This collection brings together most of the world's leading Bantuists, as well as some of the most promising younger scholars interested in the history, comparison, and description of Bantu languages. The Bantu languages, numbering as many as 500, have been at the center of cutting-edge theoretical research in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Besides the issues of classification and internal sub-grouping, this volume treats historical and comparative aspects of many of the significant typological features for which this language group is known: vowel height harmony, noun classes, elaborate tense-aspect systems, etc. The result is a compilation that provides the most up-to-date understanding of these and other issues that will be of interest not only to Bantuists and historical linguists, but also to those interested in the phonological, morphological and semantic issues arising within these highly agglutinative Bantu languages.
Part I. Classification and Linguistic History: 1. Towards a historical classification of East African Bantu languages Derek Nurse; 2. Subclassifying Bantu: the evidence of stem morpheme innovation Christopher Ehret; 3. Classifications lexicostatistiques: bantou, bantou et bantoïde. De l'interet des 'groupes flottants' Yvonne Bastin and Pascale Piron; 4. A note on historical and geographical relations among the Bantu languages Michael Mann; 5. Contact and lexicostatistics in comparative Bantu studies Thomas J. Hinnebusch; Part II. Comparative and Historical Phonology: 6. Nasal vowel creation without nasal consonant deletion, and the eventual loss of nasal vowels thus created: the pre-Bantu case John M. Stewart; 7. The historical interpretation of vowel harmony in Bantu Larry M. Hyman; 8. Remarks on the sound correspondences between Proto-Bantu and Tswana (S.31) Denis Creissels; 9. Vowel systems and spirantization in S. W. Tanzania Catherine Labroussi; 10. Katupa's law in Makhuwa Thilo C. Schadeberg; 11. Unresolved puzzles in Bantu historical tonology Gerard Philippson; Part III. Comparative and Historical Morphology: 12. L'augment en bantou du Nord-Ouest Claire Gregoire and Baudouin Janssens; 13. Les formes nomino-verbales de classes 5 et 15 dans les langues bantoues du Nord-Ouest Pascale Hadermann; 14. Future and distal -ka-'s: Proto-Bantu or nascent form(s)? Robert Botne; 15. Tense and aspect in Lacustrine Bantu languages Derek Nurse and Henry Muzale; 16. The genesis of verbal negation in Bantu and its dependency on functional features of clause types Tom Güldemann; Part IV. Computational Tools for Bantu Historical Linguistics: 17. Introducing the comparative Bantu on-line dictionary project John B. Lowe.
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