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

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Comments on diachronic semantics data with particular reference to Ubangi languages

Raymond Boyd
Adamawa-Gur-Sprachen im Brennpunkt afrikanischer Forschung(WiSe 15/16)

This paper looks first at some of the questions a comparative linguist may ask regarding semantic correspondences. It then classifies correspondences into those that are straightforward and those that are not. It is suggested that the latter might be validated in the course of descriptive studies. When we look more closely, however, particularly at languages with little morphology or with only volatile; morphology that may have come recently into being, and with short canonic forms for lexical items, we find ourselves in a complex domain where clear conclusions are not easily reached. Indepth low-level comparison may be required to understand at least in part why many words have their peculiar ranges of meaning.

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