XXI, 412 pp.
2 maps, 1 genealogical chart, 2 drawings, 3 diagrams, 2 appendices, 2 indexes
Text language: German
The study presents the first description of Hone, a language which is spoken in north-eastern Nigeria, thus being the northermost Jukunoid language known. The Central-Jukunoid languages are the most typologically diverse group of Benue-Congo languages, some of which have only rudimentarily been documented so far.
Throughout the linguistic debate on African languages they have often served as a model to describe the process of the development of secondary suffix sets out of the former systems of prefix sets. The Hone language has preserved numerous set prefixes in petrified form, a phenomenon which allows for more precise insight into this aspect of the linguistic history.
The present book is divided into two major parts: the first part comprises a grammatical description of Hone which is enriched by numerous information about cultural and contact history. The author first describes the grammatical structure of Hone, which is marked by an innovative phonology, particulary in terms of its vowels, and a rather conservative morphology. Besides the description of the Hone phonology and its nominal and verbal morphology, also the pronominal system, further word categories (numeralia, ideophones, interjections, etc.), and the syntactic structure are outlined.
The second major section is a historical-comparative description of major developments especially in the system of nominal sets. The author here contrasts the Hone findings with comparable findings from other lesser or as yet undocumented Central-Jukunoid languages, thereby also discussing the possibilities of typological change in an exemplary way. In this way, the major historical language developments in phonology, nominal morphology, and the lexicon are described. A list of word-stems containing some 150 glosses completes this section of the study.
The dissertation concludes with a summary of the results of the comparative historical research, which allow for conclusions applying to problems of reconstruction and classification.