Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution

New from Cambridge University Press!


Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'

New from Brill!


Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Areal and Genetic Factors in Language Classification and Description
Subtitle: Africa South of the Sahara
Edited By: Petr Zima
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 47

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 Européen 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.

For the complete abstract, please see:

2nd printing 2007.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Genetic Classification
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895869384
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 240
Prices: Europe EURO 79.00