to possess restricted productivity,
c) a locative clitic -za -- clearly Cushitic in origin -- parallel to
the Normal Mbugu and Bantu locative suffix -eni), and 7) remnants of a
Cushitic gender marker in adjectives (though the masculine marker ku-
has been generalized).

Mous concludes this chapter by discussing a number of controversial
issues in the linguistic history of Ma'a, and the challenge presented
by mixed languages to the field of historical linguistics. The first
issue is the question of: language shift or gradual
bantuization. Thomason (1995) classifies Ma'a as a Category 1 mixed
language, wherein in terms of sociohistorical characteristics we have
gradual long-term change, with or without language shift and in terms
of linguistic processes we have a near-total replacement of L1 grammar
(a gradual borrowing of Bantu grammar). She proposes (Thomason 1997) a
long process of gradual, incremental bantuization with only
subsequent, recent lexical manipulation. Mous, who previously (Mous
1996) opposed this view, is now at least partially in agreement. He
argues that the gradual bantuization occurred in a situation of
language maintenance with extensive bilingualism. Eventually, however,
unlike Thomason, Mous sees a shift to Normal Mbugu, opening the way to
the extension of the parallel lexicon. Thomason presents two types of
evidence for her theory: 1) fossilized non-Bantu grammatical features
from an earlier Cushitic stage, and 2) chronologically ordered Bantu
structural interference/ changes occurring at different times. As
argued above, many of the elements of non-Bantu grammar are not, in
Mous' opinion, evidence for gradual bantuization. Also, sound changes
that Thomason sees as Bantu-induced, are seen by Mous as being
differently motivated by the requirements of parallel lexicon building
and conscious lexical manipulation. The borrowing of the Bantu noun
class system by Ma'a is a complicated phenomenon, and here Mous goes
into a detailed excursus on its possible development. Of importance
here, however, is the fact that whatever the scenario, when it comes
to the prefix system, Ma'a is a kind of Mbugu, and the present noun
class system cannot have come about by gradual bantuization without a
concomitant shift to Mbugu.

Next Mous treats the issue of the role of code-switching in the
development of Ma'a. Myers-Scotton (2002) argues that Ma'a arose as a
case of arrested turn-over in code-switching matrix
language. Code-switching does indeed occur between Inner and Normal
Mbugu (as well as with Swahili as the embedded language), as shown by
Mous' texts, and indeed on another level Ma'a itself might be viewed
as a case of code- switching. However, the switch from Normal to Inner
Mbugu and vice versa cannot be adequately described in terms of
Myers-Scotton's Matrix Frame Model, since normally a switch is
recognized by a switch in grammatical features, while there is no
switch in grammatical framework in a switch between Inner and Normal
Mbugu. Since the grammar is all Normal (Bantu) Mbugu, all instances of
Inner Mbugu are instances of embedded Islands, and it is impossible to
recognize when a speaker switches languages. In Mbugu we have two
systems which are NOT linguistically independent, although they ARE
separate. In the final analysis, Mous feels that there is no evidence
for such a decisive role for code-switching in the development of

Finally, Mous discusses the challenge presented by mixed languages to
historical linguistics and to language classification. In short, Mous
does not see mixed languages as a threat to the comparative method,
especially when we distinguish between grammar and lexicon, and
between inherited and borrowed lexicons. Issues of language
classification are secondary, and are determined by whether we give
preference to grammar (in which case Ma'a is Bantu) or lexicon (in
which case Ma'a is Cushitic, or, as Mous shows, multiple in
origin). Although not a threat, Ma'a and other mixed languages do have
much to offer to historical linguistics, especially as to the nature
of borrowing. Ma'a borrowing is unusual in that: it is additive and
replacive simultaneously; the basic vocabulary is affected HEAVIER
than the marginal vocabulary; and borrowed words are often
deformed. All three of these features are the result of lexical
manipulation, which as we have seen is given pride of position in
Mous' account of the development of the Ma'a parallel
lexicon. Finally, the study of Ma'a and other mixed languages has led
to the proposal of a variety of socio- historical models of how they

Chapter Four:
In this chapter Mous discusses the phonology of Mbugu. The main
difference between the two languages is that Inner Mbugu possesses a
few additional consonants not present in Normal Mbugu. These are: the
glottal stop /'/, the lateral fricative /hl/, the velar fricative /x/
and the reanalyzed velar fricative /nhx/. Aside for exceptional items
(such as Normal Mbugu a'a 'yes') these items do not occur in Normal
Mbugu. In addition, /ch/ is extremely rare in Inner Mbugu. Otherwise,
the two systems present basically a single phonology.

