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A Historical Phonology of Central Chadic
Prosodies and Lexical Reconstruction

  • Date Published: June 2022
  • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2024
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781316519547

$ 110.00

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About the Authors
  • Of all of the African language families, the Chadic languages belonging to the Afroasiatic macro-family are highly internally diverse due to a long history and various scenarios of language contact. This pioneering study explores the development of the sound systems of the 'Central Chadic' languages, a major branch of the Chadic family. Drawing on and comparing field data from about 60 different Central Chadic languages, H. Ekkehard Wolff unpacks the specific phonological principles that underpin the Chadic languages' diverse phonological evolution, arguing that their diversity results to no little extent from historical processes of 'prosodification' of reconstructable segments of the proto-language. The book offers meticulous historical analyses of some 60 words from Proto-Central Chadic, in up to 60 individual modern languages, including both consonants and vowels. Particular emphasis is on tracing the deep-rooted origin and impact of palatalisation and labialisation prosodies within a phonological system that, on its deepest level, recognises only one vowel phoneme */a/.

    • Develops theoretical and methodological tools for the analysis of comprehensive lexical reconstruction in Central Chadic
    • Unearths the relevance of pre-Chadic root-and-pattern structures based on the availability of only one systemic vowel
    • /a/
    • Unearths the sources and dynamics of palatalization prosody and labialization prosody that affect consonants, vowels, or both, within and across a whole word
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2022
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781316519547
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2024
  • Table of Contents

    Languages and language variants used for reconstruction as listed in the database
    Abbreviations and symbols
    1. Introduction
    2. Methodological Preliminarie
    3. Proto-Central chadic diachronic phonology and morphophonology: Inventories and principles
    4. Diachronic processes in central chadic language evolution
    5. Central chadic languages and the neogrammarian hypothesis
    6. Full lexical reconstructions

  • Author

    H. Ekkehard Wolff, Universität Leipzig
    H. Ekkehard Wolff is Professor and Chair emeritus (African linguistics) at Leipzig University. He has more than 170 publications to his credit (incl. 30 books) on descriptive, typological, comparative, applied linguistics and sociolinguistics of African languages. He is Editor of The Cambridge Handbook of African Linguistics (2019) and of A History of African Linguistics (2019).

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