Lecture2Go Videokatalog Universität Hamburg F.5 - Geisteswissenschaften Asien-Afrika-Institut Adamawa-Gur-Sprachen im Brennpunkt afrikanischer Forschung


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A shared pronominal canon in the Macro-Sudan belt: typological, areal and genealogical aspects

Tom Güldemann
Adamawa-Gur-Sprachen im Brennpunkt afrikanischer Forschung(WiSe 15/16)

The Macro-Sudan belt, a linguistic convergence zone proposed on account of diverse evidence by Greenberg (1959, 1983), Güldemann (2003, 2008), and Clements and Rialland (2008), is dominated by two large language families, namely Niger-Congo and Central Sudanic. They are commonly viewed as genealogically unrelated but have since Gregersen (1972) also started to be conceived off as members of a linguistic super-group comprising Niger-Kordofanian and Nilo-Saharan. In the eastern part of the Macro-Sudan belt the two families are implied in the recognition of a recurrent pronominal canon that can be characterized by a set-symbolic contrast (cf. Nichols 2001) between two CV-forms for 1st-person and 2nd-person singular that both start in m but differ in the quality of the following vowel. The paper tries to evaluate this alliterative canon from a typological, areal, and genealogical perspective in order to throw light on the areal and genealogical prehistory of African languages in this part of the continent.

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