All voiced stops are optionally realized as implosives (a feature
common to languages of coastal East Africa). Prenasalized stops
(absent for palatial consonants) are considered to be unitary
consonants. There are a number of phonological processes at work in
Mbugu. Occasionally we see variation between lateral approximant /l/
and the alveolar trill /r/. Also a spirantization of velars (also
found in Pare) is not uncommon; however, though /k/ is realized as /x/
and /x/ is realized as /h/, all three remain phonemic. This
spirantization also affects the voiced velar (whereby /g/ becomes
/gh/). All cases of spirantization occur only in certain words.

Syllables are always open, with /y/ being the only possible coda, and
then only after /a/. The syllable structure is typically Bantu and is
true for both languages. It can be summarized as: (N).(C(G))V.(C(G)V
(where N = syllabic nasal /m/ nominal prefix, C = consonant, G =
glide, V = vowel). The minimal word is CV; in Ma'a many verbs consist
of only CV. The typical shape of the verb root is, however, CVC, and
given the many affixes, an inflected verb might take the form:
CV-CV-CVC-VC-V. The canonic shape of nouns is prefix + stem; thus:
(C)V+CV(CV(CV)). Exceptions are class 9/10 nouns with nasal prefix
(disappearing before consonant stems). In class 9/10, monosyllabic
nouns occur only in Ma'a.

Both Normal and Inner Mbugu are tonal, with two basic tones: High and
Low. Tone is distinctive on every syllable of a word, and there are no
restrictions on patterns, except that verb roots are either High (H)
or Low (L) regardless of the number of syllables. Tone attestation is,
however, not even, and not the same in the two languages. For example,
in disyllabic noun roots, in both Inner and Normal Mbugu HH is the
least attested type, but it is relatively more common in Normal
Mbugu. On the other end, while it is not uncommon in Normal Mbugu, LH
is the overwhelming type for Inner Mbugu. This is due to the common
use Inner Mbugu makes of -e plus L (LL)H tone pattern to transpose
Normal Mbugu verbs. Also monosyllabic noun roots must be High in Inner
Mbugu, but not in Normal Mbugu. Verbal roots in Normal Mbugu are
either C or CVC, and H and L are equally distributed in the former and
L only slightly more common in the latter. In Inner Mbugu, on the
other hand, the structure of verbal roots is much more complicated, as
is the distribution of tones. In general, ALL monosyllabic verbal
roots are H (a restriction which also applies to monosyllabic noun
roots). For disyllabic roots, HL and LL are well represented, as would
be expected for a standard Bantu verbal system. There are a few
exceptional HH roots, and LH roots with final -a. This leaves a number
of LH verbal rots not ending in -a, which are atypical for Bantu.

Chapter Five:
This chapter discusses the verbal system of Mbugu. The differences
between Normal and Inner Mbugu are negligible, and the system is
typically Bantu, as are the forms themselves (many occurring in Pare
or Shambaa). The verb consists of a stem with a series of inflectional
prefixes, and an inflectional vowel suffix. Inflectional prefixes
consist of the normal Bantu categories: subject prefix (agreement for
1sg, 1pl, 2sg, 2pl, plus each of the 16 noun classes, and obligatory
except for imperatives and infinitives), one or two object prefixes
(all the above agreement classes, plus reflexive), a variety of
'tense' prefixes (20 prefixes, including categories of tense (Mous
provides attestation for 18 tenses, plus a few combinations of tense
prefixes) proper, mood, polarity, etc., and occurring between the
subject prefix and the object prefix (es)), negative prefix (occurring
initially before the subject prefix) and a high-tone prefix (marking
the boundary of predicated domain). Mous' exposition of verb forms is
based on his corpus, and as such is probably incomplete when it comes
to inflectional paradigms. It does however present a rich, very
Bantu-like, picture of the Mbugu verb system.

In this chapter Mous also discusses the copula and the verbs 'to
be'. A copula is required in both Normal and Inner Mbugu, unlike some
other Bantu languages such as Swahili. Also, both Inner and Normal
Mbugu possess the verb 'to be' and locative verbs 'to be at a given
place', although the two languages are not entirely parallel in this
area (as we have seen in the discussion above of the verb 'to have' in
Inner Mbugu).

Mous ends the chapter with an exposition of seven verbal derivation
suffixes present in Mbugu, all of which are common Bantu derivational
suffixes (intensive, causative, applicative, stative, reciprocal,
reciprocal-applicative, and passive), as well as a few non-productive

Chapter Six:
In this chapter Mous discusses the noun class system in Mbugu. Both
Inner and Normal Mbugu possess a Bantu noun class system, wherein
every noun falls into one of sixteen noun classes (mostly occurring in
singular-plural pairs), defined according to agreement phenomena. Noun
classes are largely overt, with membership in each class shown by the
presence of a specific class prefix. The noun class system is
identical to that of Pare, except for class 14.2 which are due to
Swahili influence. In general, class membership is the same in both
varieties of Mbugu, with equivalent nouns of the Inner Mbugu parallel
lexicon occupying the same noun class as their Normal Mbugu (and Pare)

Chapter Seven:
This chapter discusses adjectives and other nominal modifiers
(genitive and relative pronouns, possessives, demonstratives, and
quantifiers). Most of these follow the head noun and show agreement
with the noun class. Demonstratives and quantifiers may also come
before the head noun. We also have cases without agreement, as with
certain recent loans, higher numerals, etc. As in other Bantu
languages, adjectives are a closed and extremely limited set; Mous'
data attests only 37 items, each with Normal and Inner Mbugu
forms. Genetive and relative pronouns form parallel systems which are
common to both Normal and Inner Mbugu, generally the pronominal prefix
plus -a (for genitive) or -o (for relative). The systems of
possessives in Inner and Normal Mbugu differ somewhat in that the
Normal Mbugu system is typically Bantu (pronominal prefix plus lexical
root for the possessor), while in Inner Mbugu agreement is NOT shown
when following the head noun attributively. They agree when used
predicatively or when used attributively but separated from the head
noun by another non-agreeing modifier (e.g. demonstrative). The
systems of demonstratives are remarkably different between Inner and
Normal Mbugu. Both systems have three degrees of deixis, but while
Normal Mbugu has separate forms for each noun agreement class, Inner
Mbugu possesses only one form for each degree of deixis. As for
quantifiers, while one item ('any') is shared by both Inner and Normal
Mbugu, the other three items ('other', 'all', and 'which') are
adjectives in Inner Mbugu, not quantifiers and thus show different
agreement properties.

Chapter Eight:
In this chapter Mous treats invariables and other words: that is, the
hodge-podge of leftover words. The first group includes prepositions,
and all members are shared by the two language varieties. The next
class is independent invariables (i.e. invariables which can form a
phrase by themselves), and in general they resemble adverbs. These
include expressions of time, location, manner, etc. Generally there
are separate items in the two lexicons, though a few items are shared
by both Inner and Normal Mbugu. Next comes the class of independent
personal pronouns, used only for emphasis. Although the forms are
different in the two language varieties, the systems manifest the same
distinctions. Higher numerals form the next group of invariable

Chapter Nine:
The final chapter deals with notes on syntax, code-switching and
texts. The notes on syntax are limited to a few remarks and do not
represent a full syntactic analysis. Mous also includes a section on
set expressions (greetings) in the two language varieties. The section
on code-switching, though relatively short, is of great interest and
is accompanied by a text with discussion. Finally we have four texts:
two in Inner Mbugu, one in Normal Mbugu, and one in a mix of the two.

End Matter:
The book closes with Notes, References, a 2300-plus item Etymological
Lexicon, English Index to Lexicon and Index.

One thing missing from Mous' monograph, a lack which will perhaps be
especially hard felt by those new to the notion of mixed languages, is
a discussion of the general notion of what a mixed language is, a
comparison with other candidate mixed languages, and a discussion of
what makes Ma'a/Mbugu unique. Ma'a/Inner Mbugu stands out as
remarkably different from the other prototypical mixed languages
usually discussed in the survey literature on the subject, Mednyj
Aleut and Michif (both Category 2 mixed languages according to
Thomason (1995)). Mous does, however, discuss some of the issues of
mixed languages in general when he discusses the various models for
the emergence and development of Ma'a.

On the other hand, the present book is a wealth of data and
information concerning the language under question. In fact it is a
complete descriptive grammar of not only the mixed language Ma'a/Inner
Mbugu, but also simultaneously the "matrix" language Normal Mbugu,
showing the close relationship between the languages, something that
Mous argues strongly for.

