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Download A linguistic geography of Africa by Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse PDF

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By Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse

Greater than 40 years in the past it used to be confirmed that the African continent could be divided into 4 special language households. learn on African languages has hence been preoccupied with reconstructing and realizing similarities throughout those households. This has intended that an curiosity in other forms of linguistic courting, akin to even 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 ebook indicates that such similarities throughout African languages are extra universal than is greatly believed. It offers a wide point of view on Africa as a linguistic zone, in addition to an research of particular linguistic areas. so as to have a greater realizing of African languages, their constructions, and their historical past, additional information on those contact-induced relationships is vital to knowing Africa's linguistic geography, and to reconstructing its historical past and prehistory.

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It would seem that they can be classified into the following categories: (8) Properties that seem to be essentially restricted to Africa: a. clicks b. labial flaps c. several types of vowel harmony (described by Clements and Rialland in chapter 3) d. ideophones expressing color distinctions e. case inflections expressed exclusively by tone (so far only found in African languages, all of the marked-nominative type; see chapter 8) f. lack of obligatory agreement of transitive verbs with their object (see chapter 4) (9) Properties that are distinctly more common in Africa than elsewhere.

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.

4). Ignoring click consonants, there are a number of consonant types that are widespread in Africa but uncommon elsewhere (see chapter 3 for detailed treatment). This applies among others to coarticulated labial-velar (or labiovelar) stops (Meeussen 1975: 2; Greenberg 1983: 4; Gilman 1986: 41). Labialvelars may be voiceless (kp) or voiced (gb). There are also corresponding nasals and/or fricatives, but they do not show the wide distribution of stops, and their occurrence is largely predictable on the basis of stops (Greenberg 1983: 4).

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