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Topics in African Linguistics

Papers from the XXI Annual Conference on African Linguistics, University of Georgia, April 1990

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Abstract

The 16 papers in this volume are revised versions of papers presented at the conference; they represent the state of the art in various subfields of African linguistics into which the book is organized: (1) morphosyntax, (2) semantics, (3) phonology, and (4) language contact. The last part covers topics such as code-switching and mixing, pidginization/creolization, and language planning.The papers in <i>Part I: Morphosyntax</i> focus particularly on the verb and verb phrase in a variety of Niger-Congo languages, discussing several aspects of the verb morphology. The specific languages discussed include Kinande, Kilega, Kinyarwanda <i>(Larry Hyman)</i>, Kikongo-Kituba <i>(M. Ngalasso)</i>, Duala <i>(E. Bilao)</i>, Yoruba <i>(S.A. Lawal)</i>, Ewe <i>(A.S. Allen)</i>, and Gbaya 'Bodoe <i>(P. Roulon-Doko)</i>. The papers in <i>Part II: Semantics</i> discuss foundational questions regarding the proper/common noun distinction in two geographically very distant African languages, Gborbo Krahn <i>(Janet Bing)</i> in the west and Luo <i>(Ben G. Blount)</i> in the east, which follow yet very similar principles. And, despite differences in the titles, the papers on Kivunjo <i>(Lioba Moshi)</i> and Emai <i>(Schaefer and Egbokhare)</i> address the question of the semantic basis for assigning property concepts to different lexical categories. There are two papers in <i>Part III: Phonology</i>, which are mostly on the prosodic features of Chiyao <i>(Al Mtenje)</i> and Manding <i>(J. Tourville)</i>. In <i>Part IV: Language Contact, Eyamba Bokamba</i>'s and <i>C. Meyers-Scotton</i>'s papers discuss speech variation and mostly formal constraints associated with them, while <i>Helma Pasch</i> compares segmental features of Sango and Yakoma in the Central African Republic to determine whether the former is a creole. <i>Edmun Richmond</i> focuses on the choice of national official language in sub-Saharan Africa. Except for Pasch all of them cover several languages and geographical areas.

Subjects: Afro-Asiatic languages; Other African languages

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