LINGUIST List 21.3331

Wed Aug 18 2010

Books: Language Documentation/Syntax: Kirk

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

        1.    Daniel Davies, A Grammar of the Somali Language: Kirk

Message 1: A Grammar of the Somali Language: Kirk
Date: 11-Aug-2010
From: Daniel Davies <>
Subject: A Grammar of the Somali Language: Kirk
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Title: A Grammar of the Somali Language Subtitle: With Examples in Prose and Verse, and an Account of the Yibir and Midgan Dialects Series Title: Cambridge Library Collection - Linguistics Published: 2010 Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: J. W. C. Kirk Paperback: ISBN: 9781108013260 Pages: 236 Price: U.K. £ 14.99

Somali is one of the Cushitic family of languages spoken in the horn of Africaand the official language of Somalia. This practical grammar, published in1905, was prepared by J. W. C. Kirk, who first learnt to speak the languageduring his service with Somali troops during the British Empire's failedattempt in 1902-1904 to wrest control of the region from the Dervish stateunder Muhammad Abdullah Hassan. His unique knowledge of the interior ofthe country and the different tribes making up the population meant that Kirk'sinsights were invaluable in advancing scholarly knowledge in the West.Perhaps as importantly, Kirk also records a number of literary examples withhis translations of Somali stories and songs. Another appendix explores thedialects of the Midgan (or Madhiban) and Yibir, both minority tribes who kepttheir languages secret from mainstream Somali society.


Preface;Part I. Orthography;Part II. Accidence;Part III. Syntax of Simple Sentences;Part IV. Syntax of Compound Sentences;Examples of prose and verse;The dialects of the outcast tribes, Midgan and Yibir;Index.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation                             Syntax
Subject Language(s): Somali (som)
Written In: English (eng )

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