16 pp. Roman, 287 pp.
2 maps, 6 b/w photos, 3 diagrams, numerous tables and charts, appendix: A Kuteb Story – A boy who refused to marry
Text language: English
The Benue-Congo languages of Nigeria are spoken in the centre and east of the country, and probably number some 150 or so. They remain extremely poorly documented, from the point of view of both lexicon and grammar. The Jukunoid family, first outlined by Shimizu in 1980, comprises about 20 languages, spoken by approx. 350,000 people in north-east Nigeria, is currently represented only by a few grammars (f.i. Bezen, Jukun and Hone).
This is a grammar of the Kuteb language, one of the southern group, so far almost undescribed, although Koelle included a wordlist in his Polyglotta Africana in 1854.
The Kuteb people number more than 100,000 and live mainly in what is now Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, Nigeria. The grammar is introduced by a historical and ethnographic sketch of the region. Kuteb is divided into a number of dialects, some with strikingly distinctive phonologies and the grammar illustrates and discusses this variation.
An overview of the phonology also includes an outline of the standard Kuteb orthography. The remainder of the grammar covers morphology and syntax, based on numerous texts collected in the course of long-term fieldwork in the region. An extensive Kuteb narrative in an appendix illustrates many of the constructions described in the main text.
The text is a fully revised and updated version of Robert Koops’ thesis, “Aspects of Kuteb Grammar”, submitted in 1990 to the Linguistics Department of the University of Colorado (Boulder/CO, Advisor: Zygmunt Frajzyngier). It is expected that a dictionary will be prepared to complement the grammar in due course.