Greenberg, Joseph H.. Studies in African linguistic classification: 1. the Niger-Congo family

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Title: Studies in African linguistic classification: 1. the Niger-Congo family

Published in: Southwestern journal of anthropology -- Vol. 5

Published By: Southwestern journal of anthropology -- Vol. 5 Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1949. 79-100 p. [incomplete]

By line: Joseph H. Greenberg

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1999. Computer File

Culture: Azande (FO07)

Subjects: Linguistic identification (197); Grammar (193);

Abstract: This monograph is the first in a series which attempts to systematically reclassify genetically the languages of Africa. In it, he defines a new language group: the Niger-Congo linguistic family, thus departing from Meinhof’s standard classification, because the latter “does not lead to genitic classification.” The basis for Greenberg’s redefinition of linguistic relationships has been lexical comparison rather than linguistic structural criteria, because of the absence of extensive grammatical analysis. Because so few linguists have been interested in the entire gamut of African languages, this work automatically achieves significance. However, except for demonstrating certain linguistic affiliations of Zande, and suggesting the direction of its drift, this work is necessarily of limited value to the Zande specialist; the student interested in internal systems of the Zande language, and dialectical differentiation, or phonetic structure must look elsewhere.

Document Number: 55

Document ID: fo07-055

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English


This document consists of excerpts

Field Date: no date

Evaluation: Linguist-4

Analyst: CT; 1950-1956

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Central African Republic

LCSH: Zande (African people)


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