8 pp. Roman, 237 pp.
numerous tables and charts
Text language(s): English
The volume is a collection of articles which may be used as a reference work for the comparative study of West-Central African pronoun systems. The book is an original and innovative contribution insofar as it is a first collection of articles which focus on languages that share the typological features of copied pronouns. Even though there exist several case studies on Chadic and Benue-Congo pronouns, there is no extensive publication in form of a book on the phenomenon of copy pronouns. Moreover, the present volume for a first time correlates copy pronouns with middle voice verbs and mirativity. Main features are:
1. The presentation of new and original data on several little-studied West-Central African languages
2. new typological approaches to pronoun systems by emphasizing their relevance for the encoding of mirativity/evidentiality
3. providing new insights into transitivity and voice, e.g. by correlating copy pronouns and middle voice in Afrasian (Chadic).
A major goal of the present volume is to explore the richness, diversity, and origins of one of the most puzzling features of African pronoun systems, namely the copy pronoun of ICP (intransitive copy pronoun) of West-Central African languages. The repeated pronoun, designating the subject or agent in a phrase, has often been analysed as a marker of intransitive verbs. Since it occurs in neighbouring languages belonging to the Afroasiatic and Niger-Congo phyla, it has commonly been considered an areal feature of the Nigerian sprachbund typifying the Plateau and Benue-Gongola Basin.
The areas covered by the studies in this volume, however, reach beyond this geographical zone, and deal with copy pronouns that appear to express other meanings, and fulfil other functions than mark or construct intransitive verbforms. Ranging from Chadic to Bantu, through Adamawa, the contributions offer a first insight into the pronominal system of African languages by making special reference to their subsystems of copy pronouns.