By Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse
Greater than 40 years in the past it used to be established that the African continent may be divided into 4 targeted language households. examine on African languages has for this reason been preoccupied with reconstructing and realizing similarities throughout those households. This has intended that an curiosity in different kinds of linguistic dating, akin 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 study. This ebook exhibits that such similarities throughout African languages are extra universal than is generally believed. It presents a vast standpoint on Africa as a linguistic region, in addition to an research of particular linguistic areas. with a purpose to have a greater knowing of African languages, their constructions, and their background, additional info on those contact-induced relationships is key to figuring out Africa's linguistic geography, and to reconstructing its heritage and prehistory.
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Additional resources for A linguistic geography of Africa
8 of the eleven properties, while in other regions clearly lower figures are found. Is Africa a linguistic area? 2 Relative frequency of occurrence of eleven typological properties in African languages (sample: 99 languages. 5 (b) Outside Africa, no language has been found to have as many as five properties, while African languages have between five and ten properties. There are a few exceptions, to be discussed below. (c) While the African area can be set off from the rest of the world, it seems that there is also a worldwide north/south division: languages of the southern hemisphere have clearly more of the properties than languages of the northern hemisphere.
The data also allow for a number of additional generalizations based on combinations of individual properties. For example, if there is a language that has any two of the properties 1 (labial-velar stops), 2 (implosive stops), and 4 (ATR-vowel harmony), then this must be an African language (see chapter 3 for more details). Not all of the properties, however, are characteristic of Africa only; in fact, some are more common in other regions of the world. Property 5 (verbal derivational suffixes) appears to be more common in the Americas than in Africa, property 11 (noun ‘child’ used productively to express diminutive Is Africa a linguistic area?
Furthermore, there is a grammaticalization process involving verbs for ‘say’ which are widely grammaticalized to quotatives, complementizers, purpose clause markers, etc. (Larochette 1959; Meeussen 1975: 3; Gilman 1986: 44; Gu¨ldemann 2001). However, this grammaticalization appears to be also fairly common outside Africa (see Ebert 1991; Heine & Kuteva 2002). Body-part terms used metaphorically for deictic spatial distinctions are found throughout the world; for example, nouns for the body part ‘back’ are the conceptual source for spatial terms for ‘behind’ in most languages.
A linguistic geography of Africa by Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse