A Historical-Comparative Reconstruction of Nilo-Saharan by Christopher Ehret PDF

By Christopher Ehret

Nilo-Saharan is without doubt one of the 4 significant language households at the African continent. It extends eastwards from the Niger to Western Ethiopia and extra southwards to Northern Tanzania. whereas the prestige of Nilo-Saharan as a phylum has been principally authorised on account that Greenberg (1963), the inner category has remained debatable. the current quantity is meant as a decisive contribution in the direction of the verification of the interior courting of the Nilo-Saharan languages. utilizing usual sound correspondences for verifying degrees of inner courting used to be started within the Eighties, yet this paintings takes up the consequences accomplished hitherto and keeps from this foundation. New resources are considered: except reconstructing consonants, vowels and tone, the learn additionally contains derivational and inflectional morphology in addition to pronouns. The ebook contains major components. the 1st half (chapter 2-8) is devoted to the reconstruction of consonants, vowels and tone, to the subclassification of Nilo-Saharan, verbal and nominal derivation, inflection and the pronominal procedure. the second one half (chapter nine) is an etymological dictionary of 1,606 roots, complemented through annotations and reflexes of the roots within the specific languages. greater than 10,000 roots are stated without delay. The research of the 1st half (chapter 2-8) is predicated at the information prepared in bankruptcy nine. crucial results of Ehret's paintings issues the connection of Songay within the Nilo-Saharan context. the writer argues convincingly that Songay might be considered as an critical member of the Nilo-Saharan kinfolk. Connections with Mande needs to be obvious as borrowings from Songay into Mande. moreover, the verified general sound correspondences and the reconstructed Proto-Nilo-Saharan vocabulary enable for drawing up phonological histories of every language and distinguishing among mortgage as opposed to long term inherited phrases.

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This consonant is then split in a syllabic and a non-syllabic part. The latter forms the onset of the following syllable. (60) |à-LtŲ‫ ڟ‬# L-kùàn # H # ù-Þۖ͡| ࣰ /àtũ‫ ڟ‬kwàn ՕࣨwÞ‫͡ڟ‬/ (NSP) ࣰ /àtũ‫ ڟ‬kw$n ࣨwÞ‫͡ڟ‬/ (SSP) Syllabification of an initial non-syllabic nasal as in (59) can take place only if all weight units to the right are saturated with tones. Otherwise, the floating high tone does not trigger syllable formation, but simply attaches to the existing syllable, as is the case when mbàz is inserted in the same phrase.

Representation of |Þ| The morphophoneme |Þ| is represented by /wa/18 if it is the nucleus of a prominent syllable and if it is not immediately followed by a word boundary. Elsewhere, it is represented by /Þ/. (39) a. |bÞ‫ ڮ‬#| ࣰ /bÞ‫ڮ‬/ ‘rot’ b. |bÞ‫ڮ‬-là| ࣰ /bwàlÞ‫ڮ‬/ ‘destroy, make rot’ (40) a. |Ͱ‫ڮ‬-kÞۖl| ࣰ /͡‫ڮ‬kw$l/ ‘rope’ b. |dÞ‫ڟ‬ktŲ‫ڮ‬n| ࣰ /dwáktŲ‫ڹ‬n/ ‘doctrine’ < French doctrine (41) |Ͱ‫ڮ‬-SÞ‫ڟ‬bá‫ ࣰ |ڟ‬/͟‫ڮ‬ҷwábÞ‫ڟ‬/ ‘mortar’ Both representations, /Þ/ and /wa/, are possible when |Þ| is followed by a velar consonant, with perhaps a preference for /Þ/.

D-ùlà| ࣰ /dùlà/ ‘a walk’ When the stem of a gender 5 noun begins in /wa/, there are two possibilities: (50) a. |d-Þۖd| ࣰ /dw$d/ ‘furuncle’ b. |Ų‫ڮ‬-wálì| ࣰ /Ų‫ڮ‬wálî/ ‘birth’ Now consider the form of the following gender 5 word for another example of analogy in the application of vowel harmony. 5. Elision and reduction Postprominent vowel morphophonemes that are followed by a word boundary (but not by a pause) tend to be not represented. (52) a. |mũ‫ڮ‬-H-jŲ‫ڟ‬n-Lgì -H # ͟Ų‫ ࣰ |ڦ‬/mũ‫ڮ‬jŲ‫ڟ‬ngũ‫͟ ڟ‬ũ‫ڹ‬/ ‘I have seen him’ b.

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