By G. Tucker Childs
Delivering an creation to the linguistic examine of African languages, the orientation followed all through this booklet is a descriptive-structural-typological one, rather than a formal-theoretical procedure. Formalisms are usually not eschewed according to se yet really are invoked once they reduction the valuable thrust of the booklet, that's to explain and symbolize the languages of Africa in a succinct and concise demeanour, and to make the evidence available to the strange reader. to assert that the strategy is typological signifies that a given constitution is in comparison to buildings of a similar variety (typically ones prevalent to the readers), set inside of a longtime variety of edition, and characterised as traditional or unforeseen. extra element is additionally supplied, the place attainable, when it comes to the structure's synchronic distribution and diachronic foundation. The textual content assumes at the very least a few wisdom of language constitution at the a part of its readers, yet not anything past that received in a first-year linguistics direction. The ebook is equipped by means of linguistic area or sub-field inside of linguistics, and every of the chapters might be learn independently. Readers can therefore learn selectively or learn the booklet sequentially from cover-to-cover. teachers can use the ebook as a textual content for a path in African languages or perhaps language typology. there's beneficiant indexing by means of subject, language and writer; appendix includes conventional substitute names for the languages mentioned and directs readers to listings within the language index.
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Extra info for An Introduction to African Languages
In (3) is shown how using a single language can mean diﬀerent things depending on the speaker and the situation. Hausa is an Afroasiatic language spoken as a ﬁrst language primarily in northern Nigeria and southern Niger, but is used as a second language by many other speakers. All of the areas mentioned in (3) are found in West Africa. (3) Variable signiﬁcance attached to language choice (Fardon & Furniss 1994: 22–23) A mother tongue Hausa using Hausa in Kano might subscribe to ideas of Hausa culture, Hausa centrality in the north, and Hausa nationalism that are widely shared in the community; The classiﬁcation of African languages Table 1.
These problems are not surprising given the issues around the available data (see Traill 1995 for an overview). 3 for details). The group contains some thirty or more languages, most of which are threatened with extinction. All have clicks, although those in Hadza and Sandawe are less robust, and all but the same two languages are spoken in southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Angola, and South Africa). A recent consensus seems to 23. Such languages have been called isolates or ‘ﬂoaters’ (ﬂottants), problematic languages or groups inconsistently grouped on the basis of diﬀerent methods (Bastin & Piron 1999: 150).
His proposal appeared in partial form in Greenberg 1949 and was expanded upon in subsequent publications, achieving something of a ﬁnal version in Greenberg 1963. Before Greenberg, the (genetic) classiﬁcation of African languages was not based entirely on linguistic criteria, as it should have been. As mentioned above, typological and areal criteria were used, even racial ones. , Meinhof 1899 [1910, 1932], a method which had so successfully been used to show the relatedness among IndoEuropean languages.