Tense and Aspect in Bantu by Derek Nurse

Tense and Aspect in Bantu

byDerek Nurse

Hardcover | September 1, 2008

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Derek Nurse looks at variations in the form and function of tense and aspect in Bantu, a branch of Niger-Congo, the world's largest language phylum. Bantu languages are spoken in central, eastern, and southern sub-Saharan Africa south of a line between Nigeria and Somalia. By current estimatesthere are between 250 and 600 of them, as yet neither adequately classified nor fully described. Professor Nurse's account is based on data from more than 200 Bantu languages and varieties, a representative sample of which is freely available on the publisher's website. He devotes substantial chapters to the analysis and comparison of the different tense and aspect systems found in Bantu. He also examines the verbal categories with which they interact, including negation and focus. Synchronic and diachronic perspectives are interwoven throughout the book. Followinga brief history of Bantu over the last five thousand years, the final two chapters look systematically at the history of tense and aspect in Bantu. The first deals with the reconstruction of the earlier forms from which contemporary structures, morphemes, and categories are derived, and the secondwith the processes of change, including grammaticalization, by means of which older analytical structures and independent lexical items moved as they became incorporated as grammatical inflections and categories.

About The Author

Derek Nurse is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Emeritus Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His books include, with T. J. Hinnebusch, Swahili and Sabaki: A Linguistic History (University of California Press 1993) and, with Bernd Heine, African Languages (CUP 2000). Future work will extend the current book to ...
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Details & Specs

Title:Tense and Aspect in BantuFormat:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.1 inPublished:September 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199239290

ISBN - 13:9780199239290

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Verb Structure and Categories in Bantu3. Tense4. Aspect5. Other Categories6. What Can be Assumed for Proto-Bantu?7. Processes of ChangeAppendicesAcknowledgements