A. Mietzner / U. Claudi (eds.): Directionality in Grammar and Discourse – Case Studies from Africa [PDF]


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Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies Volume 29

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232 pp.
2 colour maps, 1 map, 19 figures, 2 graphs, 1 dendrogram, numerous tables and charts

Text language: English

This volume on the expression of directionality in African languages is the output of a workshop Directionality in Grammar and Discourse – Evidence from African Languages that was held at the University of Cologne, Germany. This workshop on directionality was a continuation of a previous one on Encoding Motion – Case Studies from Africa, which was held in 2007. The results of the previous workshop have been published under the same title – edited by Angelika Mietzner and Yvonne Treis (see the link below).

The idea of planning such a workshop was motivated by the fact that a large number of African languages exhibit multiple ways of expressing the direction towards or away from a deictic center, either by fixed morphemes or by other grammatical elements. Former research had also revealed that directional morphology may develop semantics that go beyond the encoding of direction properly. So, the question was: How do African languages encode directionality, and in which way may particular forms receive semantics that have no obvious semantic relation to directionality?

The participants presented papers on Afroasiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan and Khoisan languages, i.e. on languages of all of the four African language phyla: the Afroasiatic phylum is represented by Berber (Fleisch) and Somali (Northern Cushitic; Claudi). Niger-Congo is represented by Tima (Eastern Sudanic; Alamin / Schneider-Blum / Dimmendaal), Zande (Ubangi; Pasch), Mbembe (Jukunoid; Richter gen. Kemmermann), Syer (Senufo; Dom­brow­sky-Hahn), as well as by Bantu languages (Atindogbé, Möhlig, Nassenstein). Nilo-Saharan languages are represented by languages of the Eastern Sudanic branch, Dinka (Western Nilotic; Andersen), Nilotic (Mietzner) and Nubian (Jakobi). One Khoisan language was investigated, namely Nǁng (Ernszt).


Suzan Alamin / Gertrud Schneider-Blum / Gerrit J. Dimmendaal: Finding your way in Tima
Torben Andersen: Verbal directionality and argument alternation in Dinka
Gratien G. Atindogbé: On the typology of directional verbs in Bantu A (Barombi, Isubu, Mokpe, and Oroko)
Ulrike Claudi: Who moves, and why? Somali deictic particles
Klaudia Dombrowsky-Hahn: Grammaticalization of the deictic verbs ‘come’ and ‘go’ in Syer
Martina Ernszt: On the different uses of the deictic directional verbs ‘go’ and ‘come’ in N//ng [N||ng]
Axel Fleisch: Directionality in Berber – Orientational clitics in Tashelhiyt [Tashlhiyt/tachelhit] and related varieties
Roland Kiessling: Extensive is up, intensive is down: the vertical directional background of the adverbials k/ vs. ts/ in Isu (West-Ring)
Angelika Mietzner: Spatial orientation in Nilotic languages and the forces of innovation
Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig: Directionality as a basic principle in Otjiherero verb constructions
Nico Nassenstein: Directionality in Lingala
Helma Pasch: Two multifunctional locative and directional prepositions in Zande
Doris Richter gen. Kemmermann: Directional verbs in Mbembe

Under these links you will find publications by the contributors and further studies of the conceptualization of nature, environment, space / landscape and motion in African languages:

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