9.1623, Books: African Languages

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Tue Nov 17 01:22:31 UTC 1998


LINGUIST List:  Vol-9-1623. Tue Nov 17 1998. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 9.1623, Books: African Languages

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1)
Date:  Sat, 14 Nov 1998 13:15:31 +0100 (MET)
From:  Christoph Eyrich <eyrich at zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject:  Koyra Chiini (Songhay languages/West Africa)

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Sat, 14 Nov 1998 13:15:31 +0100 (MET)
From:  Christoph Eyrich <eyrich at zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject:  Koyra Chiini (Songhay languages/West Africa)

			    Jeffrey Heath

		      A Grammar of Koyra Chiini
		       The Songhay of Timbuktu

                 1998. 24 x 16 cm. XVI, 453 pages.
		  Cloth DM 298,-/approx. US$ 186.00
			  ISBN 3-11-016285-7
		      Mouton Grammar Library 19

               Mouton de Gruyter * Berlin * New York

This volume presents the first grammar in English of a language of the
Songhay family of West Africa.

A sharp typological boundary separates Koyra Chiini in the Timbuktu
area from other Songhay languages of West Africa, including Koroboro
Senni of nearby Gao. For example, Koyra Chiini differs from these
other languages in its basic constituent order (VO) and in its syntax
of focalization and relativization (extraction with zero traces).

Since the phonology is fairly simple, this grammar emphasizes
grammatical categories and morphosyntax. Topics covered in depth
include pronominal categories, logophorics, NP conjunction,
instrumentals, aspect, the subjunctive mood, the `all' quantifier,
serial verbs, focalization, discourse-functional particles, and
relativization. There is a concluding chapter on topics in
spatio-temporal and lexical semantics.

Though the main grammar is based squarely on the Timbuktu variety,
there is a short appendix on dialects farther upriver, and a long
appendix on Djenne Chiini, a remarkable offshoot of Koyra Chiini
spoken in the Songhay enclave city of Djenne. Djenne Chiini has seven
vowel qualities to Koyra Chiini's five, and has a different syntax
based on in situ rather than extracted focalization and
relativization. This comparative material is of special importance in
that Koyra Chiini (and Djenne Chiini) are possible semi-creolized
Songhay varieties dating from the westward expansion of the Songhay
Empire (capital: Gao) of the late Middle Ages.
_______________________________________________________________________

Mouton de Gruyter                         Walter de Gruyter, Inc.
Postfach 30 34 21                         200 Saw Mill River Road
D-10728 Berlin                            Hawthorne, NY 10532
Germany                                   USA
Fax:   +49 (0)30 26005-351                Fax: +1 914 747-1326
email: mouton at degruyter.de

Publications by de Gruyter can also be ordered via World Wide Web:
                      http://www.deGruyter.com


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Pacific Linguistics
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