By Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse
Greater than 40 years in the past it was once validated that the African continent might be divided into 4 particular language households. study on African languages has hence been preoccupied with reconstructing and knowing similarities throughout those households. This has intended that an curiosity in other forms of linguistic dating, corresponding to no matter if structural similarities and dissimilarities between African languages are the results of touch among those languages, hasn't ever been the topic of significant examine. This e-book exhibits that such similarities throughout African languages are extra universal than is commonly believed. It offers a wide viewpoint on Africa as a linguistic quarter, in addition to an research of particular linguistic areas. with the intention to have a greater realizing of African languages, their buildings, and their heritage, additional information on those contact-induced relationships is key to realizing Africa's linguistic geography, and to reconstructing its heritage and prehistory.
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Extra info for A linguistic geography of Africa
In this way, they are able to offer a truly contrastive perspective, demonstrating that there is a range of typological properties that are found extensively within Africa but are rare elsewhere in the world, and vice versa. Accordingly, the authors of this chapter present a balanced profile of African languages and contrast it with that of other linguistic regions of the world. In addition, this chapter also focuses on the internal typological complexity of the continent, suggesting areal groupings of various kinds, and enabling the reader to determine, for example, what structural characteristics to expect from a West African as opposed to an East African language.
1 On linguistic areas Areal linguistics is a much neglected field of comparative African linguistics. g. Mutahi 1991; Nurse 1994; 2000b; Sommer 1995; Bechhaus-Gerst 1996; Dimmendaal 1995a; 2001b; Storch 2003), not much reliable information is available on areal relationship across larger groups of languages. The following are among the questions that we consider to be especially important in this field: (1) Can Africa be defined as a linguistic area vis-a-vis the rest of the world? (2) Are there any clearly definable linguistic macro-areas across genetic boundaries within Africa?
In its strongest form this hypothesis maintains that creole languages such as Haitian Creole have the structure of African languages, especially of Fon (Fongbe), with a European superstrate grafted on (see especially Lefebvre 1998). 3). To offer a diachronic interpretation of the results presented would be beyond the scope of this chapter. 2). In that paper he argued that labial-velar stops (our property 1) originated in Niger-Congo and then diffused into Chadic and Central Sudanic languages, and he suggested that comparatives based on the Action Schema (our property 10) are of Niger-Congo origin (1983: 15).
A linguistic geography of Africa by Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse