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New from Oxford University Press!


Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Book Information


Title: An Introduction to African Languages
Written By: G.TuckerChilds

This book introduces beginning students and non-specialists to the diversity and richness of African languages. In addition to providing a solid background to the study of African languages, the book presents linguistic phenomena not found in European languages. A goal of this book is to stimulate interest in African languages and address the question: What makes African languages so fascinating? The orientation adopted throughout the book is a descriptive one, which seeks to characterize African languages in a relatively succinct and neutral manner, and to make the facts accessible to a wide variety of readers. The author’s lengthy acquaintance with the continent and field experiences in western, eastern, and southern Africa allow for both a broad perspective and considerable depth in selected areas. The original examples are often the author’s own but also come from other sources and languages not often referenced in the literature. This text also includes a set of sound files illustrating the phenomena under discussion, be they the clicks of Khoisan, talking drums, or the ideophones (words like English lickety-split) found almost everywhere, which will make this book a valuable resource for teacher and student alike.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements and dedication vii
Preface ix
Abbreviations xiii
List of Maps xv
List of Figures xvii
List of Tables xix
1. Introduction 1–18
2. The classification of African languages 19–53
3. Phonetics and phonology 55–95
4. Morphology 97–115
5. Syntax and semantics 117–151
6. Historical and typological issues 153–174
7. Social effects on the languages of Africa 175–216
Appendices 217–221
References 223–260
Index 261–265

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Language Family(ies): Khoisan
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 158811421X
ISBN-13: 9781588114211
Pages: xx, 265 pp.
Prices: U.S.$ 169
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027226059
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xx, 265 pp.
Prices: EuropeEURO 125.00
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1588114228
ISBN-13: 9781588114228
Pages: xx, 265 pp.
Prices: U.S.$ 68
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9027226067
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xx, 265 pp.
Prices: EuropeEURO 50.00