It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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Aspects of Dagbani Grammar: With Special Emphasis on Phonology and Morphology
This study constitutes a synchronic description of Dagbani, as spoken in the Northern Region of Ghana. The work gives an overview of a little-known Gur language in which various aspects of lexicon, syntax, morphology, and phonology are characterised. Special emphasis is put on the description of phonology and morphology. One section discusses the number inflection of nominals, supported by psycholinguistic evidence drawn from experiments with Dagbani speakers. This presumably reflects one of the first trials to explore the morphological structure of an African language by means of experiments. The largest part of the work is dedicated to the phonology of Dagbani. The sections on tone re of particular interest, as they represent one of the few attempts to characterise the tonology of a Gur language. Dagbani displays a number of interesting phenomena of tonal interaction of various kinds which are ilustrated by numerous examples. The data are the result of various fieldtrips by the author. Where possible, frequency distributions and other statistical information are given in order to illustrate how representative a phenomenon is. The systematic description of Dagbani grammar is a task which has not been undertaken so far. Though far from being complete, this description of Dagbani is the most comprehensive linguistic work on the language.