In terms of data, three things stand out: Texts, Sample sentences, and
Lexicon. As for texts, the six texts (seven if we include the
equivalent Normal Mbugu text provided parallel to the first Inner
Mbugu text) presented in the present book represent the only published
Mbugu texts besides Copland (1933/34), which publishes one Ma'a (pure
Inner Mbugu) text. Texts vary in length from 30 words to almost 300
words, with a slight predominance of Inner Mbugu text material. As for
sample sentences, Mous provides a wealth of illustrative examples for
all of his points. Over all, Mous provides us with an equal picture of
the two language varieties, with 124 Inner Mbugu sentences and 122
Normal Mbugu sentences (plus 2 sentences with both). For any given
point, Mous seems to try to provide material from both language
varieties. Exceptional lapses do, however, occur, as when all three
example sentences for logical sequence -ta-, or both example sentences
for imperfective conditional -he- are from Inner Mbugu, or all three
example sentences for the default tense are from Normal Mbugu.

Finally we have the Etymological Lexicon, which is an extensive list
of more than 2300 items, and is accompanied by an English index to aid
in looking up items. Again I spot-checked the lexicon and
cross-checked it with the English index. Sampling the Lexicon for
items beginning with d-, m-, sh-, o- and z-, we get the following
picture: 162 items shared by Inner and Normal Mbugu, 213 items in
Inner Mbugu and 176 items from Normal Mbugu (plus 4 items without
indication of language variety). The slight predominance of items
occurring only in Inner Mbugu over those occurring only in Normal
Mbugu probably results from the corpus-based nature of Mous' data. As
we saw above, his texts and sample sentences are also slightly
imbalanced in favor of Inner Mbugu. Extrapolating to the total corpus
of 2300 items, this gives us 690 (29 percent) shared items, 900 (40
percent) Inner Mbugu, and 740 (31 percent) Normal Mbugu. Counter
checking against the English index (taking the 145 entries 'day before
yesterday' to 'fog'), we get similar figures, indicating minimal
sampling error. Looked at another way, if these figures are
representative, a given Inner Mbugu text should contain about 60
percent uniquely Inner Mbugu lexical items and 40 percent items shared
with Normal Mbugu.

A final word about the book: this is a high-quality book, as might be
expected from its hefty price. I did, however, note a few typos. For
example, on p. 96 the glottal stop /'/ is missing from the chart of
Mbugu consonants (it should be in italics, as it occurs only in Inner
Mbugu). I didn't keep notes on other typos, but I did catch about 8-10
in the course of reading the text.

Aksenova, I.S. and I.N. Toporova (1990). Vvedenie v Bantuistiku: Imja,
Glagol. Nauka.

Copland, B.D. (1933/34). A Note on the Origin of the Mbugu with a
Text. Zeitschrift fuer Eingeborenen-Sprachen 24:241- 245.

Lewis, Scott (2003). Mbugu/Ma'a Project (= SIL Electronic Survey
Reports SILESR 2004-001.). SIL International.

Matras, Yaron & Peter Bakker, eds. (2003). The Mixed Language Debate:
Theoretical and Empirical Advances (= Trends in Linguistics. Studies
and Monographs 145). Mouton de Gruyter.

Mous, Maarten (1996). Was There Ever a Southern Cushitic Language
Pre-Ma'a? In C. Griefnouw-Mewis and R.M. Voigt (eds.) Cushitic and
Omotic Languages: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium,
pp. 201-211. Ruediger Koeppe.

Mous, Maarten (2001). Ma'a as an Ethnoregister of Mbugu. In Derek
Nurse (ed.) Historical Language Change in Africa (= Sprache und
Geschichte in Afrika (SUGIA) 16/17), pp. 293- 320. Ruediger Koeppe.

Myers-Scotton, Carol (2002). Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters
and Grammatical Outcomes. Oxford University Press.

Sebba, Mark (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles.
St. Martin's Press.

Thomason, Sarah G. (1995). Language mixture: ordinary processes,
extraordinary results. In Carmen Silva-Corvalan (ed.) Spanish in Four
Continents: Studies in Language Contact ad Bilingualism,
15-33. Georgetown University Press.

Thomason, Sarah G. (1997). Ma'a (Mbugu). In Sarah G. Thomason (ed.)
Contact Languages: A Wider Perspective, pp. 469-487. John Benjamins.

Thomason, Sarah G. and Terrence Kaufman (1988). Language Contact,
Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics. University of California Press.

Winford, Donald (2003). An Introduction to Contact Linguistics (=
Language in Society, volume 33). Blackwell Publishing.

Michael W. Morgan holds a doctorate in Slavic Linguistics, teaches
languages (and, when he gets the chance, linguistics), and conducts
research on historical and comparative linguistics, language typology,
sign languages, various Indo-European languages, Basa Bali (like Mbugu
possibly a language historically with ethno- registers), and language
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