LINGUIST List 32.426

Thu Feb 04 2021

FYI: Call for Book Chapters: A Multidimensional Analysis of Reinforcers in African Languages (updated)

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 04-Feb-2021
From: Gabriel Djomeni <>
Subject: Call for Book Chapters: A Multidimensional Analysis of Reinforcers in African Languages (updated)
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Editors : Djomeni Gabriel D, Faculty of Letters Social Sciences, University of Dschang
Kouankem Constantine, Higher Teacher Training College Bertoua, University of Ngaoundéré


The morpho-syntactic interplay in some African languages has so far helped to capture most of the features those languages exhibit at the level of their word forms and their internal distribution. However, we have noticed that there is a morpheme in some of these languages that has not yet been examined or has not yet attracted a large scholarly curiosity. In fact, what we call Reinforcers (REINF) is very present in some of these languages, but has not received a full academic attention yet. Hence, we have decided to focus on the issue through a collection of chapters under the topic ‘A Multidimensional Analysis of Reinforcers in African Languages’.
Reinforcers have been addressed in some Romance and Germanic languages such as Dutch, German, Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian and Icelandic (see Bernstein, 1997 for further details), where it is pointed out as an element that strengthens the nature of an adverb or a demonstrative as the following data (with the reinforcers in bold) exhibit:
a. den bar mannen
the here man-the
“This man” [Swedish]
4) a. cette femme-ci
this woman- here [French]
“This woman”
b. questo libro qui [Italian]
this book here
“This book”

Though Kouankem (2012) has slightly covered the issue in her Ph.D. thesis, we still believe that the topic should benefit a fine grained analysis with regards to African languages. It might also seem difficult for some linguists, who face some data in the said languages to get a real picture of what we are expecting. This is why we provide the following data with the reinforcers (REINF) in bold to guide them in their thinking.

The analysis should be able to help capture how close and distant are reinforcers in the languages in which they occur.
Mə̀dʉ̂mbὰ (Kouankem, 2012)
a. bún cə̂n lì
children these REINF
“These children”
Feʼéfeʼê (Djomeni)
a. mōō bě lè
child this REINF
‘cet enfant-ci’

We propose in this book to approach the use of reinforcers in African languages from any linguistic background. We invite any researcher working on African languages who will be interested in the topic to prepare an abstract either in English or French and submit for the collection.
The analysis should be based on real and natural data and could also take a comparative or typological approach. The discussion should also point out where the reinforcer is compulsory and where it is not and why if it is the case. Furthermore, it must account for the predictability of occurrence of reinforcers in specific contexts.

The chapters could address any of the following points which are not exhaustive:

- The syntactic distribution of reinforcers
- Reinforcers and the structure of a specific phrase
- Morphological properties of reinforcers
- Vowel Harmony and reinforcers
- The syntax-pragmatic interrelations of reinforcers in African languages
- A semantic appraisal of reinforcers in African languages
- Reinforcers and grammaticalisation in African language, etc

Submission Procedure:
The languages of contributions are English and French.
Contributors are invited to send their abstract to
The abstract in English or French should not exceed 300 words. It should be followed by 5 key words
Upon acceptance, contributors will be instructed on how to format the full version of their proposal.
Important dates: Call for Abstract publication, January 30, 2021
Abstract submission deadline, April 9 2021
Abstract outcome June 9, 2021
Full chapter submission deadline October 9 2021
Return from Peer Review December 28, 2021
Return of proof-red version February 29 2021
Publication: October 2021

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology; Semantics; Syntax

Page Updated: 04-Feb-2021